Charles Oakley is not mincing words when it comes to New York Knicks owner James Dolan — who has publicly sparred with the former Knicks forward after he was removed from Madison Square Garden last week following an altercation.
During an interview with Sports Illustrated Now, 53-year-old Oakley spoke candidly about last Wednesday’s incident, in which he was taken out of the famous New York arena in handcuffs following a scuffle with security guards and charged with three counts of misdemeanor assaults and one count of criminal trespass.
Oakley has long had a tense relationship with Dolan, 61, and in the new interview compared the MSG head to Donald Sterling, the former Clippers owner who was forced to sell the team and is banned from the NBA for life for making racist comments about African-Americans.
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“He’s a control freak. He got everybody in the Garden on pins and needles. The other owners know this, that’s the bad thing about it,” he said, noting that Dolan is on the same “level” as Sterling. “They gonna let this end up happening like something happened to the L.A. Clippers. It’s that bad. But they won’t talk about it.”
He added: “This man has been around for a long time, I ain’t heard nothing good about him.”
A call to Dolan’s representatives was not immediately returned.
Oakley was briefly banned from the arena following the headline-making incident on Feb. 8. Later, Dolan spoke to ESPN Radio and alleged the former Knicks star needed help to address alcohol and anger-management issues, reports The New York Times, which noted that Oakley has vehemently denied the allegations.
The NBA arranged a meeting between Oakley and Dolan on Monday. Dolan apologized to Oakley and appeared to lift Oakley’s ban from the arena, per The Times. However, Oakley told Sports Illustrated Now that the meeting did not go smoothly.
“I feel like I was pulled out of the meeting like I was pulled out of the Garden,” he said.
He added of the incident: “You Google my name [and] this gonna pop up. And that hurts.”