The Knicks are enough of a tire fire as it is without angering beloved players from their most successful teams. James Dolan's franchise has spent most of the offseason angering Carmelo Anthony, one of the few big-name players who actually showed an interest in restoring the Knicks to glory, and Kristaps Porzingis, the best young player they've probably had in at least a decade. So of course they have to beef with former Knicks greats, too.
The local hero in question, former enforcer Charles Oakley, has had enough of Dolan's shenanigans, and he's taking the fight back to the out-of-touch billionaire. Oakley officially filed a lawsuit against Dolan and Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, and his accusations center on what his attorneys are calling slander and libel for the way Oakley was treated during a 2017 incident at MSG.
Specifically, Oakley's suit alleges that Dolan and MSG underwent "a coordinated and defamatory public relations campaign against Mr. Oakley, baselessly accusing him of abusing fans and staff, acting inappropriately and struggling with alcoholism." His claim isn't entirely unwarranted, as shown in the Knicks' patronizing statement about Oakley that they dropped after the incident took place.
Oakley's suit continues: "By propagating these blatant lies about Mr. Oakley, Defendants Dolan and MSG have caused irreparable harm to his name and career and discriminated against him based on the false perception that he is an alcoholic, all in a transparent attempt to denigrate his standing among Knicks fans."
It has been an up-and-down summer for Oakley and the Knicks, complicating what was already a pretty insane incident to begin with. The former Knicks forward accepted a dismissal deal for charges headed his way following the incident, but it came with a decent-sized price: Oakley is banned from Madison Square Garden for one year. He seemed content with this at the time, saying the court system had more important things to worry about.
Charles Oakley shoves Madison Square Garden security and is escorted out of the building in strange scene pic.twitter.com/lTphvnSzFV— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 9, 2017
"Like I said from day one, I wasn’t wrong," said Oakley. "Why keep wasting time? Let’s try to keep the streets better for kids instead of going to court."
He may have been happy to accept the ban, but Oakley is not going to take Dolan's BS laying down. Some Knicks fans have already promised to drop their fandom following Dolan's mistreatment of Oakley, so if we had to guess, the people will be on Oakley's side for this one.