Legendary New York Knicks power forward Charles Oakley was forced from his seat, arrested and charged with three counts of assault Wednesday, Feb. 8 for an altercation at Madison Square Garden.
Oakley was tossed for allegedly shouting at team owner James Dolan from his seat directly behind Dolan during the Knicks’ game against the Los Angeles Clippers, USA Today reported.
From 1988-98, Oakley made a name for himself as a defensive specialist and on-court enforcer. The great Knick, however, gained a new reputation after video of him assaulting the guards went viral Wednesday night. After he was pulled away from his seat by five security guards, Oakley was arrested in the tunnel by NYPD. Reportedly, Knicks team president Phil Jackson came to speak to Oakley in an attempt to calm him, but the former player grew angrier by the minute. Witnesses claimed Oakley was screaming “Dolan did this” while he was being handcuffed.
In the aftermath, the organization confirmed that Oakley was arrested in a statement.
“Charles Oakley came to the game tonight and behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner,” the statement read. “He has been ejected and is currently being arrested by the New York City Police Department. He was a great Knick and we hope he gets some help soon.”
Former teammate and current Clippers coach Doc Rivers said that the incident was “sad” and “tough to watch.”
“Honest to God, you could see it,” Rivers recalled. “I actually took three steps and I swear I was going to run down there and I thought, ‘What the hell am I going to do?’ But I didn’t like that. That’s my guy. That was tough to watch from where I was standing.
“He’s the best teammate in the world. He really is,” Rivers said. “Honestly, the players could see me. That was a tough thing to watch. I’ve been in the league a long time and I’ve never seen anything like that.
“I’m going to find out what’s going on. That was tough, that was tough to watch.”