Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Former Knicks player Charles Oakley suing James Dolan, MSG

Former Knicks player Charles Oakley suing James Dolan, MSG

New York Knicks icon Charles Oakley is suing team owner James Dolan and Madison Square Garden for libel, slander and other actions.

The lawsuit also accuses Garden security of assault, battery and false imprisonment as a result of guards forcibly removing Oakley from his seat a few rows behind Dolan, the Knicks owner, during the February 8 game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Dolan, who took control of MSG and the Knicks in 1999, responded by banning Oakley from The Garden indefinitely and in an interview with ESPN radio suggested that Oakley 'may have a problem with alcohol'. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System lifted its position in shares of The Madison Square Garden by 1.4% during the 1st quarter.

Back in February, Knicks legend Charles Oakley was ejected from a Knicks game, basically for being Charles Oakley and having previously criticized the Knicks ownership and organization, then showing up to a game. He says it was a coincidence that his seat was a few rows behind Dolan's.

The lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn federal court and obtained by Newsday, accuses Dolan and the Garden of defamatory, libelous and slanderous comments directed at Oakley following the incident that led police to arrest Oakley. The ejection was anything but smooth as Oakley fought with security, then was arrested and charged with several misdemeanors.

Oakley tried to go back to his seat, but security allegedly threw him to the ground. After an altercation, he was removed and handcuffed before being taken from the arena.

Oakley says he was neither intoxicated nor otherwise behaving inappropriately that night.

'It is very clear to us that Charles Oakley came to the Garden with an agenda, with a mission in mind, ' Dolan said. People have to understand that. He's both physically and verbally abusive.

Oakley insists in is lawsuit that he does not, nor has he ever, had problems with anger, alcohol, or drugs.

Oakley also accused Dolan and MSG of maliciously making false statements that the popular ex-Knick was engaged in abusive behavior toward fans and staff during the game and that he might have a problem with alcoholism. (MSG) and its owner James Dolan, alleging that Dolan sabotaged his reputation following an incident at a Knicks game last season.

The aggressive filing goes on to call the Knicks "a laughingstock in the National Basketball Association, decried for their incompetence both on and off the court". It points out that "the Knicks, once one of the NBA's premier franchises in its largest market", while Oakley was on the team, has since "fallen into disarray, having advanced as far as the second round of the playoffs only twice in the previous ten years".

The suit also claims Dolan endeavored to "publicly embarrass him on live television". Oakley does not specify how much money he's seeking.

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