Knicks legend Oakley suing Dolan, MSG

Retired basketball player Charles Oakley arrives on the red carpet for the film

Retired basketball player Charles Oakley arrives on the red carpet for the film"The Carter Effect at the Toronto International Film Festiv

Beloved former New York Knicks player Charles Oakley drew the ire of team owner James Dolan and the support of fans when animosity between the two men reached a high point during a game last season. It seeks unspecified damages. Given Dolan's comments, Oakley could file a defamation lawsuit against Dolan but that is merely speculation. After the incident took place, Dolan suggested that Oakley had an alcohol problem and anger management issues.

"By propagating these blatant lies about Mr. Oakley, Defendants Dolan and MSG have caused irreparable harm to his name and career", in a "transparent attempt to denigrate his standing among Knicks fans", the complaint said. Oakley was sitting in the stands during a game, when an altercation broke out between him and Madison Square Garden security.

Oakley was arrested after a run-in with MSG security on February 8 and charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault, one misdemeanor count of aggravated harassment and one misdemeanor count of trespassing.

The lawsuit blames Dolan for Oakley's removal from the game, saying Oakley "was treated like a common criminal" after Dolan directed security to "forcibly remove Mr. Oakley from the Garden and publicly embarrass him on live television". Oakley alleges assault, battery, and false imprisonment against the Madison Square Garden Co., MSG Networks and MSG Sports & Entertainment relating to the ejection. One Garden employee alleged Oakley shouted, 'All of you suck Dolan's d**k!' Those charges were dropped last month on the condition that he stay out of trouble for six months and away from the Garden for one year. He notes that he and Dolan's paths never crossed while he played for the Knicks, as Dolan inherited control of the team in 1999, after Oakley had already been traded. The tweet also said, "we hope he gets some help soon", which Oakley claims implied that he had a substance abuse problem.

In a statement, Oakley's lawyer, Douglas Wigdor, said he filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York City "out of principle and his desire to hold Mr. Dolan accountable for his actions". By and large, this trial represents the fractured state of the New York Knicks in recent years.

The Knicks had a reputation for toughness and grittiness during Oakley's tenure, including in 1994 when they lost to the Houston Rockets in the National Basketball Association finals.

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