‘Pure Fiction’: Knicks denounce Charles Oakley’s account of incident at Madison Square Garden

Posted: 5:29 PM, Feb 09, 2017
Updated: 2017-02-09 17:34:15-05

NEW YORK — Former Knicks star Charles Oakley was escorted from his seats at Madison Square Garden and arrested after an altercation near team owner James Dolan.

Oakley appeared to shove security guards before they pulled him away from his seat behind the baseline during the first quarter of the Knicks' game against the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night.

The Washington Post reported the altercation started with Oakley insulting Dolan. Oakley is known to have a strained relationship with the team, because of his criticism of Dolan's leadership.

But Oakley says that's not what happened.

Oakley told the New York Daily News, “I was there for four minutes. I didn’t say anything to him. I swear on my mother. They came over and wanted to know why I was sitting there. I bought the ticket. I said why do you guys keep staring at me. Then they asked me to leave. And I said I’m not leaving”

The New York Knicks released the following statement denouncing Oakley's account:

“Charles Oakley came to the game tonight and behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner,” the Knicks said in a statement. “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.”

"There are dozens of security staff, employees and NYPD that witnessed Oakley's abusive behavior," the statement read. "It started when he entered the building and continued until he was arrested and left the building. Every single statement we have received is consistent in describing his actions. Everything he said since the incident is pure fiction."

The AP reports that fans shouted "Oakley! Oakley!" in defense of the popular power forward, who helped the Knicks reach the NBA Finals during his years on the court for the team, between 1988 and 1998.

Oakley was escorted out of the building, arrested and charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal trespassing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.