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Report: Charles Oakley backing off expectations of James Dolan

Charles Oakley reportedly has had a change of heart concerning what he expects out of the New York Knicks organization and owner James Dolan to make peace.

A person close to Oakley believes the former Knicks star doesn’t necessarily need a public apology from Dolan, according to a New York Post report. Instead, Oakley only hopes the Knicks will issue a statement of apology to him and the fans.

Oakley, however, apparently still won’t accept an invite from Dolan to return to Madison Square Garden.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Michael Jordan helped orchestrate some semblance of peace between the Knicks and Oakley amid the fallout of his Madison Square Garden arrest last week. Dolan ultimately lifted a ban on Oakley at the Knicks’ home arena imposed in the aftermath of the arrest. But the former Knick nevertheless continued to demand a public apology from the owner.

“One of the things I told the commissioner, I want to have a press conference and I want him to apologize to me and the fans,” Oakley said of Dolan during an appearance on “The Dan Le Batard Show” on ESPN Radio. “They’ve had my back and they’ve felt the pain. I really appreciate the people all around who’ve had my back.”

Several of the NBA’s biggest names have come out in support of Oakley, including Charles Barkley and LeBron James, as well as Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul. But perhaps the most inflammatory comments came from Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green, who accused Dolan of exhibiting a “slave master mentality” in his handling of the Oakley drama.

Oakley’s ire with the Knicks stems less from the arrest and more from how the organization conducted itself in the aftermath. Dolan personally accused Oakley of having  “problems with alcohol” and “personality problems,” something Oakley vehemently denied.

With the Knicks and then Oakley reluctantly extending an olive branch to the other party at this point, perhaps the entire feud can be at long last settled.

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