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Draymond Green: James Dolan criticism ‘came off the wrong way’

Draymond Green is walking back a bit his criticism of New York Knicks owner James Dolan, insisting some his most inflammatory rhetoric “came off the wrong way.”

Green made headlines earlier this week by suggesting on his “Dray Day” podcast on Uninterrupted that Dolan exhibited a “slave master mentality” in his handling of Charles Oakley.

“Number one, I never said James Dolan has a slave master mentality,” Green told ESPN Radio. “I said when you look at something and someone is doing something for someone and all of a sudden they can’t anymore, that falls under the slave mentality.

“… I can’t say James Dolan is a racist. I don’t know James Dolan. Honestly, if he walked past me right now, I wouldn’t know who he is.”

The long-simmering feud between the Knicks and Oakley boiled over when he was arrested at a game last Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. The controversy has elicited a tremendous backlash for the Knicks organization.

Despite backing off the inflammatory rhetoric of his original comments, Green stands by his criticism of Dolan.

“I thought some of the things said about Charles Oakley — from James Dolan, from the New York Knicks’ Twitter handle — some of the things said about Oakley was wrong, and I still feel that way,” Green said. “However, I think that was a mistake by Dolan, that was a mistake by the Knicks. Then I think I followed up and made the same mistake they made about what they said about Oakley, about how it came off about what I said about James Dolan.

“Like I said, I don’t know [Dolan]. I could never say he’s a racist or he has a slave owner’s mentality. I don’t know if he has that. That’s just how that situation looked to me from the outside looking in. And so that came off the wrong way, and it wasn’t what I meant by it.

“But what I meant by it, is there should be a respect level between players, ownership, staff, people who work in the organization, the league office, former players. It’s a family. And I think there should always be a respect level that is kept amongst the family, and I don’t think that situation it was necessarily kept.”

Many have suggested Green erred in using the “slave master mentality” talk because it caused people to ignore his message and instead focus on the inflammatory tone of the that particular label.

But what’s done is done and presumably much to the chagrin of the Knicks organization and Dolan, the Oakley drama simply refuses to go away, even in this day of the 24-hour news cycle.