James Dolan, Knicks lift Charles Oakley’s Madison Square Garden ban
Charles Oakley will now be allowed to attend New York Knicks games at Madison Square Garden after James Dolan and the team lifted his lengthy ban.
Friday’s announcement, as reported by TMZ Sports, comes on the heels of Oakley’s civil lawsuit against Dolan and Madison Square Garden Company being dismissed earlier in the week.
The lawsuit stemmed from an incident at a Knicks game in February of 2017 when Oakley was escorted out of the arena and arrested following a confrontation with MSG security.
Numerous NBA luminaries rallied around the Knicks legend and came to his defense — while of course bashing Dolan — over what they perceived as unfair treatment.
Oakley was charged with four misdemeanors as a result of the incident, and in a subsequent plea deal he agreed to six months probation and a one-year ban from Madison Square Garden.
Oakley subsequently filed the lawsuit in which it is alleged that he had been subjected to defamation, battery and false imprisonment. A violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), among other claims, were also part of the suit.
Judge Richard Sullivan dismissed the suit on Wednesday, ruling that Oakley “failed to allege a plausible legal claim that can meet federal pleading standards.”
With the dismissal seemingly closing the book on the ugly situation, the Knicks issued a statement afterward expressing hope that the parties can now reconcile.
“We thank the court for its ruling,” the Knicks’ statement read. “This was an incident that no one was happy about. Maybe now there can be peace between us.”
It remains to be seen whether Oakley accepts the olive branch extended by Dolan and the Knicks by way of the official lifting of the ban. Given all the unflattering things he’s had to say about the organization over the past few years, that’s no certainty, to say the least.