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NBA

Oakley says he'd rather go to jail than have Knicks act nice

Charles Oakley is still upset about the way the New York Knicks treated him last week and said he would prefer jail to the team's attitude.

Update:
Oakley says he'd rather go to jail than have Knicks act nice
Getty Images

It has been three days since New York Knicks owner James Dolan agreed to lift the ban barring Charles Oakley from attending home games, but the Knicks legend is still not happy.

Oakley was escorted from Madison Square Garden on national television, and then charged with three counts of misdemeanour assault and one count of misdemeanour trespassing, during the Knicks' NBA game against the Los Angeles Clippers on February 8.

Several NBA stars have backed Oakley on this issue including Draymond Green, Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Paul and while the NBA and Dolan are trying to repair their image on the back of the incident, Oakley wants to make a stand.

Meeting with Jordan, Silver and Dolan

Spike Jones, a lifelong Knicks fans and season ticket holder, wears an Oakley jersey to Madison Square Garden.
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Spike Jones, a lifelong Knicks fans and season ticket holder, wears an Oakley jersey to Madison Square Garden.Adam HungerUSA Today Sports

After a meeting on Monday involving Oakley, Dolan and NBA commissioner Adam Silver, with Oakley's friend Michael Jordan listening in via phone, the Knicks boss lifted the ban.

However, Oakley remains unhappy with Dolan and the Knicks.

"I'd rather go to jail and just do two or three years for my assault case and come out and be a better person," Oakley told Sports Illustrated on Thursday.

"Don't give me something now because everything is bad. That's what's wrong. We cover stuff up because of money and power. This is a people issue. People see this."

Former New York Knicks playes Larry Johnson and Latrell Spreewell and Knicks owner James Dolan attend the game between the New York Knicks and the San Antonio Spurs
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Former New York Knicks playes Larry Johnson and Latrell Spreewell and Knicks owner James Dolan attend the game between the New York Knicks and the San Antonio SpursELSAAFP

Comparisons to Donald Sterling

Oakley also made veiled comments comparing Dolan to disgraced former Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was forced to sell the team after he made racist comments that were caught on tape.

"This man's been around for a long time," Oakley said. "I ain't heard nothing good about him." 

In a statement, Silver said: "Both Mr. Oakley and Mr. Dolan were apologetic about the incident and subsequent comments, and their negative impact on the Knicks organisation and the NBA. Mr. Dolan expressed his hope that Mr. Oakley would return to MSG as his guest in the near future."

The incident became a public embarrassment for the Knicks, with many NBA players speaking out in support of Oakley.

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