This afternoon, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Michael Jordan met with James Dolan and Charles Oakley to try and mediate a peaceful end to their very public dispute. (Frank Isola first reported the news, and the NBA confirmed it shortly after.)
Last Wednesday, Oakley was dragooned out of Madison Square Garden by a horde of security guards and arrested after getting into it with MSG security. The Knicks claimed that his behavior was “abusive” and “inappropriate,” while Oakley says that security approached him and tried to get him to leave for no reason. Since then, the Knicks put out a series of anonymous statements alleging that he acted like a huge asshole and at one point yelled, “This is some bullshit, all of you suck Dolan’s dick!” Shortly afterwards, James Dolan banned Oakley from MSG and claimed that he had alcohol and anger issues, which Oakley denied.
Here’s the NBA’s full statement, which is fairly neutral as these things go.
NEW YORK, Feb. 13, 2017 – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement today regarding the situation involving Charles Oakley and Madison Square Garden:
“It is beyond disheartening to see situations involving members of the NBA family like the one that occurred at Madison Square Garden this past week. In an effort to find a path forward, New York Knicks owner Jim Dolan, Charles Oakley, and I met today at the league office, along with Michael Jordan, who participated by phone.
“Both Mr. Oakley and Mr. Dolan were apologetic about the incident and subsequent comments, and their negative impact on the Knicks organization and the NBA. Mr. Dolan expressed his hope that Mr. Oakley would return to MSG as his guest in the near future.
“I appreciate the efforts of Mr. Dolan, Mr. Oakley and Mr. Jordan to work towards a resolution of this matter.”
The NBA has to take Dolan’s side here—he is an owner, after all—but they’re clearly fed up with him being a useless shitbag all Knicks fans loathe. The best outcome for the NBA, and the Knicks, would be Dolan dropping the ban and publicly welcoming Oakley back; while Silver did get Dolan to apologize, though, it looks like Dolan, having “expressed his hope” that Oakley would come back “in the near future,” still wants something more from Oakley before he lets him back into MSG.
Not even Michael Jordan and Adam Silver, that is to say, could get this guy to stop acting like a shithead.