Knicks owner James Dolan, seen above wielding a binder full of notes labeled “preparation,” appeared on The Michael Kay Show this afternoon to continue inflaming the Charles Oakley debacle.
Dolan said that Knicks icon Charles Oakley, who was booted from Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night, would not be allowed in the arena for tonight’s game against the Nuggets, though he said it’s “hopefully not forever” and “not necessarily a lifetime ban.” Dolan also claimed that Oakley had issues with anger, and strongly suggested that alcohol was at play as well.
“I don’t know how to explain it,” Dolan said of Oakley’s claims that he was innocent of wrongdoing. “Maybe he doesn’t remember it? I mean, to me, you know, I think that, I mean, Charles has a problem. I said this before, we’ve said it before, we’ve said that he’s his own worst problem. He has a problem. People need to, you know, sort of understand that, that, the, you know, he is—he has a problem with anger. He’s both physically and verbally abusive. He may have a problem with alcohol, we don’t know.”
Two separate times Dolan refers to Oakley’s inability to “remember” what took place; he also said he hoped to keep MSG free of “anybody who comes to the Garden, whether they’ve been drinking too much alcohol, they’re looking for a fight, they’re abusive, disrespectful to the staff and fans.”
Dolan added that MSG security wasn’t “perfect”—he fired his head of security this morning—and “Charles never should have made it to his seats.” If that’s what Dolan meant to insinuate, it wouldn’t be the first time he wrote off a critic as an alcoholic. Dolan, a recovering alcoholic himself, did the same in an email to a disgruntled fan two years ago.
Dolan said the Knicks would be happy to aid Oakley in his recovery: “When you have issues like this, the first step for anybody is to ask for help. He has lots of people around him who would help him, but we would too, if he would seriously address these issues.”
In keeping with the strange, spreadsheet-based PR attempt the Knicks tried earlier today, Dolan elaborated on the specifics of Oakley’s alleged abuse:
“There were security people there who were abused, there were service people there who were abused, right, the same people that the fans who come to the game tonight, who are going to help those fans find their sears, get them food, try and make them comfortable. They were abused, and abused not, you know not—in a really horrible, right, angry, nasty way, racially, with racial overtones, with sexual overtones, the stuff you never, ever want to hear. And you know, I mean, how do you bring your kids to a game if you think that’s going to happen?”
When asked if the Knicks were embarrassed, Dolan said, “I think we’re sad. I wouldn’t say embarrassed. Look, you know, this is an abusive situation, right? The, you know, the staff, the workers at Madison Square Garden were abused here. If you’re being abused, don’t be embarrassed. Just refuse to be abused.”
Hint: the Knicks should probably be embarrassed.