NBA: Oakley says Knicks won't mend fences

Charles Oakley, the retired New York Knicks star, is currently engaged in a feud with his former team.
Charles Oakley, the retired New York Knicks star, is currently engaged in a feud with his former team. PHOTO: NYTIMES

New York (AFP) - The feud between ex-New York Knicks forward Charles Oakley and his former team continued to simmer Thursday, a day after Oakley was arrested at a Madison Square Garden game.

Oakley, who was charged with three counts of assault, told ESPN on Thursday that Knicks owner James Dolan has resisted efforts to re-establish harmonious relations.

"He don't want to meet with me," Oakley told the network's website, The Undefeated. "Man won't even shake my hand."

Oakley's outburst came as he sat in the stands near Dolan during the Knicks' game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Oakley insisted, however, that he never addressed or insulted Dolan. Instead, he said the trouble started when he and his friends were told to leave the building.

"I'm a Knicks fan. Played here for 10 years. I love the Knicks. I love New York. This is my heart. I wish them all the luck and success on the basketball court. And I don't know why I'm not welcome into the Garden," he said.

Oakley was angered by a statement tweeted by the Knicks public relations staff on Wednesday night which ended: "He is a great Knick and we hope he gets help soon." "Right there, attacking my character like that - not making it about the moment but something bigger that's wrong with me? - I couldn't believe it," Oakley said. "I don't know how you do that. I don't."

But the Knicks didn't relent on Thursday, saying his version of events was "pure fiction". "There are dozens of security staff, employees and NYPD that witnessed Oakley's abusive behaviour," the Knicks said in a statement. "It started when he entered the building and continued until he was arrested and left the building. "Every single statement we have received is consistent in describing his actions. Everything he said since the incident is pure fiction."

Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade voiced his disapproval of the Knicks' treatment of Oakley on Instagram. Clippers guard Chris Paul objected to the "hope that he gets help soon" crack. "Always had my back and the realest person our league has seen #UncleOak," Paul tweeted.