CLEVELAND — Charles Oakley on Thursday night attended his first Knicks game since being thrown out of Madison Square Garden two weeks ago. He sat with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert in the front row right next to Cleveland’s bench.
“I’m rooting for a good game,” Oakley said.
Oakley, who is from Cleveland, has been publicly feuding with Knicks owner James Dolan after being removed from the Garden by team and Garden security during a Feb. 8 game against the Clippers.
The beloved former Knick was dragged out of the arena, arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault and criminal trespassing. The charges still are pending. Two days later, Dolan announced that Oakley was banned from the Garden indefinitely for being verbally abusive.
Oakley indicated Thursday night that he’s not yet over what happened. “How long would it take you to get over something?” he said.
It was an ugly situation for all parties and for the NBA, which stepped in and tried to play peacemaker.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver arranged a sit-down with Dolan and Oakley that included Oakley’s good friend, Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan, via conference call.
Both men apologized in that meeting, according to Silver, and the ban was lifted, but Oakley has since made harsh comments. He said he’s “hurt” and not ready to return to the Garden as Dolan’s guest.
According to Cleveland.com, Oakley was the guest of local attorney and season-ticket holder Fred Nance; Gilbert asked him to sit next to him after Oakley arrived.