Charles Oakley says he hasn’t been in touch with the Knicks or the NBA lately and doesn’t know if he will ever set foot inside Madison Square Garden again in the wake of his physical altercation with security last month.
The former Knicks player, speaking Thursday night before an autograph signing at the Steiner Sports store at Roosevelt Field Mall, indicated that he believes the next move belongs to the Knicks if they want to broker peace with him.
“They’re the ones that said things about me,” he said.
Dressed in a dark polo shirt, pants and jacket, Oakley was part combative, part coy during a five-minute interview as dozens of Knicks fans awaited a chance to meet him.
Oakley expressed disappointment that NBA commissioner Adam Silver hasn’t stayed in touch with him after the Feb. 13 meeting that involved Silver, Oakley and Knicks owner James Dolan. Michael Jordan, a friend of Oakley’s who owns the Charlotte Hornets, took part on a conference call.
Oakley said he spoke with Silver at a brunch during All-Star Weekend but haven’t been in touch since then.
“Why call a meeting if you’re not going to stay engaged with what’s going on?” Oakley said. “Hey, I’m going on with my life. I’m going to do what I have to do from here on in.”
When Oakley’s comments were relayed to Silver, the commissioner said: “I’m available to talk or meet with Charles any time he wants. I didn’t know he was waiting to hear from me.”
Oakley said his top priority is clearing his record of the three counts of misdemeanor assault in the third degree he received as a result of the incident with Madison Square Garden security early in the Feb. 8 Knicks game. His first court appearance is April 11.
“That’s the most important thing right now, getting the assault cases off my record. Whatever I can do to make that happen on April the 11th,” Oakley said. “Ain’t nothing has changed since then. I still have the assault cases even though somebody touched me first. I don’t know why I got them. But the paper says I have to go to court.”
Oakley also seemed somewhat bemused by the attention he received for sitting next to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert when they hosted the Knicks on Feb. 23. “I’ve talked to Dan, sat with Dan many times,” he said. “I was at the playoff game. It’s not the first time.”
He added that he’s received a lot of support from Knicks fans.
“Kids came up to me during All-Star Weekend saying, ‘I’m sorry what happened,’ ” he said. “That goes to my heart, you know, when people show me the love.”