When push comes to shove: The unabashed return of Charles Oakley

This is why I watch basketball.  Because you never know what can happen.

After cooking a delicious meal and placing my wagers for the evening, I resigned to my sofa Wednesday night only to find ESPN showing Clippers-Knicks in prime time.  Clearly there had to be a better option.

Clippers versus Knicks: the very essence of NBA dysfunction.  I get that it’s a matchup between New York and Los Angeles but I prefer something that far more resembles decent basketball.

I soon found out I was in for a 1990s throwback that turned Twitter on its head.  It was a good thing I tuned in after all.

Daily News Oak headlineNot long after the game began, the cameras panned to the stands to cover some sort of altercation.  Apparently a fan had too many pops and warranted a visit from security.

Wait a minute!  That’s no ordinary fan.  That’s Charles Oakley!

If you’re too young and never got the chance to see Charles Oakley play basketball, allow me to describe him to you in layman’s terms.  Charles Oakley is that friend you want on your side while bar-hopping because you know, if a fight broke out, he’d finish it.  He’s also that friend you don’t want with you while barhopping because he’d probably be the one who started it.

The former Knick was as intimidating a basketball player as there ever was.  Oak Tree remains the greatest (K)nickname ever.

The story goes, and there are conflicting ones, that Oakley was jawing at Knicks owner James Dolan, who sat only a few seats away.  As the evening unfolded, millions watched as Oakley began shedding off Madison Square Garden security guards who looked to remove him from the premises, per Dolan’s request, allegedly.  I had no choice but to take to Twitter which saw Oakley’s name trending before the man was even in handcuffs.

Here are some of the more hysterical Tweets from what turned out to be just another night in the Mecca of Basketball.

Enjoy… but don’t laugh too loud.  Charles Oakley might be listening.


Peter Burns @PeterBurnsESPN

“Man, Football season is over…what are people going to talk about?”

“Hold my beer” – Charles Oakley


Bill Barnwell  @billbarnwell

Charles Oakley fighting James Dolan might qualify as pornography for Knicks fans.


ChrisHumpherys @SportsChump

I give Charles Oakley’s one-man re-enactment of the “Malice at the Palace” two resounding thumbs up.


Adam Sarson @Adam_Sarson

There isn’t enough money in this world to take the opposite side of Charles Oakley in an argument.


Chris Spatola @Chris_Spatola

To be fair, Charles Oakley’s assault last night would not have been called a foul in the 90’s NBA.


Ben Kompromat @bkabak

Do you think a jury anywhere in New York City would convict Charles Oakley of “wanting to strangle James Dolan”? #nullification


Rodger Sherman @rodger_sherman

tonight made me realize that I’m opposed to all forms of violence except those perpetrated by Charles Oakley


Joey✌? @joeyuphigh7

NYPD, we’ll trade you James Dolan for Charles Oakley back! He was stopping the real crime of Dolan owning the #Knicks


Jason Notte @Notteham

Charles Oakley didn’t do anything to James Dolan that Knicks fans haven’t dreamed of throughout his tenure.


Matthew Kick @MatthewKick

On February 8, 2017 Charles Oakley tried to fight the devil, James Dolan, and ascended into heaven while draped by 37 security guards


Rahim Samad @RahimSamad

doesn’t even matter if the Knicks won or lost tonight, Charles Oakley is the real MVP of that game #CharlesOakley



Mike Wise  @MikeWiseguy

I don’t want to get too nostalgic about Oak. But when a zombie apocalypse starts, Charles Oakley doesn’t try to survive; the zombies do.


Reese Waters  @reesewaters

Charles Oakley acts with the freedom of knowing he will never have to fight Charles Oakley


#FatherFigure Feb 19  @roywoodjr

Charles Oakley got arrested. What the Knicks should’ve done was offer him a 10-day contract


Richie Doyle @RoyleRich

If you had the Prop Bet of Charles Oakley fighting James Dolan at +3500 last night – you are a winner….and also probably Charles Oakley.


dc_fusion @dc_fusion

Hi, my name is Rete Pose and I want to place a bet on the Knicks to lose


Jake Whitacre @jakewhitacre

Nice of the refs to pay respect to Charles Oakley by calling no fouls


Mike Smith @OttoVonBiZmarck

Shout out to Snickers Super Bowl commercial starring Charles Oakley next year.


31 Avεrɑgε @Holeyfield85

I can only imagine what happened back in the day when security told Charles Oakley he couldn’t wear sweatpants in the strip club…


Chrisdfghjkl @ChrisDepastene

Charles Oakley fucking up James Dolan I think legally makes him mayor of New York


sam @seversos

Charles Oakley is probably handcuffed in the MSG basement being forced to listen to one of Jimmy Dolan’s jazz albums right now #FreeOak


ChrisHumpherys @SportsChump

Knicks released statement saying they hope Oakley gets more help, ironic considering fans have hoped the Knicks get more help for years.


Colby Dant @TheColbyD

Charles Oakley, making NBA Basketball great again

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14 Replies to “When push comes to shove: The unabashed return of Charles Oakley”

  1. It is possible the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus is calling it quits after 146 years because the New York Knicks have now completely satisfied America’s taste for a circus. Just insane. Oakley is indeed an equal opportunity starter-closer.

  2. There’s got to be some billionaire out there that’s willing to just pay off Dolan, Phil and Carmelo to get them out of there no matter the cost, right? I’d suggest the Nets owner but he’s already shown he’s not ready for primetime. At this point, someone should just beg Jerry Jones or Arthur Blank to come on in. They’ve got more money than their families could ever spend anyway. Or maybe an oil billionaire from Dubai.

  3. Your assessment is spot on, Burnsy. Hysterical and unfortunately unfortunate.

    How is it that the Knicks have lost the second most amount of NBA games over the last fifteen years than anybody other than the Minnesota Timberwolves?

    Even the Sixers have finally turned things around. Not so much in the Big Apple.

    We just read that Jeffery Loria made ten times his money by buying and then selling the Marlins years later. I think Knicks fans would be okay with Dolan turning a hefty profit if he just got the hell out of town.

  4. Moose…

    I think the thing is Dolan doesn’t want to sell. And until the league steps in, and as of yet they really have no reason to, he doesn’t have to.

    The guy is counting his fortune daily and his income flow is helping him play in some band that nobody wants to see.

    If things got serious and you had guys like Spike Lee, John McEnroe, Woody Allen and the like stop going to games and start being considerably more vocal, then maybe something might happen.

    Unfortunately, Dolan’s gross mismanagement isn’t quite gross enough for the league to step in.

    If Knicks fans want to get serious, they’ll pay some transsexual hooker to record him saying some pretty hideous things about black people to warrant his expulsion.

    Oh wait, that’s already been done in LA.

  5. Dolan issued these executive orders today.

    MSG head of security was fired.

    Oakley permanently banned from MSG.

    I think the 9th Circuit Court might overturn these.

  6. I tweeted this out last night, Bets.

    Charles Oakley is banned from Madison Square Garden. Do you know what else is banned from Madison Square Garden? Winning basketball.

  7. The Big Apple is the now the epicenter for everything dysfunctional concerning the world of professional sports and might I add the state of New York has now produced the forty-fifth President of the United States ? Coincidence ? I will let you be the judge of that .

  8. Yeah, Dubs, he’s really not handling this thing well at all.

    He had every opportunity to make amends.

    Bail the guy out of jail, drop the charges or better yet, don’t have it come to that. Be a man. You see what’s going on there. Break it up, call your dogs off and let the man sit there and watch the game.

    But noooooooooooooo. Instead he chooses to go on radio broadcasts the very next day saying Oakley is banned from the building.

    Horribly mishandled all the way around.

    But why would we expect anything different?

  9. Chris,
    Just heard an interview by Tiki Barber with Chas Oakley. Charles is a bitter man that seeks relevancy. Interviews like he ;played defense. Constantly talked -over Tiki like he was driving the lane. Denigrates today’s players(good pts) passionately. I came away with the conclusion that he’s a lost and lonely guy.

  10. Which is a little surprising, Bets, considering all of New York loves the guy.

    I mean, he’s revered.

    I’m not surprised he trashed today’s game and its players. I mean which old fart of yesteryear doesn’t.

    Maybe we should call up Oak, take him out and about in Vegas.

    Lord knows we could probably use the bodyguard.

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