The New York Knicks have had trade rumors swirling around their locker room for the past few weeks, but things took an even weirder turn during Wednesday’s game at Madison Square Garden.
Former Knicks forward Charles Oakley was arrested in the stands at the Garden on Wednesday. The argument that caused Oakley’s arrest was between him and the Knicks team owner.
A game was played as well, with the Knicks losing yet again 119-115 to drop to 22-32 on the season. However, the result of the game was a second or third storyline behind the altercation of Oakley and his ejection and the latest turn in the Carmelo Anthony-Phil Jackson saga.
Oakley played with the Knicks from 1988 to 1998 and was adored by Knicks fans. When he was removed forcefully by security on Wednesday, fans could be heard chanting in unison, “Oakley!, “Oakley!”
Oakley was sitting a few rows behind Knicks owner James Dolan and had been shouting at the chairman of MSG when security was called. Oakley promptly shoved a security guard and appeared to then push another as players as well as John McEnroe the tennis great looked on nearby.
Doc Rivers, the coach of New York’s opponent on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Clippers called Oakley one of the best teammates in basketball.
Rivers added that it was difficult to watch and that he had never seen anything similar in all the years he has played and coached in the NBA.
The Knicks have lost 19 of their last 25 games to fall out of playoff contention after a strong start to the season. Jackson brought in veterans to help the Knicks this season, but with it appearing more help is needed, trading Anthony has become a big possibility.
One report in an online sports magazine claimed Jackson was frustrated with Anthony because the team’s high scorer lacks the same will to win as Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, two of the greatest players Jackson coached with the Lakers and Bulls.
Anthony refused to fuel the feud and said until he was spoken to directly by Jackson he would remain quiet and continue playing his best.
On the other hand, Jackson has chosen to not speak to any media in New York since September and will not deny or confirm any of the rumors about a possible trade including Anthony.