Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan has fired his top security chief following Wednesday's altercation between former New York Knicks star Charles Oakley and arena security personnel during a game at the famed Manhattan arena.
Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony likened the franchise's recent string of dysfunction to a cloud hanging over the team's head, a cloud that got darker and heavier after New York's 131-123 home loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday - their fourth loss in a row and seventh in 10 games. DNA Info reports that Oakley has attended Knicks games before without incident. The former Knicks player was dragged out of the game in handcuffs on live television, inciting a swift backlash from Knicks fans and National Basketball Association players, who momentarily halted the game to watch the scuffle unfold.
The manager also says Oakley shouted, "F**k you police, I used to respect you but now I don't have no respect for you motherf**kers".
Some blame the fact that NY is a big media market as a reason why the team has struggled. "That's telling him how to do his job and I'm not going to do it".
Oakley said that in his heart he is a Knick and said that the fans made him who he is and always appreciates them. "It's just kind of this cloud over us right now that we have to figure out a way to get out of it", Anthony said Friday. As a result, T.I. wants people to boycott MSG until they do right by Oakley.
In reaction to New York Knicks' legend Charles Oakley's lifetime ban from MSG, actor Michael Rapaport sounded off on the organization.
The Knicks issued a statement in response to Oakley's comments.
Frank Benedetto, the senior vice president for security at the Madison Square Garden Company, was sacked on Friday morning, a source told DNAinfo New York. Oakley allegedly told the officers, "I don't need anybody on that phone", the source said.
Of course, when all this was playing out during the first quarter of Wednesday's Knicks game, Dolan hid behind a wall of security, which tells you everything you need to know about the guy. I wouldn't say embarrassed.
Oakley has lobbied for years to be a goodwill ambassador for the team, like other Knicks greats such as John Starks and Allan Houston, but has been rebuffed, sources said. "I have gotten no indications that he's planning on doing anything but staying through the entire length of contract", Dolan said.