During the first quarter of Wednesday night’s game between the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers, former Knicks enforcer Charles Oakley became enraged during a physical altercation with Madison Square Garden security in the vicinity of Knicks owner James Dolan.
Oakley was immediately escorted away from his seat, ejected from the arena and handcuffed and arrested.
Knicks president Phil Jackson reportedly attempted to calm Oakley.
Soooooo Charles Oakley just got into a fight at he Knicks game. pic.twitter.com/klZBD89VI7
— Ian Schafer (@ischafer) February 9, 2017
The Knicks issued a statement, citing Oakley as a “great Knick” but calling his behavior at the game “completely abusive”.
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) February 9, 2017
Oakley defended his actions afterwards, saying he was at Madison Square Garden for only a few minutes before being asked by security why he was at the game.
“I was there for four minutes,” Oakley told the New York Daily News. “I didn’t say anything to him. I swear on my mother. They came over and wanted to know why I was sitting there. I bought the ticket. I said why do you guys keep staring at me. Then they asked me to leave. And I said I’m not leaving.”
But authorities say that Oakley punched three different employees that work for Madison Square Garden. All three had minor injuries and refused medical attention.
Oakley was handcuffed and arrested and later booked on with three third degree assault counts, and one third-degree misdemeanor count of criminal trespass.
NBA star LeBron James also weighed in on the altercation — posting a picture of Oakley from his playing days with the Knicks in the 1990’s and following it with the caption: “Mood!! #Legend”