Charles Oakley attends Knicks-Cavaliers game in Cleveland
CLEVELAND (AP) — Charles Oakley, still at odds with the New York Knicks, watched his former team in his hometown Thursday night.
The Cleveland native sat next to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert as the Knicks played the defending NBA champions.
The former power forward attended his first Knicks game since being arrested after getting into an altercation with security guards at Madison Square Garden earlier this month.
Oakley has a strained relationship with Knicks owner James Dolan, who banned the former player a few days following the incident. Dolan lifted the ban after meeting with Oakley and NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Oakley has yet to accept the invitation and hasn’t returned to the Garden.
Oakley became a fan favorite when he played for the Knicks from 1988-98, but has had a falling out with the organization in recent years. He attended the Knicks game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 8. and sat a few rows from Dolan.
Security guards approached Oakley early in the game and an incident ensued. Oakley was restrained after pushing a security guard before being removed from the building and handcuffed.
Cavaliers star LeBron James has come out in support of Oakley. The four-time MVP finished a recent postgame interview with reporters saying, “Charles Oakley for president.”
Oakley, who attended high school in Cleveland, tweeted his plans of returning to his hometown Thursday morning.
While Oakley’s situation has created another element of controversy in the Knicks’ lost season, coach Jeff Hornacek found some humor in the situation.
“He’s always said he’s a Knicks guy, so hopefully he’s cheering for us,” Hornacek said before Thursday’s game.