Charles Oakley’s altercation with security at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday led to his arrest, and the Knicks and Oakley have different accounts of what happened.
The Knicks allege that Oakley was heckling owner James Dolan, leading to security asking him to leave, while Oakley insists he never directed any comments towards the owner. Whatever happened, Oakley became irate that he was asked to leave the game and was handcuffed by police and taken out.
While Oakley was dealing with security, Phil Jackson attempted to calm down his former player and tried whatever he could think of to deescalate that situation. Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN that Jackson went as far as to call Michael Jordan to attempt to call Oakley and calm him down, as transcribed by Pro Basketball Talk’s Dan Feldman.
Phil and others felt he was completely out of control. My sources told me he picked up the phone. He called Michael Jordan, because if there’s one person in the world who can get through to Charles Oakley and calm him down, it is Michael Jordan. But Michael Jordan, from what I’m told, was unable to reach Charles Oakley because, by that time, Charles Oakley had been arrested and removed from the Garden and had his cell phone confiscated at the time. So, he couldn’t be reached.
It’s interesting that the emergency line for a Charles Oakley situation is to call Michael Jordan. Unfortunately, Jordan couldn’t get a chance to talk to Oakley and try to help out in the situation. This story, which was already strange, continues to get weirder as details emerge and more people react, like former NBA player Kenny Anderson.