CLEVELAND– Cleveland native and former New York Knick Charles Oakley is in town to watch the Cavaliers Thursday night.
He took a few minutes to talk to FOX 8’s Stefani Schaefer in downtown Cleveland before his hometown team plays New York at Quicken Loans Arena. Schaefer asked the graduate of John Hay High School about the incident at Madison Square Garden earlier this month.
“I was blown away. It happened so quick.” Oakley said he was only there for 4 minutes before he was involved in a dispute with security officers during the Knicks and Clippers game on Feb. 9. “I was a crazy incident.”
The New York Police Department said Oakley punched three employees on his way out of the arena. It prompted a war of words between him and Madison Square Garden Executive Chairman James Dolan. Dolan called Oakley’s behavior abusive and banned him for the facility.
“I don’t really care about the ban. What happened gave me enough to think about life and a ban is something that. I’m not really worried about a ban because my thing is, why should do something, go to this place again if all this happened for no reason?” Oakley said. “I told them I need some time to think and I told them it’s like draining a pool, it’s ain’t 20 seconds, it’s an Olympic-size pool.”
Dolan also implied Oakley, who played for the Knicks from 1988 to 1998, had a problem with alcohol. Oakley didn’t indicate the two had mended fences.
“I’m not that type of person. Everybody who knows me and been around me knows that I’m an under control guy, I’m a quiet guy,” Oakley said. “He said what he wanted to say, but it is what it is. I know I wasn’t that type of guy that he said I was.”
The former NBA All-Star is not worried about what people think of him. He said people can just Google him if they want to know more, adding, “It’s in the people’s hands.”
Oakley, who visits Cleveland often, said he gives back to his hometown and will always support Cleveland.
“We still need opportunity for more people to get a better life, better things,” he said. “We need more leadership.”
Oakley smiled when asked how he felt about attending the Cavs-Knicks game. He called The Q, “LeBron‘s house.” He also spoke highly of James, and fellow NBA stars Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade.
“I call them the Four Tops,” Oakley said. “They speak up and I really like that about them.” He thanked Draymond Green, Magic Johnson, Reggie Miller and Brad Daugherty for supporting him during the disagreement with Dolan.