Months after being publicly embarrassed by Knicks owner James Dolan by being manhandled out of Madison Square Garden, ex-Knicks enforcer Charles Oakley has made a decision to file a lawsuit against the embattled club owner/struggle blues bander.
Madison Square Garden Co and MSG Networks Inc, both of which Dolan serves as executive chairman, were also named as defendants in the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
"Within minutes of unobtrusively taking his seat, Defendant Dolan directed that security forcibly remove Mr. Oakley from the Garden and publicly embarrass him on live television", the lawsuit says.
He notes that he and Dolan's paths never crossed while he played for the Knicks, as Dolan inherited control of the team in 1999, after Oakley had already been traded. Oakley says Dolan then ran a smear campaign, falsely accusing him of being an alcoholic who was drunk at the Garden.
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The suit comes just a month after Oakley agreed to a deal with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in which the charges filed against him last February 8 will be dropped as long as he isn't arrested in the next six months, and stays away from the Garden for one year.
Oak recently accepted a deal that would dismiss all misdemeanor charges against him stemming from the arrest, under the condition that he stay out of trouble for six months and accept a one year ban from MSG.
Oakley's attorney, Alex Spiro, said last month that Oakley would pursue "all civil remedies" based on the incident.
That same day, a Knicks public relations Twitter account posted a statement saying that Oakley "behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner". He may have a problem with alcohol.
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Initial reports came late Monday night that Oakley was planning to file a suit, but it wasn't clear exactly who it would be against, and what the charges would be. They said, 'What, is it Dolan?' I talked to maybe a million people.
The Knicks did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.
The Knicks had a reputation for toughness and grittiness during Oakley's tenure, including in 1994 when they lost to the Houston Rockets in the National Basketball Association finals. In it, Oakley appears to shove security guards before they pull him away from his seat.
"However, as he did throughout his playing career, Mr. Oakley has refused to walk to the bench in shame", the suit, filed in a Manhattan Federal court on Tuesday, continues.
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