Charles Oakley is a New York Knicks legend, but he’s urging free agents to look to the Brooklyn Nets for their next team.
The New York Knicks are dealing with the fallout of owner James Dolan’s recent altercation with a fan. The fan heckled Dolan and told him to “sell the team.” The fan was ejected and banned from Madison Square Garden.
Charles Oakley—who is no stranger to confrontation—with Dolan, is now urging free agents to stay away from the Knicks. In fact, despite his status as a Knicks legend, Oakley believes anyone interested in New York should opt to sign with the Brooklyn Nets.
“If you want to be in New York, look at the Nets,” Oakley said to Frank Isola of The Athletic. “Sean Marks has done a great job. The Nets have better pieces. You get Kyrie and K.D. or Kyrie and Kawhi and you have something. They have nothing bad going on with them. If Kyrie and K.D. come to the Knicks, it wouldn’t be enough. The Nets are winning. They’re not blowing teams out but they’re competing. The ball moves. You come to the Knicks … it won’t be easy.”
“The fans deserve better, but there are too many distractions in New York. And it starts with the owner.”
This is a direct result of Oakley’s ongoing feud with Dolan. It’s no surprise that he’s saying this, much to the chagrin of Knicks fans.
But then again, there is always another side to the story. Oakley likely still holds a grudge against Dolan for ejecting him from the arena in 2017.
Furthermore, what Oakley says publicly shouldn’t have a huge impact on the Knicks’ chances of landing superstars in free agency. The direction of the team and the ability to hand out two max free agent contracts should factor more into any free agent’s decision.
Perceived distractions aside, Brooklyn is a premium destination for free agents. The Nets are closing in on a playoff berth and they should give some trouble to whatever team they match up with. Brooklyn probably won’t advance past the first round, but by adding a superstar, they would immediately become a contender in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets’ recent success is likely to play a bigger factor in any free agent’s decision rather than any perceived distractions surrounding the Knicks.