Charles Oakley speaks out about Spike Lee’s current feud with the New York Knicks and the team’s owner, James Dolan.
Spike Lee spent all of Tuesday bashing the New York Knicks for not allowing him to use the media/employee entrance on Monday night. In fact, at one point during the altercation, the award-winning filmmaker dared security to “arrest him” like Charles Oakley.
On Wednesday, Oakley appeared on ESPN Radio’s “Golic and Wingo” to discuss the feud between Lee and the Knicks. It’s no secret that Oakley and Knicks owner James Dolan don’t see eye-to-eye after the former Knick enforcer was ejected from a game and arrested in February of 2017.
“It’s a plantation over there… it’s bad.”
–@CharlesOakley34 on not being surprised with how the Knicks handled Spike Lee pic.twitter.com/1rRv5Bq8Re
— Keyshawn, JWill & Max (@KeyJayandMax) March 4, 2020
“I wasn’t surprised. It’s a plantation over there,” Oakley said. “It’s bad. People don’t want to talk about it. It’s real bad over there. I mean, this man has been buying tickets for 28 years, over $10 million and you curse him out if he comes this door, that door.
“What is [Dolan’s] problem about control. He’s so much of a control freak and he’s hurting the whole NBA. If I’m an owner in the NBA, this guy headlines every other month, every other week with something that has nothing to do with winning. It’s got to do with individuals, people’s life. We shouldn’t be going through this.”
At another point in the interview, Oakley likens his 2017 ejection to a lynching. Dolan certainly deserves his fair share of criticism for how the Knicks are run, but these comments are a bridge too far.
The leadership of MSG and the Knicks is very diverse. The Knicks, specifically, have had an African-American as either the head coach, general manager, or team president in all but three seasons since 2000. Entering the 2019-20 season, the Knicks were the only organization to have an African-American in all three positions. That has changed since David Fizdale’s firing and Steve Mills’ reassignment, but the point remains.
It’s worth noting that Oakley’s defamation case against Dolan and the Knicks, stemming from his 2017 arrest, was recently dismissed. It’s no surprise that Oakley would rush to Lee’s defense in this situation. They’re good friends and both have an ax to grind with Dolan.
Although Lee’s dramatics are grabbing all the headlines, the focus should be squarely on the young Knicks. New York has won its last two games in large part because of the heroics of young players like RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Frank Ntilikina, and Kevin Knox.
But instead, Spike Lee is the center of attention.