The news comes after National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver said he and Michael Jordan spoke with Oakley and Knicks owner James Dolan on Monday to help end the public dispute between Oakley, one of the franchise's most popular players, and Dolan.
Silver said Monday that he and Jordan had spoken with both men that day, five days after Oakley was forcefully removed from his seat and arrested at a Knicks game and three days after Dolan banned the one-time All Star from the iconic arena.
Dolan reportedly lifted the ban after the meeting but Oakley told ESPN that he wouldn't accept the invitation from Dolan and was also upset over claims that he had a drinking problem. Jordan, a close friend of Oakley's, participated in the conversation by phone.
Van Gundy coached Oakley with the Knicks and is happy to see that things appear to be moving in a positive direction after last week's ugly incident inside Madison Square Garden. Dolan took over operations of the club after Oakley was traded from the Knicks. "Mr. Dolan expressed his hope that Mr. Oakley would return to MSG as his guest in the near future". Depending on whose side of the story you believe, Oakley may or may not have been loudly harassing Dolan. Oakley, according to that person, is holding out hope the organization will release a remorseful public statement apologizing to him and the fans. Upon announcing the ban in a radio interview, James Dolan said that the former power forward had some alcohol issues. When he watched it on television, Van Gundy said all he thought about was Oakley's well-being.
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Le Batard asked Oakley whether Dolan's comments hurt the most.
Jordan and Oakley were teammates in Chicago before Oakley was traded to NY, where he became a fan favourite with the Knicks from 1988-98. "Not a big deal for our guys, they handled it pretty well, but there is always talk about it".
"I think Charles' number should be in the rafters", Van Gundy told the Daily News. It's been a lot. "You doing it against me...you speaking out against my organization, it's not good anymore?" If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.