Twitter Charles Oakley

Even the Knicks, as unpredictable as they are, couldn't have expected Wednesday night's events. Former Knicks bruiser Charles Oakley poked and pushed Madison Square security guards during the first quarter of the Knicks' 119-115 loss to the Clippers. The scuffle occurred just a few rows behind MSG chairman James Dolan. Oakley was eventually handcuffed and taken to the Midtown South precinct where he was released after being charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault, one of criminal trespass.



There is a lot to digest here. Let's go old school and break down the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

Oakley was one of the most popular Knicks during his 10 seasons in New York, which included a trip to the NBA Finals in 1994. But since 2000, the Knicks have only won one playoff series, and Oakley has been critical of Dolan when assessing the team's failures. The organization has retaliated by freezing him out.



He was all about intensity and heart as a player, and that's the way he has spoken his mind about Dolan, which may have even boosted Oakley's popularity among Knick fans, tired of losing.





This had nothing to do with what was going on in the game. The Knicks were staying with the Clippers. If Oakley had an opinion to express to James Dolan, the entire 90s Heat frontcourt couldn't have stopped him.

When Oakley played for the Knicks, they didn't have much pure talent outside of Patrick Ewing. Ewing made nine All-Star teams while the rest of the team tallied three: Oakley, John Starks and Mark Jackson each had one appearance. (And if Starks didn't go cold against Houston, they would have won a championship but that's a story for another time.) The bruising Knicks, with Oakley, Anthony Mason and Charles Smith as their foundation, willed themselves to the postseason every year he played in New York.

Keep in mind Oakley called out Charles Barkley to "stop drinking at work" two weeks ago. He and Sir Charles did this in a 1996 preseason game. Preseason:

Knicks fans still love that fire from Oakley and on Wednesday night, they were cheering for their former hero, who showed the current team how one can show passion in an NBA arena.

Maybe this won't spark the team. But at least the fans got to see, once again, a Knick who really cares and won't back down.

"I didn't say anything to him," Oakley told the New York Daily News regarding Dolan. "I swear on my mother. They came over and wanted to know why I was sitting there. I bought the ticket. I said why do you guys keep staring at me. Then they asked me to leave. And I said I'm not leaving."

The Bad

When the dust settles, Oakley will not have made the Knicks an NBA power. Oakley did not change the Knicks' decision-making for the past three years. He didn't trade for Andrea Bargnani or fire Mike Woodson or leave Carmelo Anthony out to dry.

That's what this is about, right? Remember how much hype there was about the Knicks over the summer? Team president Phil Jackson went out and signed Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings. He traded for Derrick Rose. He lured Willy Hernangomez and Mindaugas Kuzminskas out of Europe to play in the World's Most Famous Arena.

This is about Carmelo Anthony vs. Phil Jackson. In February 2011, the Knicks committed themselves to Anthony, who was 26 and one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA. They sent off their best prospect (Danilo Gallinari), a solid swingman (Wilson Chandler), their starting point guard (Raymond Felton) and a future NBA champion (Timofey Mozgov, lol). Along with Anthony came Chauncey Billups, who was amnestied the following offseason to sign Tyson Chandler, building further around Anthony.

A lot has happened in the six years since. Amar'e Stoudemire broke down; Linsanity was a thing; Mike D'Antoni gave way to Mike Woodson, who gave way to Derek Fisher, who gave way to Kurt Rambis, who tweeted the job to Jeff Hornacek; Raymond Felton came back and left; Donnie Walsh gave way to Steve Mills who got pushed to the side by Phil Jackson; La La Anthony established her brand in New York; Melo and La La's son is about to become a teenager; the Jordan Brand build a special Manhattan court with Melo's specific logo slapped on it.

And Anthony signed a five-year, $124 million mega-contract with a no-trade clause in July 2014.

Jackson joined the Knicks as president in March 2014, signing a five-year, $60 million contract, just months before Anthony's deal. Both went into a five-year project together.

Jackson and Anthony seemed to have cohesion for two years, but the relationship has become testy this season with the latest bit of drama involving Jackson's cryptic tweet. It compared Anthony to Michael Graham, a player who Jackson released in 1986 while coaching the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association.


In the shortest terms possible, this is what's going on:

-- Carmelo Anthony is not as talented as he was when he signed his expensive contract.
-- With Anthony, the Knicks, for financial and on-court chemistry reasons, will not compete for a title during the remainder of his contract, should he remain on the club all five years.
-- Anthony has a no-trade clause and with his New York roots, New York residence and business opportunities in the Big Apple, he is reluctant to go to any other city.
-- Jackson sees a roster underachieving with Anthony and wants to get rid of him to both open up space on the court and within the salary cap.
-- Kristaps Porzingis, who plays a similar role to Anthony, is probably the future franchise player.
-- Jackson just separated from his fiancée, Jeanie Buss, partly as a means of showing his commitment to the Knicks.

Anthony always wanted to play in New York. When he says he has always been loyal to the city, he isn't lying. He played in the New York All-Star Game when he probably should have been shut down for the season. He could have gone to a team like the Bulls in 2014, with more of a shot to win right away, but he stayed in New York. Even now, Anthony is bombarded by the media and fans, and he is playing hard. Anthony wants to get paid, go home to his family and do his best on the court for the team from his birth city. It just so happens that may not be in the best interest of the team.

Jackson wants to build the best roster that can compete at the highest level for the longest amount of time. That is an admirable goal. Perhaps he is going about it in a poor manner. Making passive-aggressive statements to push Anthony out of town leaves bad tastes in everyone's mouths. Considering Anthony is shooting less than he did before Porzingis arrived, maybe the face of the franchise for the past half-decade isn't the reason for the team's struggles.

But the team has been struggling long before either Anthony or Jackson showed up, and you know who recognizes this? Charles Oakley. Oakley hasn't targeted Anthony or Jackson with his comments. His focus has been on Dolan.

As wild as Oakley was Wednesday night, he has a sane point. Just look at the track record of the man who has bred a losing culture in Madison Square Garden, and it's easy to see why Oakley would want him to take responsibility for the Knicks' ugliness.

But Oakley said he wasn't looking to pick a fight with the owner at the game Wednesday:


The Ugly

Which brings us to this ...


Someone get every public relations professors a drink.

First of all, this is on the iPhone Notes app. You are the New York F***ing Knicks. You can type up a press release and email it to your media list. You don't have to shotgun a statement onto social media.

Second, this completely throws one of the team's most beloved figures under the bus. Charles Oakley put the Knicks on his back in his career. And you tell him to "get some help soon." You sound like Johnny Manziel's dad.

Third, how did the Knicks not realize this statement was going to get blasted by their fans? Fans love Oakley. Fans hate Dolan. The fans are what makes the team go round. Calling out Oakley for doing what so many Knicks fans wish they had the profile to do, while the team is a mess, is just a bad look. Good luck selling merchandise, tickets and TV advertisements the rest of the season.







Oakley probably won't be back at the Garden until Anthony, Jackson and who knows, maybe even Dolan, are gone.

But when he does return, he's going to get a loud ovation from a crowd that deserves more than what it's gotten from the New York Knicks organization in 2016-17.


P.S. How the heck did John McEnroe not jump in with Oakley?


-- Follow Jeff Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband. Like Jeff Eisenband on Facebook.

Story continues below