Things have gone from the strange to the surreal at Madison Square Garden, with New York Knicks owner James Dolan banning former Knicks All-Star Charles Oakley from the building.
The ban was announced Friday, two days after Oakley was forcibly ejected from MSG during Wednesday night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Knicks return to action Friday evening, when they host the Denver Nuggets.
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Oakley's ban came hours after the Knicks fired their security chief.
In discussing the move, Dolan told ESPN Radio, "That was just a situation where the person didn't work out and this was probably the last straw. We're obviously looking at everything that we did here along the way and what happened. That's one of the casualties."
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Oakley played for the Knicks for 10 seasons (1988-89 to 1997-98) during one of the best eras the franchise has ever had. During Oakley's run, the rugged defensive force averaged 10.4 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. In 1993-94, Oakley made the Eastern Conference All-Star team and helped the Knicks reach Game 7 of the NBA Finals against the Houston Rockets.
The Knicks painted Oakley as the bad guy in the recent altercation at MSG, but Oakley denied doing anything but taking in the game as a fan in multiple interviews since the incident.
In recent days, NBA superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have come out in support of Oakley. At Thursday night's Rangers game--a franchise also owned by Dolan--fans chanted "Free Oakley!".
Joe Giglio may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JoeGiglioSports. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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