2012 Sports Illustrated Sportsman Of The Year Award Presentation - Inside

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After banning Charles Oakley from Madison Square Garden on February 8, the drama-filled Knicks have finally lifted the ban, sources told ESPN.

The restriction was the result of Knicks owner James Dolan and alumni Oakley’s contentious relationship over the past 20 years. But after Michael Jordan and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sat down with the two of them, an agreement was made that allowed Oakley access back into the Garden.

“It’s not about being at the Garden,” Oakley told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. “It’s about the fans. I want them to apologize to the fans. I told the commissioner I want them to apologize to the fans.”

Oakley said he is “in pain now. I’m hurt.”

Following the apology, he attended The Dan Le Batard Show and was asked if he’d hit up a Knicks game in the near future.

“Right now, no,” he admitted. “I told him yesterday.”

“I have never asked for nothing,” Oakley added. “I love the fans in New York. They’ve been supportive. One of the things I told the commissioner, I want to have a press conference and I want him to apologize to me and the fans. They’ve had my back and they’ve felt the pain. I really appreciate the people all around who’ve had my back.”

The tension between the Knicks legend and Dolan began last week when Oakley was asked to leave a Knicks game. When he refused, things became violent, as Oakley and several security guards exchanged words (and hands). Oakley was eventually charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault and one count of misdemeanor trespassing. Dolan says the organization ejected Oakley because he was being verbally abusive to security. However, Oakley has denied this in several interviews.

Hopefully the Knicks can get past the drama and make their way into the playoffs this season.


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