AP Source: Oakley’s Ban From Madison Square Garden Lifted

By BRIAN MAHONEY , AP Basketball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles Oakley is allowed back in Madison Square Garden.

The former New York Knicks star’s ban from the arena has been lifted, a person briefed on the discussions told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

MSG chairman James Dolan banned Oakley last week, two days after the former power forward had an altercation with security guards while attending a game.

But the sides reconciled, helped by a meeting Monday at NBA headquarters with Commissioner Adam Silver and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan. Jordan and Oakley were teammates in Chicago before Oakley was traded to New York, where he became a fan favorite with the Knicks from 1988-98.

Dolan then decided Oakley is welcome back at the arena, the person told the AP on condition of anonymity because the discussions were to remain private. ESPN.com first reported the decision.

The Knicks said they had nothing to add beyond a statement Monday from Silver, who said both sides were apologetic and thanked them for working toward a resolution.

Oakley was a popular player in New York but his relationship with Dolan became strained after his criticisms of the team and its management. The Knicks stopped providing him with complimentary tickets and inviting him to team functions.

Oakley still attended a few games a year on his own, including last Wednesday’s, when he was seated a few rows behind Dolan and was surrounded by security in the first quarter. He shoved a couple of security officials before he was pulled away and handcuffed.

Dolan announced the ban during an interview with ESPN Radio on Friday, though he said he hoped to see Oakley return someday. Dolan said he believed Oakley had anger or alcohol issues he first needed to address.

The Knicks are on the road this week for their only game before the All-Star break. They don’t play at home again until Feb. 25.

Dolan welcomed back another estranged former Knick, Latrell Sprewell, on Sunday for the team’s most recent game. Sprewell hadn’t been back at MSG since 2004 following his falling out with the owner.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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