Will The Charles Oakley Incident Cost The New York Knicks In Free Agency?

Charles Oakley could have a major impact on the future of the New York Knicks. Oakley has become somewhat of a martyr in the wake of the incident that took place during a nationally televised game between the Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers.

Many people have taken notice of the ugly incident and are tying the New York Knicks to it. What took place with Charles Oakley during the Knicks and Clippers game will go down in infamy. It also could have some long-term effects for the Knicks going forward.

A break in the action at Wednesday night’s game between the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers set the stage for a chaotic scene.

Former Knicks’ star Charles Oakley, according to Bleacher Report, was arrested by New York City police after he got into a confrontation with security guards at the famed Madison Square Garden.

Oakley, who purchased a ticket to the Knicks game, was attempting to approach Knicks’ owner James Dolan. Before reaching Dolan, Charles Oakley was greeted by MSG security. Oakley would go on to shove members of the security team, until he was eventually surrounded and escorted out of the arena.

Charles Oakley was arrested for three counts of assault and criminal trespassing.

The New York Knicks would later release a statement regarding Charles Oakley’s ouster and arrest. The Knicks’ statement would go on to intimate that Charles Oakley was the cause of the incident. It would also suggest that their former enforcer had an unrevealed problem and that he needed help.

Charles Oakley was eventually released from jail later that evening. Oakley offered his own take (courtesy of the New York Post) of what took place during the Knicks versus Clippers game.

“We sat down, tried to have a good time and we were asked to leave the building.

“I asked why and he said, ‘You have to leave because someone ordered you to leave.’ I [told him], ‘I am a Knicks fan, I’ve been here four and a half minutes, I played here for 10 years, I love the Knicks, I love New York. I wish them all the luck and success on the basketball court, I don’t know why I am not welcome at the Garden.'”

Charles Oakley’s removal from the New York Knicks game, coupled with the Knicks’ statement, has raised a flag around the NBA. Current NBA players and former stars alike have all made their opinions about the Knicks and the Charles Oakley incident known.

Perhaps the most prominent opinion was that of Oakley’s friend and one-time New York Knicks rival, former NBA star Jayson Williams. Williams is most known for his rebounding prowess and the accidental death of his limo driver many years ago. The latter led to Williams doing time in prison. Jayson Williams came to the aid (courtesy of ESPN) of the former Knicks star.

“What pissed me off is when the (statement) said ‘help’ that they made it look like he was intoxicated. (If the Knicks meant Oakley had an) anger issue… the anger issue is what made the Knicks what they were…. It wasn’t about no damn anger issue when he was on the basketball court (playing for the Knicks). This made it look like the man was intoxicated.”

Charles Oakley did not appear to be intoxicated when the Knicks’ security had him escorted out. The statement that the New York Knicks released did nothing to help things one way or the other, but it may cost them a shot at NBA free agency when it is all over.

The Knicks already have to deal with the ongoing Carmelo Anthony trade saga. With a player still in his prime and willing to stick it out with the Knicks’ franchise and Anthony being reduced to fodder for trade chatter, things have sunk to a new low.

Charles Oakley is a beloved figure in NBA circles. The statement issued by the Knicks comes across as an attempt to stay afloat and be on the side of right. It failed. By trying to make Charles Oakley the villain, the New York Knicks come across as a directionless franchise disrespecting one of the most beloved players in their history.

Pending NBA free agents will take notice, if they have not already. Chances are great that the upper echelon free agents will continue to look elsewhere when it comes to considering teams. If the New York Knicks would do this to Charles Oakley, a figure almost synonymous to their franchise, what would they do to a lesser player?

Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and Gordon Hayward will all look at the Knicks and realize that what happened to Charles Oakley could happen to them. The Knicks have put themselves in a terrible position without a doubt. And sadly, things will not go in reverse until some of the Knicks’ business practices make a 180-degree turn. The incident with Charles Oakley will set the Knicks back as a franchise without a proper rebuttal.

Unfortunately, that will not happen.

What the New York Knicks typically do is just what they did to Charles Oakley. What the New York Knicks typically do is just what they have done with Carmelo Anthony as of late. The rest of the NBA, past, present, and future, is taking notes. Because what the New York Knicks typically do in most cases is get in their own way, no one except for a few will come their way.

These are some dark days for New York Knicks’ fans.

[Featured Image by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]