Al Sharpton Will Picket Madison Square Garden Unless Charles Oakley Ban Lifted

NEW YORK-A person briefed on the discussions tells The Associated Press that Madison Square Garden has lifted its ban of Charles Oakley.

The fact that the former power forward was arrested and charged with three counts of assault and that the Knicks, under the ownership of James Dolan, said that they hope that Oak "gets some help soon" only made it worse. The lifetime ban was implemented on Friday but support for Oakley loomed large and longtime Knicks supporter Spike Lee wore an Oakley jersey to the team's game against the Spurs on Sunday. In his apparent quest to make the Knicks the worst-performing, least-respected franchise in the National Basketball Association, he has now needlessly embarrassed the one ex-Knick who embodied the grit and toughness Knick fans have craved for years - Charles Oakley.

According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, Oakley told ESPN's Dan Le Batard that he also wants ownership to apologize to the fans. Dolan accused Oakley of having anger management issues and strongly suggested that Oakley is an alcoholic.

"Both Mr. Oakley and Mr. Dolan were apologetic about the incident and subsequent comments, and their negative impact on the Knicks organization and the NBA", Silver said.

He later reiterated that request in a separate interview with ESPN, saying he would not return to the Garden as a guest of Dolan's if asked even though the owner apologized to him in private.

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Oakley said he is "in pain now".

Silver had Oakley and Dolan came into the league's office Monday, while Jordan joined them via phone.

But perhaps Dolan and Oakley merely sitting down can lead to something positive in the future.

It was not immediately clear when Oakley would next be seen at a Knicks game.

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