The Charles Oakley fiasco has now grown legs and the treatment of Oakley by MSG security at the command of dictator James Dolan has struck a racial chord with the most powerful Basketball Brotherhood in the NBA.
First LeBron James posted a pic of Oakley on his Instagram and captioned the post with: "Mood!! #Legend" in support of Oak and against the humiliating treatment he received on Wednesday night.
Now, King James’ court of compadres, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul, have publicly professed their backing of the revered Knicks legend in the aftermath of the pathetic incident that led to Oak’s arrest. This incident, coupled with the constant disrespect of Melo by Knicks management over the past few months, has obviously inspired the players to comment.
Oakley was released later that night and charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal trespassing, but it was another chapter in the former star's contentious relationship with Dolan.
On sports show Around the Horn, @BillPlaschke likened the Knicks franchise and Dolan’s treatment of African-American players to “Donald Sterling’s Clippers.”
Dwyane Wade took to Instagram to shame the Knicks for their treatment of a legend and implied that if Oakley was white, he would have never been treated this way.
"10 years!!! 10 years Oak gave everything he had for this organization and the image everyone will be left with won't be this picture. It will be the imagine of him being taken down to the ground last night in the same arena he gave his all 2 as a player by the guards! This Could happen to any of us!!! #StayWoke We are not above this treatment!"
Wade understands Oakley's pain. We all understand who the "we" is Wade is referring to. The Bulls shooting guard played his first 13 seasons in Miami, winning three championships, but when the Heat were done with him he couldn't get a phone call from the front office. Wade is still very miffed about the lack of respect.
Paul, the president of the National Basketball Players Association, attacked the way the Knicks handled the aftermath of the situation, fueling the fire by sending out a press release, stating it hopes Oakley "gets some help soon."
James Dolan thinks he’s a god. Being a billionaire does that to people. He also obviously feels he doesn’t have to respect his team’s legacy or the warriors who helped him make all of those billions when he doesn’t have a clue of what to do with a basketball team.
Well, it’s a new day in the NBA. The Conscious Player’s Movement has been showing up and vocal on everything from Black Lives Matter to Colin Kaepernick’s kneel down against the national anthem. As the Sterling situation proved, if you mistreat and degrade players you can lose your team. No secret tapes on Dolan yet, but anything is possible in Knicks Land. The new age NBA players are trying to move as far away from that plantation mentality as they can.
Carmelo Anthony is also a major part of that movement and his boys aren't going to continue to let the Knicks mistreat their boy or other African-American players without calling them out and drawing attention to the situation.
This could get interesting.