LeBron Will Never Play for the New York Knicks Because of This
The New York Knicks are in dire need of a major shake-up, and a major superstar, in order to salvage what's left of their season.
Unfortunately, it appears that Leon Rose and Company can cross LeBron James off of their wish list, both for this season, and for the long-term, based on an incident between the Knicks' owner, and a Knicks' legend.
Inside the Torn Relationship Between James Dolan and Charles Oakley
Simply put, it hasn't been the smoothest of relationships between New York Knicks' owner, James Dolan, and one of the team's most notable superstars of the 1990's, Charles Oakley.
Though there are reports of disagreements earlier on in the relationship, the two were involved in an altercation in 2017, which led to legal action on both sides. Oakley was ejected, and later arrested, for attending a Knicks' game and apparently acting in an "inappropriate and abusive" manner toward James Dolan and the security staff.
Oakley has gone on record as saying a number of the events documented by the team that night were falsified, and that he was not combative toward Dolan at any point before being asked to leave. He did apologize for "laying hands" on security guards, but did not take ownership for anything involving Dolan. A meeting was called by NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, in an attempt to mediate between the two, but little was accomplished, according to Oakley.
Oakley would go on to criticize Dolan and his ownership of the team in 2019, calling him a "bully", and hurling other criticisms his way.
All of this, plus more behind the scenes, is what led to the incident most recently, which now, involves LeBron James.
LeBron James Will Not Be Coming to New York Anytime Soon
In a story published by CBS Sports, Oakley tells the story of how he was introduced to James Dolan, and what happened during their first encounter.
According to the story, Oakley was introduced to Dolan by "Worldwide Wes" (William Wesley) in 2014, an interaction that was apparently immediately tense and unpleasant, and led to Dolan not shaking Oakley's hand.
Justifiably miffed at the situation, Oakley returned to the sidelines, and found LeBron James. According to the story, they had the following interaction...
"I walked back to LeBron and said, 'This mother---er (Dolan) wouldn't shake my hand,'" Oakley continued. "All LeBron said was: 'This is why I'm never going to New York.'" - CBS Sports
This was during the 2013-14 season, which was James' last in Miami. Since this interaction, James has returned to Cleveland, and then gone to another big market team: the Los Angeles Lakers.
I'm not making the blanket statement that James would've been drawn to the New York Knicks if this interaction didn't happen. What I am saying, however, is that James Dolan has a reputation, and his interactions with Charles Oakley have painted him in a light that is darker than it already was.
And, by the looks of the situation, LeBron won't be coming to New York anytime soon.