NBA Commissioner Adam Silver enlisted the aid of Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan to make peace between former NBA star Charles Oakley and New York Knicks owner Jim Dolan.
Silver met with Oakley and Dolan in New York Monday. Silver had Jordan, a long-time friend of Oakley’s, participate in the meeting by conference call.
Oakley, a former Knicks star, was thrown out of Madison Square Garden last Wednesday. He was accused of yelling derogatory statements at Dolan, a few rows from Oakley’s seat, during a nationally televised game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Oakley was arrested for shoving security removing him from the building.
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Dolan banned Oakley from attending Knicks home games. The Knicks have suggested Oakley has anger issues and possibly an alcohol problem.
Jordan played with Oakley on the Chicago Bulls in the 1980s, and they remain close. Oakley worked as an assistant coach with the then-Charlotte Bobcats from 2010-2011, after Jordan took primary team ownership.
The NBA issued a statement Monday evening, confirming the meeting and Jordan’s participation by phone.
“It is beyond disheartening to see situations involving members of the NBA family like the one that occurred at Madison Square Garden this past week,” Silver said. “In an effort to find a path forward, New York Knicks owner Jim Dolan, Charles Oakley and I met today at the league office, along with Michael Jordan, who participated by phone.
“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. Mr. Dolan expressed his hope that Mr. Oakley would return to MSG as his guest in the near future.”
Silver concluded his statement, “I appreciate the efforts of Mr. Oakley, Mr. Dolan and Mr. Jordan to work towards a resolution of this matter.”
Jordan declined a request to comment on Monday’s meeting, deferring to Silver’s statement.
Jordan has become increasingly involved in league-wide NBA business. For instance, he played a role in negotiations that led to a new collective bargaining agreement with the players association, thus avoiding a potential lockout next summer.
Bonnell: 704358-5129: @rick_bonnell