'I'm not an alcoholic' - Oakley responds to Knicks owner

By Joe Rodgers 12 February 2017 7510
'I'm not an alcoholic' - Oakley responds to Knicks owner

New York Knicks great Charles Oakley denied claims by team owner James Dolan that he has a drinking problem.

Oakley admitted to drinking before Wednesday's incident at Madison Square Garden, where he was ejected and arrested following an altercation with a group of security guards.

Dolan made numerous accusations on Friday, including telling The Michael Kay Show that Oakley "may have a problem with alcohol".

"I'm sure he has problems," Dolan, a recovering addict himself, told the New York Post.

"I didn't have the problem he has, but when you're fighting addiction, it's not that much different from anger management or other diseases where you can't control yourself."

Oakley told the New York Post in a separate interview Saturday that Dolan could not be more wrong about his drinking.

Oakley said he visits treatment centers to support others, including former NBA player Jayson Williams.

"Dolan might think because I go to volunteer at Rebound Institute treatment centers with Jayson that I'm a client,'' Oakley told The Post.

"I'm just supporting the amazing work Jayson is doing. I'm not an alcoholic, but Jayson is.''

The Knicks owner said Friday that Oakley is banned from stepping foot inside Madison Square Garden as a result of the altercation, which has owned headlines across the NBA and added yet another ring to New York's circus this season. 

NBA players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, J.R. Smith and Chris Paul have expressed their support for Oakley, who spent 10 seasons with the Knicks and was an All-Star in 1994.

Former Indiana Pacers guard Reggie Miller also supports Oakley and asked why any potential free agent would want to play for an owner who "treats past greats like this".

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Joe Rodgers