Former Knicks star Latrell Sprewell has returned to Madison Square Garden for the first time in 13 years, just two days after Charles Oakley was banned from the building.
Sprewell sat behind the baseline Sunday next to MSG chairman James Dolan, who banned Oakley from the arena after he was arrested last week following an altercation with security while attending a game.
Perhaps to back Dolan's point that the franchise has strong relationships with almost all its other former players, the Knicks showed a number of them on the video board during their game against San Antonio, including Larry Johnson, Bernard King, Vin Baker, Kenny Walker and Herb Williams.
Sprewell hadn't been here since Dec. 29, 2004, when he played with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The season before, he had cursed at Dolan during a Timberwolves victory in his first game back after being traded.
Sprewell spent five seasons with the Knicks, helping them reach the 1999 NBA Finals. >> Read more
Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press
It took banning Oakley from The Garden for Dolan to realize it was finally time to welcome Sprewell back to his former stomping grounds. It certainly took long enough, as the former fiery swingman (much like Oakley) was a fan favorite with his passion.
It would have been a nice token of remorse and appreciation to usher Sprewell in. The gesture would have been enough. To follow Sprewell up with so many other alumni made Dolan's agenda pretty obvious. There was no remorse. Instead, such a "celebration" of past players was done so that the owner could prove a point: He has good relations with others. This should be considered an insult to the fan base.
Nevertheless, if Dolan can welcome back Sprewell (regardless of the circumstances), perhaps there's hope for an Oakley reunion at some point after all.