Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Former Knicks great Charles Oakley hopes free agents who are interested in joining the Knicks reach out to him for guidance.
"What do I tell free agents? They need to be talk to me, No. 1, if they want to be happy in New York," Oakley said at CC Sabathia's celebrity softball event on Thursday. "They need to talk to me."
When asked specifically about Kevin Durant, Oakley said, "If he comes to New York, I wish he'd reach out and talk to me, have a dinner or something."
Oakley played 10 years with the Knicks in a very different NBA than the league today's free agents are in, but he's well respected by many current NBA players.
The 55-year-old has an open civil suit against Madison Square Garden and Knicks owner James Dolan following a February 2017 run-in with security at the arena in which he was forcibly removed from the building and arrested. The Garden says Oakley was physically and verbally abusive on the night of the incident. A judge has yet to rule if the suit will proceed.
It seems the open litigation hasn't stopped Oakley from rooting for his former team. Oakley said on Thursday that he wishes the Knicks well.
"I have no control over (what's happened with the organization over the past 20 years)," Oakley said when asked about it. "I'm not on the staff. People make their own decisions. … People hire who they want. I never wish them bad luck. I'm a New Yorker for life. I wish every sport in New York good luck. Hopefully they turn it around but it's like you carry your team, organization, management -- everything you do, there's eyes always watching you. So if you ain't doing things right, things ain't going to happen right."
Proceeds from Sabathia's event benefited his PitCCh In Foundation and the New York Yankees foundations. Sabathia's foundation is dedicated to enriching the lives of inner-city children through education and athletics.