LISTEN: Rapaport: ‘[Oakley’s] Frustration What Knicks Fans Have Been Feeling’

 

Alyssa Naimoli

Michael Rapaport made an emergency I AM RAPAPORT┬ápodcast for an immediate reaction to former-Knick Charles Oakley’s incident and arrest at the Knicks’ game against the LA Clippers last night at MSG.

“If there has ever been a time for an emergency podcast, this is it” because “they arrested Charles Oakley.”

“[Kristaps] Porzingis is at the line and the camera kind of swayed over to see an incident,” said Rapaport. “[You see Charles Oakley] and he got into a shoving match — a pushing match — with security.”

Oakley had a small outburst during the Knicks’ matchup which resulted in his ejection, as fans chanted his name, and later arrest: “[Security] brought him into the tunnel, the fans start chanting ‘Oakley,’ and then they arrested Charles Oakley.”

“They’re saying he was trying to go for [James] Dolan, not to f–k him up, but to talk greasy, maybe just to holler at him,” Rapaport said. “Who knows.”

Oakley’s apparent frustration at the game isn’t just his own, but is a mutual feeling he shares with a lot of fans of the organization. “Oakley’s frustration is what Knicks fans have been feeling since 1999.”

“We have Knicks fans getting into fights with other Knicks fans, we have New York Post writers getting beef with Daily News writers,” said Rapaport. “We have a Civil War among Knicks fans, and it shouldn’t be that way.”

This “Civil War among Knicks fans” is dividing the team’s fan base: “You’re either Team Melo or Team Phil Jackson,” said Rapaport. “And the team’s owner, James Dolan, has a Blues band.”

“This is why Charles Oakley goes to the Garden,” said Rapaport. “This is why he wants to step up to Dolan like: ‘Do something.'”

Oakley would later comment on the altercation by saying that security had informed him that someone was ordering him to leave, who he believed to be Dolan, because of their less than amicable relationship.

“I bet you a Knicks fan bails him out,” Rapaport continued. “That was the most passion from anyone with the Knicks since 1999.”

Oakley “exemplified what it meant to be a New York athlete” and will “always be loved by New York fans.” Many Knicks fans are nostalgic of when Oakley was a Knick and “New York City [was] the mecca of basketball.”

“The Day he got traded to the New York Knicks, [Moody and I] see him across the street, [this is] before Twitter, before you get things instantly on your phone, no two-way pagers or anything,” said Rapaport. “We see Oak, like ‘Oak, What up? What are you doin’ in New York?’ and he goes ‘Yo, I got traded here, I’m going to get my physical now.’ That is a fact.”

Rapaport “popped a blood vessel with [his] rant” with the news of Oakley’s arrest on top of the Knick’s other problems this season.

“Free Charles Oakley,” Rapaport said. “If I was in New York, I’d be at the police station bailing him out with my own money.”

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