Knicks fan Spike Lee was in tears when he saw Charles Oakley handcuffed in a hallway behind the court at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.
The film director on Sunday called the Oakley incident “insanity” and questioned owner James Dolan’s decision to suggest Oakley had a drinking problem.
“I mean, how can you say somebody is an alcoholic? You just can’t, in my opinion,” Lee, speaking to a small group of reporters, said Sunday at Madison Square Garden while wearing an Oakley jersey. “And even if the person was, why would you say that? I don’t know why you would say that. All I can do is wear my jersey.”
Oakley was ejected from the arena and arrested Wednesday night after a scuffle with security.
The Knicks said Oakley was behaving in an abusive manner toward security. Oakley denied it. Dolan has banned Oakley from the arena indefinitely.
Lee, a lifelong Knicks fans, believes that the Knicks’ treatment of Oakley — coupled with Phil Jackson’s direct and indirect criticisms of star Carmelo Anthony — will hurt their recruitment of free agents.
“Who’s gonna come here?” Lee said. Earlier in the week, when asked to pick a side in the Jackson-Anthony feud, Lee told Tencent-ESPN that he’d help Jackson pack his bags.