Adam Silver still happy meeting with Charles Oakley, James Dolan occurred

ByOhm Youngmisuk ESPN logo
Sunday, February 19, 2017

NEW ORLEANS -- NBA commissioner Adam Silver is "disheartened" that Charles Oakley and Knicks owner Jim Dolan have been unable to move toward a resolution in their feud.

Silver met with both Dolan and Oakley on Monday (Michael Jordan participated via telephone), and at the time, expressed optimism that the two would smooth things over. Oakley, however, has said in various interviews since that he is no closer to returning to Madison Square Garden since his highly publicized ejection from the arena and arrest Feb. 8.

"When I left the meeting with Charles Oakley and Jim Dolan, I did not think things were resolved," Silver said at his annual state-of-the-NBA news conference on the eve of Sunday's All-Star Game. "I thought they were on the right track.

"They both apologized directly to each other. So while I'm disheartened that, at least based on media accounts, that it does not appear to be moving forward in a constructive way, right now I don't regret that I had that meeting. And if there is a constructive role I can play going forward, I'm available to do that."

After the Feb. 8 incident, Dolan banned Oakley from MSG. Dolan, though, lifted the ban after the meeting with Silver.

The commissioner has told Oakley to continue to consider returning to the Garden.

"I still think it was helpful," Silver said of the meeting. "I'm still hopeful that Charles will sort of come back into the family. Again, when Jim Dolan invited him back to Madison Square Garden, Charles did not say, 'Wonderful, let's take out the schedule and pick a game.' In fact, he was very emotional in the meeting, and he said it was something he wanted to think about.

"And in my subsequent conversations with him, I have said, I think you should continue to think about it. And whether that's a month from now, six months from now, or a year from now, the fan in me and someone who's known Charles for a long time, I hope at some point he does decide to return to Madison Square Garden. But ultimately, that's his decision."