Despite being banned from New York City’s Madison Square Garden, the home of the Knicks, after an altercation with security and being called an alcoholic by Knicks owner James Dolan, former Knick power forward Charles Oakley says that he doesn’t have a problem with alcohol.
Oakley said in an interview with the New York Post that he actually has been active in helping others, like former New Jersey Net Jayson Williams, who has battled alcoholism.
“[James] Dolan might think because I go to volunteer at Rebound Institute treatment centers with Jayson that I’m a client,’’ Oakley told the Post. “I’m just supporting the amazing work Jayson is doing. I’m not an alcoholic, but Jayson is.’’
Oakley’s manager, Akhtar Farzaie, says that after Williams got his second DWI, Oakley was instrumental in getting his longtime friend into the Florida clinic, even driving 1,200 miles from Cleveland in his truck to check out the facility.
Dolan, a recovering addict himself, recently said that he’s “sure” Oakley has a substance abuse problem.
“I’m sure he has problems,” Dolan said to the Post. “I didn’t have the problem he has, but when you’re fighting addiction, it’s not that much different from anger management or other diseases where you can’t control yourself. The first step is to turn that around for yourself is admitting you have a problem. And then from there you can begin to take the steps to take control back in your life.”
Dolan’s accusation may have served as justification for banning Oakley from the Garden. After a highly publicized incident last week, when Oakley was confronted by Garden security (the head of security was fired for the incident), the Knicks organization released a shady Tweet saying that it hopes Oakley “gets some help soon.”
Farzaie says that the burly former power forward actually volunteers at several treatment centers. He says that Oakley will also hold a charity golf event for the Rebound Institute in May.
And though Oakley admitted that he had a couple of drinks before Wednesday’s Clippers-Knicks dustup, where he was arrested, he vehemently denies that he has a problem.
Read more at the New York Post.