James Dolan Rumors
The “Training Day” star appeared on The Bill Simmons Podcast this week to discuss a plethora of topics, including his basketball fandom. Hawke grew up in New York and was a longtime Knicks fan. Eventually, he was able to use his fame and clout to score free tickets from the team. But that changed a handful of years ago when the team fired coach Mike D’Antoni. Hawke was apparently not a fan of the move, and he was publicly vocal about it. Knicks owner James Dolan caught wind of Hawke’s critiques and decided that the actor was no longer worthy of free tickets.
Here’s the transcript of Hawke telling the story to Simmons: Hawke: I’ve been a Knicks fan for a long time, but I got kicked out of the Garden. They won’t give me tickets anymore. Simmons: What are you talking about? Hawke: I’m being serious. I’m being dead serious. I really was vocal on some talk shows like this that I thought it was a huge mistake to let Mike (D’Antoni) go and I would have bet on Mike (D’Antoni) before I bet on Melo. It was not over Melo, but over – there was something genuinely exciting. The first thing that had been exciting since Jeff Van Gundy left in the Garden with the Knicks was Linsanity.
Simmons: Linsanity was incredible. Hawke: It was absolutely incredible in the way that the organization didn’t fan the flames and let Mike do what he wanted to do. Let these guys run. Let them play ball. And instead, Mike’s on his way to the Western Conference Final. And, you know, the Garden’s empty. But I have been left team-less. The point is that I’m not wanted and I don’t go where I’m not wanted. It’s hard to be a fan for a place that doesn’t like you. Simmons: Well, one person doesn’t like you. Hawke: One person who owns (the team) … I called up one night and they said it would be $7,800. I was like, “Oh, um, oh, why is this the first time you guys are charging me?” They said that you should have thought of that before you went on the Jimmy Fallon Show. I was like, “Wow, this is real.” So I’ve apologized publicly many times to try and get my seats again.
Both sides agree in the never-ending James Dolan-Charles Oakley war: let’s go to the video tape. Two days after Oakley publicly declared that video evidence — unseen by the public — is so favorable to him that it could lead to Dolan being punished by the NBA, the Knicks owner’s lawyer responded with a letter to the judge pleading that the video be entered as evidence because it would exonerate Dolan in Oakley’s defamation lawsuit.
“We remain confident that this case should be dismissed with or without video review,” the lawyer wrote, according to Newsday. “But now it appears that Oakley himself agrees with our longstanding position that, in deciding this motion to dismiss, Your Honor should review the contemporaneous videos, which depict Oakley repeatedly striking MSG security guards and resisting their efforts with NYPD officers to escort him out of the arena.”
Charles Oakley said Tuesday that Madison Square Garden security footage from his 2017 altercation with security guards exonerates him and will be presented to a judge during a hearing in his civil lawsuit against MSG executive chairman and chief executive officer James Dolan.