The New York Knicks ejected former Knicks player Charles Oakley on Wednesday during a game versus the Los Angeles Clippers, and the scuffle leading up to ejection was an odd scene for anyone watching. Knicks security seemed to escalate the situation by crowding around Oakley while he was still in the stands.
That’s what Kenny Smith and indeed the rest of the studio crew on Inside the NBA on TNT said on Thursday night as the group of former NBA players sat with Ernie Johnson to discuss the incident.
For their part, Smith said he thought the Knicks handled Oakley — whether he was doing anything wrong or not — in an unprofessional matter.
If you have one of your esteemed people in the building, it takes one guy to walk over to him and say ‘I need to have a private conversation with you in the back.’ That’s it. But when you send six guys over, it is a confrontation. One thing that these officers are there to do … is to defuse a situation. To me looked to me like they escalated the situation, and he bit for it.
Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley expressed similar sentiments, with Barkley saying it was an issue for the entire league.
“This was a black eye for the entire sport,” said Barkley.
Smith made one final point that might help us get to the bottom of things.
“There’s a million cameras in the building. Let’s see what he was saying throughout.”