Feud heats up between Knicks owner Dolan, ex-player Oakley
Charles Oakley, who played 10 years for the New York Knicks, has had a long-term feud with James Dolan, and it escalated last week when the team’s owner complained of the player shouting insults at him at Madison Square Garden. While the Knicks were playing the Los Angeles Clippers, Oakley grappled with security guards, was handcuffed and charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault. Also one count of criminal trespass, though it’s difficult to see how he could have been trespassing when he held a ticket that he had purchased. Speaking to The Undefeated’s Mike Wise, Oakley said, “Whenever I go to the Garden now, security has been told to inform him (Dolan) immediately. Last year I went to a game against Charlotte, and a bunch of security came up to me right away and told me not to walk around, stay where I am. He just doesn’t want me in the building.” Dolan later fired the building’s security chief for going too far in restraining the popular Oakley. “That was a situation where the person just didn’t work out” Dolan said, “and that was probably the last straw.” But Dolan also banned Oakley from attending future games in the arena. He risked a defamation suit by suggesting Oakley was “drinking too much alcohol,” adding, “We hope he gets some help soon.” After intervention by commissioner Adam Silver, Dolan lifted the ban on Oakley.
Between the Lines: The Knicks are more dysfunctional than ever. Coach Jeff Hornacek lashed out after an 8-point loss at home to Denver: “Couldn’t guard anybody. So those guys are happy scoring their points. We’re going to lose every game.”
Loria sells Marlins on a handshake, to Team Trump, for 1,000% profit
Jeff Loria, who in 2002 paid $159 million for a Major League Baseball team in Miami, has sold it for $1.6 billion on a handshake deal with a New York real estate developer, the Kushner family, which includes Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser. Loria contributed $125,000 last year to the Trump campaign. Loria is not as well liked by his local politicians. He continually pressured them by threatening to move the Marlins if they didn’t give him the sweetheart stadium deals he wanted. He made profits by cutting expenses and collecting luxury tax and national television revenues that teams shared equally. After winning the 2003 World Series with inherited talent, Loria rarely fielded a contending team. The Marlins have not had a winning record since 2009. Last year they were last in MLB attendance at 21,405 per game. Loria’s penurious spending practices brought rebuke from Major League Baseball as well as from the Players Association.
Dear Jeff: Your departure will be celebrated like the death of Castro, even if it makes the Marlins a sideshow in the Trump Circus.
Spieth says professional autograph seekers are ‘scum’
Jordan Spieth had an unpleasant confrontation with autograph hounds following the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which he won by 4 strokes. “I’m not appreciative of people who travel to benefit off other people’s success,” he said. After he finished his round, Spieth’s caddie, Michael Greller, collected items from roped-off fans for the golfer to sign. Children were given the top priority. When an adult male complained that Spieth had not returned his items from a year ago, an argument ensued. “One of them dropped an F-bomb in front of three children,” Spieth said. “So I felt the need to turn around and tell them that wasn’t right. . . . I didn’t appreciate the language that was used, and just some scums that just . . . bothered me.” Spieth told USA Today that his management team keeps records on internet sales of his autographed items and that they’re alert to “guys who have bags of stuff.” Notes are made about the people who are selling the most memorabilia and, he feels, making more money off him than is reasonable.
Dear Jordan: Considering the number of fans who want your autograph, you are right to avoid serving the gravy-trainers. Good luck making those judgments.
Thunder fans chant at Kevin Durant: ‘Cup-cake’
When Kevin Durant returned Saturday to Oklahoma City, for whom he had played the previous nine years, he was subjected to a chant: “Cup-cake, cup-cake.” The term was used by former Thunder center Kendrick Perkins to jab teammates he considered physically soft. When Durant left the Thunder to sign with the Golden State Warriors, Russell Westbrook posted an Instagram of a plate of cupcakes. However unwelcome he may have felt in Chesapeake Energy Arena, Durant had 34 points and 9 rebounds in leading the Warriors to a 16-point victory. During the postgame interview session, Steph Curry and Draymond Green wore cupcake T-shirts, a hot-selling item in OKC. Mychal Thompson, retired NBA player and the father of Golden State guard Klay Thompson, tweeted: ‘If he’s a cupcake, OKC, I’ll take a dozen to go.”