NBA Commissioner Adam Silver today tried to broker peace between New York Knicks owner James Dolan and Charles Oakley during an in-person meeting at the league’s office. Michael Jordan also participated by phone.
“It is beyond disheartening to see situations involving members of the NBA family like the one that occurred at Madison Square Garden this past week,” Silver said.
“Both Mr. Oakley and Mr. Dolan were apologetic about the incident and subsequent comments, and their negative impact on the Knicks organization and the NBA. Mr. Dolan expressed his hope that Mr. Oakley would return to MSG as his guest in the near future.”
Silver’s statement confirms earlier speculation that Jordan would be brought in as part of an effort to take some of the heat out of the simmering tensions between Oakley and Dolan. Smoothing things over is definitely in the NBA’s best interest. It’s probably in Dolan’s best interest to stop serving as the bad guy in the feud.
Oakley, somewhat shockingly, appears to have all the leverage here. He could have declined today’s meeting and still been golden in the eyes of Knicks fans. Or he can publicly make nice and come off as the bigger man — a rare situation for a man who took on an entire security detail while doling out multiple finger-domes. Or he could let Dolan twist in the wind and not respond to the open invitation.