"I don't know why I'm not welcome into the Garden."
Knicks legend Charles Oakley was arrested and charged with three counts of assault after being ejected from Madison Square Garden during the first quarter of last night's Knicks vs. Clippers game. See footage here.
The crowd, players and coaches from both teams looked on as Oakley fought with multiple MSG security guards just a few rows behind the Knicks bench, but it's still unclear why he had been asked to leave in the first place.
The Knicks released a statement shortly after Oakley was ejected which read in part, "Charles Oakley came to the game tonight and behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner."
Here's Oakley's side of the story per ESPN:
"What happened is me and four friends went to the game tonight, to watch the Knicks and Clippers. We did sit down, trying to have a good time. Next thing I know I was asked to leave the building," Oakley said at a New York restaurant after his release from Midtown South Precinct shortly past midnight ET.
"I asked, 'Why?' and they said, 'You have to leave because someone ordered you to leave.' And I'm like, 'I've been here four-and-a-half minutes.'
"When someone is walking up on you, you've got to protect yourself in all matters," Oakley said. "I've been in situations like this before. I've been jumped before. So in my mind, if you see eight, nine, 10 guys walking up on you, you've got to brace yourself and be ready for the challenge. That's all I was thinking."
"I'm a Knicks fan, played here 10 years. I love the Knicks. I love New York. This is my heart. I wish them all the luck and success on the basketball court. I don't know why I'm not welcome into the Garden."
Oakley's former teammate, Clippers head coach, Doc Rivers also spoke with reporters about what he saw from his perspective on the court.
"That was tough for me to watch," Rivers said. "Honest to God, you could see it. I actually took three steps and I swear I was going to run down there, and I thought, 'What the hell am I going to do?' But I didn't like that. That's my guy. That was tough to watch from where I was standing."
"He's the best teammate in the world," Rivers said. "He really is. Honestly, the players could see me. That was a tough thing to watch. I've been in the league a long time; I've never seen anything like that."
According to reports, Oakley was charged with three misdemeanor counts of assault, all third degree, and one count of criminal trespass, a third-degree misdemeanor.
He will be required to appear in front of a judge sometime next month.