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Judge dismisses ex-Knicks star Oakley’s lawsuit against Dolan, MSG over removal from game

FILE PHOTO: Retired basketball player Charles Oakley arrives on the red carpet for the film "The Carter Effect" at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), in Toronto, Canada, September 9, 2017. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo)

BY JONATHAN STEMPEL

A federal judge has dismissed former New York Knicks star Charles Oakley’s lawsuit against team owner James Dolan stemming from his forcible, televised ejection from a basketball game at Madison Square Garden.

Circuit Judge Richard Sullivan said Oakley failed to show that the defendants, including Madison Square Garden Co and MSG Networks Inc, defamed him by falsely branding him an alcoholic and accusing him of assaulting Garden workers at the Feb. 8, 2017, game.

Sullivan also said Oakley failed to show that his treatment by Garden personnel at the game amounted to assault and battery, as well as false imprisonment.

Lawyers for Oakley did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for Dolan and the MSG defendants did not immediately respond to similar requests.

The incident deepened a long feud between Dolan and Oakley, a fan favorite who was a Knicks power forward from 1988 to 1998, and had become critical of Dolan and his leadership of the team.

Sullivan was a federal district judge when the lawsuit was filed, and now sits on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.

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