Former New York Knicks player Charles Oakley exchanges words with a security guard during the Knicks-LA Clippers game Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
NEW YORK (RNN) - Former NBA player Charles Oakley got into an altercation Wednesday with security at Madison Square Garden while attending a New York Knicks game.
Oakley, 53, played for the Knicks from 1988 to 1998 and helped them reach the NBA Finals in 1994. The 6'8" power forward was known as one the league's toughest guys.
The MSG crowd chanted his name as security forcibly removed him from the arena. Police arrested him, and he was charged with three counts of third-degree assault.
ESPN reported Oakley was arguing with Knicks owner James Dolan, who was sitting nearby. Oakley grew more agitated, poking a security guard in the head then shoving another before he was dragged out.
The Associated Press said he has a poor relationship with the team because of previous criticism of Dolan.
"Charles Oakley came to the game tonight and behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner," the Knicks said in a statement. "He has been ejected and is currently being arrested by the New York City Police Department. He was a great Knick, and we hope he gets some help soon."
Knicks president Phil Jackson, who was an assistant coach when Oakley played in Chicago, tried to calm the situation. New York was playing the Los Angeles Clippers, who are coached by former Oakley teammate Doc Rivers.
Rivers spoke after the game, calling the incident "sad."
"You can see I actually took three steps. I swear I was going to run down there, and then I thought, 'What the hell am I going to do?'" Rivers said. "I didn't like that. That's my guy, so that was tough to watch from where I was standing."
The Clippers won the game, 119-115.
Copyright 2017 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.