It has been nearly 25 years since Charles Oakley and Patrick Ewing donned a Knicks’ uniform inside Madison Square Garden. Even after the controversy and turmoil within the franchise, Oakley still has no plans to rebuild his friendship Ewing almost two decades later.
Oakley recently spoke with Ariel Helwani on The Ariel Helwani Show detailing why the two former NBA All-Stars are still no longer friends. In his 19-year NBA career, Oakley spent 10 seasons in the Big Apple. On the show, Oakley discussed various instances as to why him and Ewing won’t see eye-to-eye again.
“I just feel like he did trust the players in some situations, especially in the Houston series,” Oakley said. The robust and rugged Knicks teams of the 90s failed to win a NBA championship, losing to the Rockets in the NBA finals in ‘94 and the Spurs in ‘99.
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Oakley also said a lot of the guys on the team did not respect Ewing because of the things he did around them. He adds: “If a guy has to question six or seven things out of 10 against your leader, that’s not good. … He [Ewing] was hard to deal with, hard to play with. A lot of guys might not say that on air, but they say it behind his back … I haven’t spoken to him, especially after the incident that happened at The Garden and he did not come to my rescue.”
Oakley is referring to the 2017 incident in which he was forcefully removed from Madison Square Garden and subsequently arrested.
If Ewing apologized to Oakley, would he accept?
“No,” Oakley said. “He said something about [the incident] about six months ago, like its been four years almost. .. That’s a situation no one wants to see happen, but I would have thought he‘d be the first one.”
The Knicks, a franchise that has not won a NBA title since 1973, are still in search of their third NBA title. While Oakley has doubled down on not rekindling a friendship with Ewing, who knows, maybe a Knicks title in the next decade or so could change that—maybe.
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