NBA legend, Charles Oakley, was in a suit watching the Wednesday night tilt between the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks when he was approached by the security staff in attendance. There was talking and suddenly talking turned into arguing. Arguing then turned into shoving and before you know it, Charles Oakley was forcibly removed from his seat and was charged with three counts of third-degree assault, along with one count of criminal trespass. This then turned into a game of he said, he said.
Oakley admitted that he did drink “a couple before the game”, but he said he “did not have drinks in The Garden” and was simply being a fan. Oakley mentioned that he bought a ticket and sat in his seat for only four minutes before the incident. Oakley believes it was because of his issues with Knicks' owner, James Dolan. The Knicks PR staff said that Oakley was behaving in a “Highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner.” Dolan also went on the Michael Kay show to slander Oakley’s name and mentioned that Oakley may have a drinking problem. Many fans took to twitter to support Oakley, those in attendance said Oakley was acting just fine.
Regardless of who was right or wrong, the loser in this is James Dolan. Not only are the Knicks experiencing another bad season this year, they look unappreciative of their good years by kicking out Oakley without Oakley provoking the situation. Oakley is considered a Knick legend, ranking 6th all-time in games played for the Knicks at 727, also a part of the Knicks deep playoff runs in 1993 and 1994. However, one can argue Dolan did not look good even before this season or this incident. The Knicks have only made the playoffs four times since the 2001-2002 season, and a large part of the fans’ vitriol has been spewed at James Dolan. While the Knicks are approximately worth $3 billion, that number is in spite of the teams’ poor performance since 2002, the management missteps, trade blunders, and lack of good PR. Thus, the popular belief is that James Dolan is the worst owner in sports’ History.
James Dolan isn't the only sports owner to butcher their franchise. Here are five other billionaires who are considered some of the worst sports franchise owners.
Honorable Mentions: Mikhail Prokhorov, Dan Gilbert
5. Jerry Jones
Here come the pitchforks. The Cowboys owner was at the helm of some successful years with Dallas. Jones has grown the Dallas Cowboys franchise exponentially from an economic perspective. However, he is also responsible for some blunders from a sports perspective and it is arguable that he should have made more money. The reason, well one can point to his ego. Let us not forget, he fired Tom Landry and inserted himself as the president of operations.
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He was also the reason why Jimmy Johnson left prematurely. This was due to Johnson and Jones inability to work together. Since then, the Cowboys have been completely inept and have yet to regain their 90’s form.
4. Jimmy Haslam
This is the owner of the Cleveland Browns, enough said.
In all seriousness, the Cleveland browns have been bad ever since Haslam took over the franchise. Haslam bought the Browns in the 2011-2012 and since then, the team has seen 4 coaches and a record of 24 – 72, yikes. On top of that, Haslam has been revealed as the one who ultimately made the decision to draft Johnny Manziel. Jimmy Haslam may be a nice guy, but ultimately he is failing as a sports franchise owner.
3. Jim Buss
The Buss’s are extremely important to NBA basketball but it cannot be denied that it has been some trying times since Dr. Jerry Buss’s death in 2013. Jim Buss got the opportunity to run the team’s basketball operations. That has been to the Lakers detriment, still looking for the first successful season under Jim Buss’s watch.
In that time, the young core has seen little development. Free agent signings have not worked out and he had a hand in hiring Byron Scott. That is up probably the worst thing under his watch. As good of a Laker and coach as Bryon Scott was, it is clear that the game has passed Scott by. Now to Jim Buss’s credit, he has decided that if the Lakers do not achieve success this season, he will step down. That does some credit, however, the damage has already been done. The only hope for the Lakers is that Luke Walton can somehow hope to succeed in the near future.
2. Jeffery Loria
Anyone who knows about Jeffery Loria’s ownership experience already knows him to be many things. Those things include cheap, meddling and a team killer. Loria greatest sin is that he killed the Montreal Expos. The Expos have a rich history, as Tim Raines has just been inducted into the MLB hall of fame. Now keep that in mind the next time someone explains that Loria penny pinched the Expos into oblivion, then sold them.
Loria has since owned another team in the Miami Marlins and has learned nothing. Loria is still known as the owner who is all about the bottom line. For example, Loria is responsible for the Marlins fire-sale of talent after their World Series win in 2003, simply to increase profit. Loria is basically the stereotypical greedy owner.
1. Dan Synder
This owner of the Washington Redskins is largely regarded as the most controversial owner in sports today. From a business perspective, Synder has actually done okay. However, the Redskins are a far cry from what they once were. During his watch, the redskins have gone 125-162-1. In all honesty, there are much worse owners from a sports perspective. The problem with Synder is that he has publically stated that he will not change the name of the Washington Redskins.
There are compelling arguments for why the name should be changed but the biggest argument is that the name is a racial slur. Imagine if an owner inherited a team with who called themselves a racial slur, then refused to change the name. That is exactly what Dan Synder is doing. For the record, most people are not offended, but for the people who are that name should be changed because that is the right thing to do. For that reason, Synder is a horrid sports owner.
In any case, the Charles Oakley situation just further demonstrated how bad of an owner James Dolan is. Here is the thing, bad sports owners are everywhere and are a part of life. Although his reasons for being a bad owner are unique, he is not the only terrible sports owner. One thing is for sure, the Knicks as a franchise are in a lot of trouble.