Skip to main content

Why LeBron James Never Wanted To Play For Knicks, Per Charles Oakley

An extreme closeup of LeBron James' face.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 05: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during a timeout in the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on April 05, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

It seems like ages ago that LeBron James almost called The Garden home. When LeBron hit free agency pre and post-Miami Heat, Knicks fans envisioned The King taking his throne at MSG every night.

But according to Knicks legend Charles Oakley, New York has owner James Dolan to thank for not landing LeBron.

Per TMZ Sports, Oakley recalled a conversation he had with Bron back in 2014, after meeting Dolan for the first time.

Big Oak claimed the Knicks owner refused to shake hands with him or really even acknowledge him in their first interaction. And when he told fellow Ohio-native LeBron James about that, The King's response was illuminating. "I walked back to LeBron and said, 'This [expletive] [Dolan] wouldn't shake my hand,'" Oakley says. "All LeBron said was, 'This is why I'm never going to New York.'" "I didn't do anything to this man," the Knicks enforcer said of James Dolan. "What did I ever say that was so bad that he would ignore me like that? I wondered. Man, I wanted to hit him in the head." Saying, "You would have thought I did something to his wife."

Oakley and Dolan have had a history since that point. Coming to a head with Oakley's infamous ejection from a Knicks home game back in 2017.

A number of players and media members have said Dolan's presence is the reason the Knicks don't land top free agents. Oakley's story involving LeBron only seems to co-sign those claims.