Better late than never, but NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, finally intervened and inserted himself into the train wreck that is Jim Dolan v. Charles Oakley. Of course, he did.
Dolan sending in his goons to forcibly remove Oakley from the Garden, and then chasing that with a media tour where he insinuates Oakley has a drinking problem, was a terrible look for the NBA. Really, the Knicks are a terrible look for the NBA. But especially this particular black eye.
So of course Silver had to get involved. He had to get involved before Dolan hit that dumpster fire with more gasoline, because he would have. And Silver had to get involved because the last thing he wants is for this mess to bleed into the All-Star weekend in New Orleans. Because that would have happened as well.
But the curious part about him intervening is that he brought in some star power for backup in Michael Jordan. 45, obviously is a fellow owner and good friend of Oakley’s. So clearly, Silver couldn’t get these two to sit down by himself. Couldn’t attempt to resolve this by himself, or he wouldn’t have lobbed the call to 45 in the first place. Whatever works, I suppose.
Maybe Silver needed Jordan to get Oakley to sit down with Dolan, because at this point, finally, it looks like Oakley has the hammer in his hands. Dolan hasn’t suddenly shut his mouth because he’s sorry for what went down. He’s shut his mouth because he’s concerned about what might still go down. Namely, the possibility of litigation from Oakley. The possibility of groups protesting outside MSG. Dolan’s not being reconciliatory because it’s the right thing to do or because he’s contrite. He’s doing it to stop the bleeding. And so is Silver, who enlisted the services of Jordan.
I’m just shocked that Dolan didn’t say, oh really, Mike is going to be a part of this meeting? For Oakley? No problem, I’m bringing Vin Baker in as my wingman. Oakley isn’t coming to this table without Mike? Well, I’m not coming without Vin.
For the moment, it looks as if Silver has gone all bomb squad again and defused this one. But I’m not so sure.
Again, Dolan was responsible for forcibly removing Oakley from the building, and if that weren’t humiliating and bothersome enough, he then smeared him but going on air and suggesting he was an alcoholic. You can’t tell me Oakley has already forgiven and forgotten that. No chance.
My biggest takeaway here is this: what’s it tell you about how badly Dolan butchered this situation that the commissioner had to get involved. And I’m just glad Silver is the guy sitting in the commissioner’s chair. Had it been David Stern, I can’t help but think he would have sided with Dolan and then where would we be. Better late than never, Adam.