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Charles Oakley: ‘I’m not an alcoholic’

National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) All-Star Gala - Arrivals

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 19: Former NBA player Charles Oakley arrives to the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) All-Star Gala on February 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

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Knicks owner James Dolan went on the radio and, piggybacking the team’s initial statement, suggested Charles Oakley has alcohol and/or anger issues. Oakley acknowledged drinking before reaching Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, but said that didn’t impact his ejection and arrest.

What role does alcohol play in Oakley’s life?

Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Oakley continues to help fight alcoholism in supporting his friend, ex-Net Jayson Williams, and assisting at treatment centers in Florida.

“Dolan might think because I go to volunteer at Rebound Institute treatment centers with Jayson that I’m a client,’’ Oakley told The Post. “I’m just supporting the amazing work Jayson is doing. I’m not an alcoholic, but Jayson is.’’

If Dolan truly believed Oakley has an alcohol problem, publicly diagnosing and discussing it would be shameful. If Dolan didn’t believe Oakley has an alcohol problem, accusing him of that would also be shameful.

No matter anything else, Dolan is wrong for making this a battleground in his public feud with the former Knicks forward.