Ex-Knicks Player Charles Oakley Arrested at the Cosmopolitan

Charles Oakley Arrest Las Vegas - Charles Oakley Cosmopolitan Casino

Charles Oakley was arrested in 2017 at Madison Square Garden, but the charges later were dropped.

Former New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls power forward Charles Oakley was arrested at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and charged with a “fraudulent act” this past Sunday, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Charles Oakley stands accused of “adding to or reducing a wager on a gambling game” after the results of the bet were known, according to the NGCB statement. TMZ reported that Charles Oaklay pulled back a $100 chip after he knew he had lost the bet.

Oakley was arrested on site and arraigned at the Clark County Detention Center. His first court appearance is scheduled for August 7. Fraudulent activity involving a $100 chip is considered a Class B felony in the state of Nevada. If convicted of such a felony as a first offense, Charles Oakley would be subject to a $10,000 and a 1 to 6-year sentence in a Nevada state prison.

Alex Spiro, who serves as Charles Oakley’s New York-based attorney, downplayed the severity of the offense. Spiro told ESPN News, “This is not a significant matter and we expect it to be resolved quickly.”

Charles Oakley NBA Profile

Charles Oakley, 54 years old and sporting gray hair these days, had a 19-year career in the NBA. The 6’8″, 245-lb power forward was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the 9th pick in 1985 NBA Draft, but never played a game for the Cavs. Instead, he was traded to the Chicago Bulls, where he was a key contributor and enforcer in Michael Jordan’s early years in Chicago.

Charles Oakley: New York Knights

Oakley’s most famous stint in the NBA was his 10 years with the New York Knicks. After 4 seasons with the Bulls, Oakley was traded to the Knicks for 7’1″ center Bill Cartwright. The move made sense, as the Bulls needed a center and Oakley played the same position as Horace Grant, who went on to play a key role in the Bulls’ first three world titles. Jordan resented the move, though, and is said to have made Bill Cartwright a focus of ridicule, due to his resentment over the team trading Jordan’s main enforcer when teams targeted him.

In New York City, Charles Oakley became a key member of a New York Knicks team that helped redefine toughness and intimidation in the NBA. The Knicks’ front court of Patrick Ewing, Oakley, and Anthony Mason became the league’s most aggressive defensive unit in the years after the Detroit Pistons’ Bad Boys fell from prominence. The Knicks of the era, who ironically were coached by Pat Riley of the LA Laker’s “Showtime Era”, were known for their bitter and bruising rivalries with the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, and Miami Heat.

Charles Oakley’s NBA Legacy

The Knicks reached the NBA Finals in two years during that era (1994, 1999), but lost to the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs, respectively. By the time of the second finals appearance, Charles Oakley had been traded to the Toronto Raptors. He would play for the Raptors, Bulls, Washington Wizards (alongside Jordan), and Houston Rockets over the course of his final 5 seasons in the league. In the 2010-2011 season, Oakley was an assistant coach with the Charlotte Bobcats, once again at the behest of (Bobcats’ owner) Michael Jordan.

Charles Oakley is best known as a skilled defensive player and rebounder, who helped set the tone for an era of NBA basketball known for its most physical and defensive-minded era. Eventually, NBA Commissioner David Stern led a movement to change the NBA’s defense and foul rules, which led to the current more freewheeling style that favors smaller players and guard play.

Lawsuit vs. James Dolan & MSG

At present, Charles Oakley has a civil lawsuit which alleges defamation and libel against New York Knicks’ owner James Dolan and Madison Square Garden. The lawsuit stemmed from an incident in February 2017 in which Charles Oakley was forcefully removed from Madison Square Garden and subsequently arrested.

The New York Police Department charged Oakley with misdemeanor assault and trespassing, among other minor charges. Eventually, the charges were dropped and Charles Oakley filed suit.

Charles Oakley’s Philanthropy

Charles Oakley is known for his charity work. In July 2018, the Oakley Foundation teamed up with the Ricky Davis Legacy Foundation to provide meals and Detroit Piston tickets to underprivileged children in their hometown of Detroit. Oakley and Davis, a former NBA star who plays in the Big Three Basketball League, stopped by an NSO homeless shelter to pay a visit and give away from tickets.

Oakley, who was manning the grill at the NSO shelter at the time, said, “We try to do something in every city we go to Big 3. Just trying to see people happy, a lot of times people can’t get a good meal so they’re going to get a good meal today.”

Ricky Davis added, “Growing up on the streets and seeing everything and seeing that these guys just need a little love sometimes.”