Former New York Knicks star Charles Oakley has accused the team’s owner, James Dolan, of orchestrating an attack on him, according to court papers obtained by The Athletic.

Oakley has been a long-term critic of Dolan, an incredibly unpopular figure among many Knicks fans who believe he has mismanaged the team for years. In February 2017, Oakley was ejected by security staff from a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. Dolan claimed Oakley had been taunting him from a nearby seat. The Knicks subsequently banned their former player from Madison Square Garden and released a statement that said “we hope [Oakley] gets some help soon”, implying – without basis – that Oakley had a problem with alcohol.

Dolan later fired Madison Square Garden’s security chief over the incident.

Oakley, who played for the Knicks from 1988 to 1998, filed a civil suit in September 2017, accusing Dolan of defamation and security staff of assault, battery and false imprisonment. The case was dismissed earlier this year, but Oakley has appealed the decision and in the documents obtained by The Athletic, he says Dolan planned an “assault” on him.

“After filing the Amended Complaint (in 2018), Plaintiff came into possession of evidence that demonstrated that Mr Dolan, too, engaged in sufficient conduct to be held liable for the assault and battery at issue in this case,” read the court documents.

“Specifically, Plaintiff learned the following concerning the moments before and after the alleged assault and battery: during a stoppage in game play, while Plaintiff was not acting boisterously, Mr Dolan, after looking at Plaintiff, called over and conferred with a security guard; that guard then walked away and joined a group of approximately ten other security guards that had assembled on the side of the court.”

The Knicks, Dolan and Madison Square Garden say that Oakley was to blame for the confrontation with security staff and rejected the former player’s claims in a statement to The Athletic.

“All claims against Jim Dolan have been dismissed … so we fully expect the court to once again find this latest attempt entirely without merit,” the statement read.

Oakley is not the only high-profile Knicks fan to have clashed with Dolan. Earlier this year, before Covid-19 closed Madison Square Garden to fans, film director Spike Lee said he would no longer attend home games for the rest of the 2019-20 season after clashing with security staff over the use of an elevator.

Lee said he had has been using an employee entrance for more than two decades as a season ticket holder. The Knicks wanted him to use the arena’s entrance for celebrities, which is two blocks away. “I’m being harassed by James Dolan and I don’t know why,” he said.

After the incident with Lee, Oakley likened Dolan’s management style to a “plantation”.

“It’s a plantation over there. It’s bad,” Oakley said. “People don’t want to talk about it. It’s real bad over there.”