NEW YORK — Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan banned Charles Oakley from the arena Friday, though said he was open to reconciling with the former Knicks forward.

In an interview with ESPN Radio’s Michael Kay, Dolan also confirmed a report that he had fired the Garden’s security chief, two nights after Oakley was forcefully removed from his seat and arrested at a Knicks game. Dolan said the firing of the security head stemmed from more than just the handling of the incident.

The Knicks said Oakley was “abusive” Wednesday even before reaching his seats in the first quarter, and on Friday distributed a witness report featuring more than a dozen witnesses who described his behavior and their interactions with him.

Dolan said Oakley used racial and sexual overtones and that games must remain safe for fans, so he was enforcing the ban.

“We are going to put the ban in place and hopefully it won’t be forever,” Dolan said.

He praised Oakley as a great Knick and said he hoped that the power forward would be able to join his former teammates to be honored on the court someday.

But he said Oakley first must address what he characterized as anger issues.

“He should be up there being recognized because the fans do love him,” Dolan said. “But this behavior just doesn’t work with that.”

Oakley maintains he did nothing wrong before arena security approached him his seat Wednesday, just a few rows behind Dolan. On Friday, reported that Frank Benedetto, the senior vice president for security at the Madison Square Garden Company, was fired Friday.

“That was just a situation where the person didn’t work out and this was probably the last straw,” Dolan said.


NUGGETS 131, KNICKS 123: Nikola Jokic scored a career-high 40 points to lead the Denver at New York.

Former Knicks forward Wilson Chandler added 19 points and Jameer Nelson had 16 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets.

Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points against his former team.

HEAT 108, NETS 99: James Johnson scored a season-high 26 points and visiting Miami won its 13th straight game, beating beleaguered Brooklyn.

Goran Dragic had 21 points and Tyler Johnson added 18 for the Heat, who trailed by 11 in the third quarter.

SPURS 103, PISTONS 92: Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points and San Antonio never trailed in an easy road win.

Dewayne Dedmon had 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Spurs, both season highs.

WIZARDS 112, PACERS 107: In a matchup between two of the NBA’s top teams since New Year’s Day, John Wall heard “MVP!” chants while producing 26 points and 14 assists to lead Washington at home.

Wall accounted for eight of Washington’s last nine points as the Wizards pulled away from a 1-point game.

PELICANS 122, TIMBERWOLVES 106: Anthony Davis had 42 points and 13 rebounds to win a duel with Karl-Anthony Towns and lift New Orleans to a win at Minneapolis.

Towns scored 36 points.

LAKERS 122, BUCKS 114: Nick Young scored 26 points and Los Angeles overcame a career-high 41 points by Giannis Antetokounmpo in a road win.