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The Knicks have been stingy when it comes to retiring their players’ numbers for posterity.
Hanging in the Garden rafters are the elite contributors who have either won a Knicks championship or the guy considered the greatest player in their history — Patrick Ewing.
That is why Charles Oakley’s recent admission is more than shocking. Oakley claimed that during conciliatory talks with the Knicks sometime after the 2017 ejection incident, team ownership offered to retire his No. 34 in a ceremony.
And — even more stunning — Oakley refused the over-the-top offer.
“They came to me and said they were going to retire my jersey, do this and do that,” Oakley said on James Posey’s podcast in February. “And I’m like, ‘Nah, you can’t buy me that easy. If you retire the jersey, that benefits you, that ain’t benefitting me.’”
Oakley said he didn’t want to have it done because it was a ticket-selling scheme.
“If you want to put it outside with the flag, and people don’t have to pay to come in and see it … let them drive past and see it,’’ Oakley said. “Let it be a tourist spot.”
And so the Oakley-James Dolan feud continues on. Oakley has not appeared at the Garden since his forcible ejection that led to an arrest and lawsuits.
This issue came to light after former coach Jeff Van Gundy said in a documentary that Oakley should have his number retired.
It’s long been a source of contention that Hall of Famer Bernard King never had his No. 30 raised to the rafters. Richie Guerin, a star from the 1950s who lives in Florida, also has complained about not having his No. 9 retired. Carmelo Anthony has talked about the hope of having his No. 7 lofted to the MSG ceiling.
Oakley, the power forward enforcer on the great Knicks teams of the 1990s, lost some clout with the fan base for bashing Ewing. While “The Last Dance” documentary on Michael Jordan and the Bulls dynasty was airing last spring, Oakley told The Post that Ewing not living up to his superstar status helped cause their 1993 playoff loss to the Bulls.
The players who have their jersey numbers retired include: Walt Frazier (10), Earl Monroe (15), Dick McGuire (15), Bill Bradley (24), Willis Reed (19), Dave DeBusschere (22), Dick Barnett (12) and Ewing (33).
A Garden spokesperson didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.
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