James Dolan and Charles Oakley are no longer being ordered to talk to each other

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The Dolan-Oakley chat is off. At least for now.

The attorneys from both sides of Oakley’s civil suit are only required to participate in the conference call scheduled for Tuesday, according to a new mediation order from the U.S. Court of Appeals. Knicks owner James Dolan and ex-Knick Charles Oakley were previously required to personally participate, but, according to a source, the sense was that a conference call isn’t conducive to such mediation.

Perhaps a face-to-face meeting will spawn from Tuesday’s conference call, but there are several obstacles — including the coronavirus shutdown and Dolan quarantining after testing positive for the virus.

The new mediation order was uncovered by sports legal analyst Daniel Wallach.

Oakley sued Dolan for defamation, assault and false imprisonment after he was arrested and banned from MSG in 2017. Dolan had also implied on radio that Oakley was an alcoholic. A Manhattan judge dismissed the lawsuit last month and the Garden extended an olive branch by releasing a statement that concluded, “Maybe there can be peace between us.” Dolan also hired a brand consultant, Steve Stoute, who publicly expressed a desire to reunite Oakley with the Knicks.

“Listen, I would love to see that thing. As a New York fan, as a friend of Charles Oakley, as somebody a part of the Knicks organization, of course I would love to see that subsided and bring that back,” Stoute said on ESPN. “Charles Oakley is a very big part of New York. He’s a fabric of what the New York Knicks have stood for many years — that toughness, resourcefulness, by-any-means-necessary attitude.”

But Oakley appealed the judge’s decision on the lawsuit — which led to the court-ordered mediation — and hasn’t backed down from criticizing Dolan. Not long after Knicks superfan Spike Lee got into an argument with Garden security and claimed he was being harassed by Dolan, Oakley said the organization is run “like a plantation.”

Dolan has been reportedly holed up in his Hamptons home after becoming the first NBA owner to test positive for the coronavirus. Dolan has “little to no symptoms” and is still running his businesses, according to the Knicks. The unpopular billionaire also earned some goodwill after agreeing to pay the event staffs through at least May 3 despite his arenas shutting down because of the pandemic.

A previous mediation attempt in 2017 between Dolan and Oakley, which was facilitated by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, failed.


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