New York Knicks' circus keeps finding new ways to amaze

NEW YORK -- A truly bizarre night at Madison Square Garden began with New York Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek talking about all of the off-the-court drama he has dealt with this season. Hornacek knew there would be off-court issues in New York. He wasn't blind to the franchise's penchant of making headlines for all of the wrong reasons over the past 15-plus years.

"And it's lived up to the billing," Hornacek said about 90 minutes before tipoff of the Knicks' game against the Los Angeles Clippers, which the Clippers won 119-115. "It's been something all year."

There was no way for Hornacek to know what was coming later Wednesday night, because how could anyone know?

No one knew that Charles Oakley would end up in handcuffs in a back hallway at Madison Square Garden, surrounded by more than a dozen security members as team president Phil Jackson tried to calm him down.

No one could have predicted that Oakley would be arrested and charged with three misdemeanor assault charges and one trespassing charge for striking MSG security.

This wasn't as much an example of dysfunction as it was a sad scene. A former Knick who had enjoyed so many great moments at MSG was hauled away in handcuffs.

But if you were looking for examples of more bizarre Knicks behavior, you could find them elsewhere on Wednesday.

There was Carmelo Anthony having to talk yet again about a cryptic tweet from Jackson, his boss.

This time, Jackson tweeted about a column published by Bleacher Report that eviscerated Anthony. It doesn't take an exhaustive investigation to conclude that this was an attempt by Jackson to get under the skin of a player that the franchise has been shopping in trade talks.

Anthony, as he has after all of these incidents, took the high road.

"I am beyond the point where it bothers me," Anthony said of Jackson's latest veiled critique. "At this point, I am beyond that."

Anthony joked that when Jackson compared him to a leopard, he "got the animal wrong" because Anthony's favorite animal is a black jaguar.

When asked if he took the tweet as Jackson trying to get Anthony to waive his no-trade clause so Jackson could run him out of New York, Anthony said, "To be quite honest with you, I don't look at it that deeply."

Chalk it all up to another example of Jackson alienating his star forward, and Anthony, publicly at least, taking it in stride.

We'll find out in less than 15 days if Anthony is here beyond the trade deadline or if Jackson gets his wish and finds a scenario that leads to Anthony waiving his no-trade clause.

In between now and then, you can be sure that there will be more wrinkles to this story, more evidence to support the theory that there's dysfunction at Madison Square Garden.

But what happened Wednesday -- all of it, from the star player talking about his boss' passive-aggressive tweets to Oakley's arrest -- made for one of the most bizarre nights in the building's history. And that's saying something.