Green: 'Slave-owner mentality' remarks about Dolan 'came off the wrong way'

USA Today Sports

Golden State Warriors All-Star Draymond Green didn't beat around the bush during his "Dray Day" podcast earlier in the week when assessing New York Knicks owner James Dolan's handling of Charles Oakley, saying he had a "slave-owner mentality" in dealing with the former enforcer.

Green used the term to criticize Dolan for having no problem with Oakley when his outspoken nature benefited the Knicks on the hardwood at Madison Square Garden, but now that he's retired, the franchise wants nothing to do with him.

It was a controversial choice of words by the 26-year-old, which he told Marc Stein and Marc Kestecher during a recent appearance on ESPN's Meet the All-Stars "came off the wrong way."

"Number one, I never said James Dolan has a slave master mentality," Green said, according to ESPN. "I said when you look at something and someone is doing something for someone and all of a sudden they can't anymore, that falls under the slave mentality. ...

"I can't say James Dolan is a racist. I don't know James Dolan. Honestly, if he walked past me right now, I wouldn't know who he is."

Even so, Green won't backtrack on his overall opinion, as he still feels Dolan and the Knicks went too far in trying to bury Oakley, from forcibly removing him from MSG, banning him (then lifting the ban), and implying he had personal issues in a public statement following the incident.

"I thought it was unfair the way Oakley was treated. I thought some of the things said about Charles Oakley - from James Dolan, from the New York Knicks twitter handle -- some of the things said about Oakley was wrong, and I still feel that way," Green added. "However, I think that was a mistake by Dolan and a mistake by the Knicks, then I followed up and made the same mistake.

"Like I said, I don't know (Dolan). I could never say he's a racist or he has a slave owner's mentality. I don't know if he has that. That's just how the situation looked to me from the outside looking in. And so that came off the wrong way and it wasn't what I meant by it.

"But what I meant by it, there should be a respect level between players, ownership, staff, people who work in the organization, the league office, former players. It's a family. And I think there should always be a respect level that is kept amongst the family, and I don't think that situation it was necessarily kept."