Durant and Irving swerved Knicks' 'toxic situation' - Oakley

The New York Knicks missed out on top free agents like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving due to a "toxic situation" at the franchise, according to Charles Oakley.

Durant announced on Sunday he has decided to leave the Golden State Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets, where Irving is set to land after two seasons with the Boston Celtics.

Former Knicks star Oakley suggested the organisation's culture is the reason for their failure to sign top free agents this offseason.

"Why are they missing out? New York ain't New York no more," Oakley told WFAN Sports Radio.

"There's a lot of stuff going on. It's not a smooth operation and players don't want to be around a lot of that stuff going on.

"They want to be somewhere they can relax, have fun - it don't have to be a big city no more.

"You can have all the money you want, under the cap, but you have to have everything else in the house tight too.

"For the fans, New York is New York, but for the players now, it's just a different ball game. I mean, they don't want to be around a bad, toxic situation."

Oakley was involved in an altercation at Madison Square Garden with Knicks owner James Dolan in 2017. He was thrown out of and later banned from the arena and he believes the incident has left a sour taste for many in the game.

"I've talked to a lot of guys, and I've talked to a lot of guys representing too, and a lot of them are upset about what happened two years ago," Oakley said.

"People respect me. A lot of stuff that went on wasn't right, and from the commissioner on down, nobody has tried to address it, but the players have seen it for themselves.

"They're not trying to go to an environment where someone says something, and somebody is going to come talk to him with an axe, or someone is going to come and put handcuffs on him. They don't want that kind of environment.

"I just feel bad for the city of New York, the fans that give their heart and soul and sweat and tears to come to games, and they have to keep going through this."

The Knicks have reportedly agreed to terms with Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Reggie Bullock, Taj Gibson and Wayne Ellington.

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