New York fans can thank James Dolan for never landing LeBron James ... so says Knicks legend Charles Oakley, who claims the King's main reason for not signing in the Big Apple was the controversial owner.
Oakley recalled a conversation he had with Bron during the 2014 season in his new book, 'The Last Enforcer,' ... which happened after Oak met Dolan for the first time.
Oak claims the Knicks owner refused to shake hands or even look at him throughout the interaction at All-Star Weekend ... and when he relayed what happened to LeBron, the Chosen One had words of his own.
"I walked back to LeBron and said, 'This motherf***er (Dolan) wouldn't shake my hand,'" Oakley claims. "All LeBron said was, 'This is why I'm never going to New York.'"
Oakley says he was shocked by Dolan's coldness at the time ... saying, "You would have thought I did something to his wife."
"I didn't do anything to this man. What did I ever say that was so bad that he would ignore me like that? I wondered. Man, I wanted to hit him in the head."
Of course, Oakley and LeBron have been good friends for quite some time ... so it's no surprise the 4-time champ would have the Cleveland native's back in the feud.
Tension between Dolan and Oakley reached a boiling point during an incident at Madison Square Garden in 2017, when Oak was hauled out of the arena and arrested by NYPD for getting physical with security staffers.
Oakley -- who spent 10 seasons with the Knicks -- was banned from the Garden (at the behest of Dolan) ... and while the ban was lifted, he has not yet returned to the Mecca.
As for LeBron, he eventually returned to the Cavaliers instead of joining the Knicks ... and won a championship for the city of Cleveland in 2016.