James Dolan insists he will not sell the New York Knicks despite the team’s struggles and his negative perception among the fanbase.
Dolan was involved in a high-profile exchange with a fan over the weekend. He was shown on video banning a fan who heckled him by saying “sell the team.”
Dolan, who oversees the Knicks, has long been a target of fans for running an unsuccessful franchise that has been the subject of media fodder for many years. He went on “The Michael Kay Show” on YES Network Tuesday to address the fan incident and stated clearly he would not sell the Knicks.
James L. Dolan "I am not selling the team, I am not quitting"
— Kay Show on YES (@TMKSonYES) March 12, 2019
Dolan said he probably would not have continued with a ban for the fan until discovering the fan’s intentions were to have a premeditated confrontation.
The Knicks fan James Dolan kicked out from MSG this weekend has been banned from the arena, Dolan says. He says he intended to bring him back and schmooze him but now says he thinks the fan made a pre-meditated confrontation with him so he's now banned. Dolan says he was ambushed
— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) March 12, 2019
Dolan is a notoriously thin-skinned owner, and his actions as such reflect poorly on the team. He kicked out a famous actor for being too critical of the team. He called to complain about negative ads aimed at the team two years ago. He even banned a franchise legend from attending games.
Dolan’s actions and censorship style of management is harmful to the team and especially bad for the league as a whole given that they are a flagship franchise.
Rumors have been swirling for months that New York Knicks owner James Dolan could be in the early stages of trying to sell the team, but he continues to insist that is not the case.
Over the weekend, Bill Simmons of The Ringer said on his podcast that he was told by multiple people he trusts that Dolan is courting offers to sell the Knicks. In a statement issued to Larry Brown Sports on Monday, the Madison Square Garden Company said any talk of Dolan putting the team up for sale is “100 percent false.”
“The story is 100% false. There has been nothing. No discussions. No plans to have discussions – nothing,” the statement read.
Simmons said Dolan is seeking $5 billion and wants to sell the Knicks without including Madison Square Garden, which sounds a bit ridiculous. Perhaps the situation is one where Dolan would sell the team if he was totally blown away by an offer but is not actively shopping the franchise.
Dolan did not rule out selling the Knicks back in December, but he explained that you can never completely close the door on a sale when you have shareholders and investors. Despite that, we’ve seen how sensitive he gets over criticism of his struggling NBA franchise. Given how tortured Knicks fans have been in recent years and how fed up they are with Dolan, it would not be a surprise if he wanted to move on from the basketball side of things.
James Dolan set off a wave of excitement among New York Knicks fans recently when he did not rule out the possibility of selling the team, and it sounds like the billionaire may be giving a potential sale more thought than he is willing to admit.
During his latest podcast, Bill Simmons of The Ringer said multiple sources that he trusts told him during All-Star Weekend that Dolan is openly fielding offers to sell the Knicks.
“James Dolan is courting offers for the Knicks,” Simmons said. “He really cares about buildings and the in-game/in-concert experience, and he wants to put even more money into that. Like The Forum in LA, which is an amazing place to see a concert, what they’ve done with Madison Square Garden. He really cares about the buildings.”
Dolan’s company owns Madison Square Garden, and he is the chairman and CEO of the Madison Square Garden Company and executive chairman of MSG Networks. A deal involving the Knicks could be quite complicated — if not farfetched — if he just wants to sell the team itself. According to Simmons, that’s exactly what Dolan is aiming to do.
“The Knicks are just a pain in the a–. People s— on him for it. He feels like if he can just sell the Knicks for some crazy price, he can put that money back into some of the music and game experience stuff that he cares about,” Simmons added. “The Knicks are available, from what I’ve heard.”
Simmons said Dolan is seeking $5 billion for the Knicks without including MSG. That price seems asinine just for the team and not the venue, and Dolan is probably aiming high without actually expecting to get that much.
When speculation began growing back in December that the Knicks are for sale, Dolan threw cold water on the talk and said he is not ruling it out simply because you can’t rule out a sale when you have shareholders and investors. That said, we’ve seen how sensitive he gets over criticism of his struggling NBA franchise. It would not be all that difficult to believe that he wants to move on from the basketball side of things.
New York Knicks owner James Dolan did not rule out the possibility of selling the team this week in a lengthy interview, but he insists that does not mean the franchise is on the verge of changing hands.
ESPN’s Ian O’Connor published a lengthy profile on Dolan, and Dolan said in it that it is his responsibility to the the shareholders of the team to always keep the option of selling open. While he said his family, the majority shareholders, don’t want to sell, he explained why he can’t rule it out.
“As a majority owner, I don’t want to sell, either,” Dolan said. “As the head of the public company, you can’t say you can’t sell, because then you’re telling your shareholders that your own personal feelings about your assets are more important than their money. And they won’t invest with you if you do that.”
That makes sense from a business perspective, but many took it to mean the Knicks are for sale. Dolan clarified that there are no plans to sell the franchise in the near future.
Through his spokesperson, James Dolan states: "As we have previously stated, there are no plans to sell the Knicks.” Dolan referring to the online piece talking about looking out for his stockholders.
— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) December 17, 2018
Many Knicks fans would prefer that Dolan sell the team and move on, and Dolan has shown on several occasions how sensitive he is about criticism of his struggling franchise. Unless something changes, a sale does not appear likely to happen anytime soon.
- James Dolan
Charles Oakley may have found another ally in his anti-James Dolan crusade.
Actor Ethan Hawke appeared this week on “The Bill Simmons Podcast” and revealed that he used to have free tickets to New York Knicks home games until Dolan took them away for his public criticisms of the team.
“I’ve been a Knicks fan a long time, but I got kicked out of the Garden. They won’t give me tickets anymore,” he said, per CBS Sports’ Pete Blackburn. “I’m being serious. I’m being dead serious. I really was vocal on some talk shows like this that I thought it was a huge mistake to let [ex-coach] Mike [D’Antoni] go and I would have bet on Mike before I bet on Melo [Carmelo Anthony].
“I have been left team-less,” Hawke continued. “The point is that I’m not wanted and I don’t go where I’m not wanted. It’s hard to be a fan for a place that doesn’t like you. One person who owns [the team] … I called up one night and they said it would be $7,800. I was like, ‘Oh, um, oh, why is this the first time you guys are charging me?’ They said that you should have thought of that before you went on The Jimmy Fallon Show. I was like, ‘Wow, this is real.’ So I’ve apologized publicly many times to try and get my seats again.”
Granted, Dolan was well within his rights to rescind the “Boyhood” actor’s tickets, especially since they were free to begin with. But for an owner who is known for his pettiness and thin skin, it’s a move that seems very true to form.
A series of advertisements bashing the Knicks appeared on a New York City subway Tuesday, and owner James Dolan isn’t exactly taking them too well.
According to a report by SportsNet New York’s Adam Zagoria, a “furious” Dolan personally called 21st Century FOX CEO and chairman Rupert Murdoch (the ads were part of a campaign by FOX Sports 1) to complain.
More from Zagoria:
Knicks owner Jim Dolan called Rupert Murdoch on Tuesday and was “furious” about the new Knicks’ Hopeless ad campaign sponsored by FS1 that is running in New York City subways, an industry source said.
They are “dealing with a s–tstorm internally at Fox,” the source said. “If you post something like this you have to expect Dolan’s wrath.”
For what it’s worth though, the ads are reportedly coming down.
Told Knicks didn’t know of FS1 subway ad wrap that bashed team, is being taken down. pic.twitter.com/9Zvv7nX005
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) October 3, 2017
H/T Awful Announcing
- James Dolan
Phil Jackson’s future with the New York Knicks is reportedly in question.
The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported late Tuesday that Knicks owner James Dolan is considering firing Jackson, who has served as team president for three seasons.
Woj says Dolan is concerned about Jackson’s plans to lead the Knicks considering the team president was entertaining trades for Kristaps Porzingis. Woj also reports that Dolan is questioning Jackson’s fitness to serve in his role as team president. Perhaps Dolan read this story talking about Jackson falling asleep during a prospect’s workout.
Jackson was hired by the Knicks a little over three years ago to run the team’s front office. He received a five-year, $60 million deal. At first he was operating in somewhat of a hands-off manner before realizing he needed to be in New York more often to do the job properly.
The Knicks have not won more than 32 games in a season since Jackson took over. His tenure has been marred by a series of bad decisions and controversies, ranging from head coach Derek Fisher’s issues with Matt Barnes, to butting heads with Carmelo Anthony, to players complaining about the triangle, and now to the Porzingis trade rumors. It doesn’t take much to see that the Knicks could use more stable leadership.