As the Wilpon family looks set to get out of ownership, there are assets other than the New York Mets organization itself that could be available for purchase.
One of those is SNY, the cable home of the Mets that is partially owned by the Wilpons. According to Thornton McEnery of the New York Post, Knicks owner James Dolan could be interested in purchasing SNY to merge it with MSG Network, forming a network that owns both basketball and baseball games.
There is some belief that Dolan could even look at forming part of an ownership group to buy the Mets, but this is seen as less likely.
“Jim Dolan buying the Mets sounds crazy at first,” one banker with knowledge of both Dolan and the Mets sale told the Post. “But he has always wanted to merge [the MSG Network] with another local sports channel. He needs baseball, and that might require taking a shot at the Mets.”
Owning SNY would allow for a year-round revenue stream with live sports. Major League Baseball, however, is unlikely to be pleased with the prospect of any Dolan ownership.
Mets ownership speculation opened up in a major way after things fell through with prospective buyer Steve Cohen. It has led to some pretty wild chatter, and Dolan is unlikely to be the last big name we hear linked to this.
It looks like James Dolan is going to have to keep waiting if he wants to reconcile with Charles Oakley.
Oakley has appealed after his lawsuit against Dolan and Madison Square Garden was thrown out.
NEW: Charles Oakley has appealed the dismissal of his federal court defamation and assault and battery lawsuit against James Dolan and Madison Square Garden. He filed his notice of appeal to the Second Circuit just one day after his case was dismissed.#NoJusticeNoPeace pic.twitter.com/WvlADPnAB9
— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) February 22, 2020
Oakley alleged assault and battery and defamation in his lawsuit, which stems from a bizarre incident at MSG in February 2017. The suit was initially tossed for failing to meet the standards required of a federal suit. Oakley is clearly undeterred and is keeping the process going, even though it’s hard to see him having better luck in appeals court.
Dolan, the owner of the New York Knicks, had voiced his hope for reconciliation after the initial lawsuit was dismissed. If there was any doubt from Oakley’s side before, that definitely won’t be happening.
Charles Oakley was unsuccessful with his civil lawsuit against the New York Knicks, and team owner James Dolan is hoping the two sides can now put the issue behind them and possibly move toward reconciling.
A judge dismissed Oakley’s lawsuit against Dolan and the Madison Square Garden Company on Wednesday, ruling that the former Knicks star “failed to allege a plausible legal claim that can meet federal legal standards.” Dolan issued a statement saying he is hopeful there can now be peace between Oakley and the organization.
Madison Square Garden statement on Charles Oakley’s civil suit being dismissed by a judge today: “We thank the court for its ruling. This was an incident that no one was happy about. Maybe now there can be peace between us.”
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 19, 2020
Oakley’s lawsuit stemmed from an incident in February 2017 in which he was escorted from Madison Square Garden and arrested. He was seen getting into a confrontation with security guards after he allegedly criticized Dolan in what the team described as a “highly inappropriate and abusive manner.”
Oakley ended up charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault, one misdemeanor count of aggravated harassment and one misdemeanor count of trespassing in addition to two counts of harassment. He agreed to a plea deal that gave him six months of probation and a one-year ban from MSG.
Judging by some of his more recent comments about the Knicks, we doubt Oakley will want to have a relationship with the team as long as Dolan remains owner.
James Dolan says he is not selling the New York Knicks.
Dolan issued a statement on Thursday to say two things. One, they are looking to hire a team president. And two, he is not selling the team.
Statement from Madison Square Garden Executive Chairman and CEO James L. Dolan: pic.twitter.com/91G6Qf8OBc
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) February 6, 2020
Dolan’s statement comes the same day as reports saying the Knicks are working to hire agent Leon Rose as their president of basketball operations. Rose and William Wesley (aka “Worldwide Wes”) would help run the team.
Fans who have been disenchanted with the franchise have repeatedly taunted Dolan with “sell the team” chants, but Dolan will not give them their wish. Instead, he’s hoping these front office changes will help improve things.
The New York Knicks were immediately linked to Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri after firing president Steve Mills, as the franchise has long been interested in his services. Owner James Dolan, however, may have lost the appetite for such a pursuit.
Speaking Wednesday on the “Woj & Lowe Trade Deadline Show,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said his growing belief is that Dolan is simply no longer willing to try to clear the hurdles that would be associated with a pursuit of Ujiri.
“As much as he’s coveted Masai Ujiri, the hurdles that it would take to get there from draft compensation to Toronto allowing him out of his contract to Masai wanting to do this, he seems that he has lost his desire to go forward and chase that,” Wojnarowski said.
Initial reporting from Woj himself stated that Ujiri would be the Knicks’ top target, but that talk has cooled quickly within 24 hours. Dolan appears to want a quick resolution to this job search, and chasing Ujiri might require a more drawn-out process. Walking away from Ujiri may also be easier if, as reported, other top executives want the Knicks job.
Ultimately, there’s little clarity on where this search will land. It does appear, however, that the chances of the Knicks landing Ujiri are rapidly decreasing.
The New York Knicks made a major change on Tuesday when they fired president of basketball operations Steve Mills, and team owner James Dolan may now look to two of the most successful franchises in the NBA for a blueprint of how to rebuild his front office.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski report that Dolan is considering a front office model that is similar to the ones that are in place with the Warriors and Lakers — two teams that have former player agents running their basketball operations departments.
ESPN Sources with @ramonashelburne: Knicks owner Jim Dolan is already considering a front office model that is working with Golden State (Bob Myers) and the Lakers (Rob Pelinka): Hiring a top basketball executive out of the player agent ranks.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 4, 2020
Obviously, the model has worked in Golden State and Los Angeles. The Warriors have won multiple championships under Meyers’ leadership, and the Lakers are one of the favorites to win the title this year. The Knicks, on the other hand, have not reached the postseason in five years. They believed they were going to straighten things out when they hired Phil Jackson, but that turned out to be a disaster.
Dolan is reportedly eyeing one of the best executives in the NBA, but there are a lot of reasons the Knicks owner probably won’t get him. Hiring a former player agent would not be a bad idea, though it obviously depends on the person.
There are very few team owners in professional sports history who have faced more criticism than James Dolan, and the majority of it is warranted. However, the New York Knicks boss deserves credit for a kind gesture he made this week.
A memorial service was held for former NBA commissioner David Stern at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Tuesday. The venue is owned by Dolan’s company, The Madison Square Garden Company. According to SNY’s Ian Begley, Dolan covered all of the expenses for the event honoring Stern.
Nice gesture by the Knicks, who get banged around a lot but deserve credit here. Also worth noting: expenses for the David Stern Memorial event were covered by NYK owner James Dolan, whose company owns Radio City Music Hall. https://t.co/KulqCY66gk
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) January 22, 2020
We know Dolan is a billionaire who owns the venue where the service was held, but that was still a nice gesture no matter how you look at it.
Dolan takes a ton of heat for the way he runs the Knicks, and the results speak for themselves. The team has not been to the postseason in the past six years. There’s no question Dolan does a poor job on the basketball side, but he did the right thing in helping the NBA community and others pay tribute to Stern.