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Monday, September 16, 2019

Articles tagged: James Dolan

James Dolan threw fan out of concert for telling him to sell Knicks

James Dolan

New York Knicks owner James Dolan is known for being very sensitive about fans criticizing him or the team during home games at Madison Square Garden, but apparently he doesn’t want to hear it at music events, either.

Dolan’s latest exchange with a Knicks critic came over the weekend, when he was shown on camera banning a fan who heckled him by telling him to “sell the team.” He claimed he only banned the fan because he believes the fan’s intentions were to have a premeditated confrontation. A Knicks supporter who called out Dolan in a different setting is not buying the billionaire’s excuse.

In response to the latest example of Dolan being thin-skinned, a man who attended a concert in Tennessee featuring Dolan’s band, JD and The Straight Shot, several months ago shared a video that shows Dolan booting him from the venue because he was holding a sign that read “Quit Your Day Job. Sell the Knicks.”

“Why are you here?” Dolan asked the fan in the middle of the show. “You’re a fan of music and you’re holding up that sign? Don’t you think that’s a little negative?”

Dolan then told the man to leave so “everyone else can have a good time.” Here’s what the sign looked like, for those who are wondering:

The Knicks have been terrible for years. They’re one of the worst teams in the NBA this season, and they traded away their best player in Kristaps Porzingis. Dolan is even feuding with newspapers now in addition to fans, and it’s fair to wonder why he doesn’t sell the team. It would not be a surprise if that happens at some point in the near future.

New York Daily News sports editor issues savage response to Knicks owner James Dolan

James Dolan

New York Daily News sports editor Kyle Wagner on Tuesday issued a savage response to Knicks owner James Dolan.

Dolan went on the radio earlier in the day to address many topics, including most notably his publicized exchange with a heckling fan. Another topic that came up in his interview with “The Michael Kay Show” was the team banning Daily News reporter Stefan Bondy from certain press events.

“There are certain journalists that, you know, actually wish ill will toward the team,” Dolan said in defense of his decision. “They have never written a positive story about the team. Like the (Kristaps) Porzingis trade, those guys were like, it’s the most horrible thing, another horrible thing has happened.”

Wagner issued a response shortly after Dolan’s comments.

“MSG’s grudge against the Daily News predates the journalists writing about the Knicks in our pages today,” the statement said. “If the tone of coverage tends to be negative, it’s because the team is 41 games under .500 and has the worst winning percentage in the NBA over the last 20 seasons.”

You can’t deny the facts.

James Dolan insists he will not sell Knicks

James Dolan

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.

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.

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.

Knicks shoot down rumors about James Dolan fielding offers to sell

James Dolan

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 is reportedly fielding offers to sell Knicks

James Dolan

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.

James Dolan responds to talk of him being open to selling Knicks

James Dolan

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.

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 took away actor Ethan Hawke’s tickets for criticizing Knicks

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.