New York Knicks owner James Dolan sat down for an interview with The New York Times writer Katherine Rosman to discuss his ownership of the NBA team and the NHL’s New York Rangers.
While the Knicks and Rangers are “near and dear to my heart,” he said, “I don’t really like owning teams,” labeling the business of running major league sports “kind of sleepy.”
More importantly, he ruled out the possibility of selling the clubs, and Dolan at one point thought about buying more venues. “But the venue business is not a great business,” he added.
Per multiple NBA betting sites, the New York Knicks hold 14th-ranked odds to win next season’s 2024 championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, and Cleveland Cavaliers.
I interviewed Jim Dolan, hated by many New Yorkers, over a span of 5 months leading up to the opening of the Sphere. He didn’t shy from much: we talked facial recognition, Charles Oakley, banning lawyers, “Sell the Team” signs, opening for the Eagle, etc https://t.co/eIFJWDcVDV
— katie rosman (@katierosman) September 20, 2023
During the interview, the New York native also mentioned his pet peeve of dealing with unruly fans. “The Madison Square Garden code of conduct prohibits attendees from being confrontational with other fans or Garden employees,” the Knicks owner mentioned.
As a matter of fact, Dolan feels signs like “Sell the Team” are “directed at, on a personal basis, the guy who’s in charge — me,” he said. However, conduct directed toward employees is never touched on in the code of conduct. But it does state that “guests shall be respectful of others around them.”
New York Knicks owner James Dolan is tired of owning professional sports teams, feels Knicks fans need to stop displaying “Sell the Team” signs in Madison Square Garden
What does he feel should be allowed? “If you held up a sign that says, you know, ‘Play better, this team sucks,’ you can do that. That’s part of being a fan,” he explained. The reason it is permissible to verbally attack the team but not the owner, Mr. Dolan said, is because insulting a group is different from insulting one individual.
Of course, the Knicks have not won an NBA championship since 1973. They defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in five games to win their second title in franchise history.
Since New York’s series loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the 1999 NBA Finals, the Knicks have fallen short every season. The Eastern Conference club has suffered five first-round exits in the playoffs this century.
In an interview with ESPN’s Ian O’Connor back in 2018, James Dolan doubled down on his decision to not sell the teams. “I can tell you that nobody in my family wants to sell the Knicks and Rangers. It’s not just my dad. It’s the whole family; my [five] brothers and sisters. They like being owners.”
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