The writing’s been on the wall for years.
Maybe New York Knicks owner James Dolan is finally finished treating his franchise like an expensive but neglected toy and is truly considering giving Knicks fans what they have dreamed about for so long.
Dolan, 63, has put the New York Liberty up for sale and said this week that he couldn’t rule out selling the Knicks if the right offer came along. Dolan, who is chairman of Madison Square Garden and also owns the New York Rangers, told ESPN’s Ian O’Connor in an interview released Monday that there have been “feelers” of offers upward of $5 billion for the Knicks, but that “no one has come through with a bona fide offer.”
“You hear numbers all the time,” Dolan told ESPN when asked about selling the team. “… I think people have sent feelers out, but never any that were pursued. Yeah, [the feelers are] around that number [$5 billion], but those things, it’s like a stock price. It’s only important if you’re going to buy or sell.”
Dolan is 63-years-old and still very much the jet-setter, enjoying his ownership of the Knicks and Rangers, “but you still have a responsibility to your shareholders, ” he said.
“You have a responsibility as the guy who runs the place to deliver on that for them, that’s being open and transparent. And so in that position, I could never say that I wouldn’t consider selling the Knicks.
Now, my family is not in that position, and they are the majority shareholders. They hold the majority of the vote. … As a majority owner, I don’t want to sell, either. 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.”
With fingers crossed, here are 3 Reasons Why Dolan Should Sell The Knicks.
1. Shedding His “Most Hated” Title And Becoming A Hero
RT if you think it is time for Dolan to finally sell the Knicks. pic.twitter.com/eqCEtNl55A
— The Rush (@therushyahoo) December 19, 2018
Simply stated, Dolan doesn’t need to own the Knicks. The Cablevision empire left to him from his dad and other business endeavors provide Dolan and family with more money than they could ever spend in 100 lifetimes. It’s greed, pride, and status that won’t allow him to relinquish the team. Ironically, cutting the Knicks loose would actually change his status in New York from most hated to beloved former owner. People would feel like he actually cares about the city. The narrative that he preys on NY’s robust financial prospects and the loyalty of New Yorkers would change to a more favorable one.
2. Ducking Knicks Fans and Handling PR Disasters Takes Away From His True Passion
Dolan would have more time to travel and pay folks to let his band, JD & The Straight Shot open for them. Dolan has been brainstorming for years now and word has it, the band is more important to his life than the failures of his Knicks team and how he treats former players.
3. There’s No Better Financial Security Than $5 billion In One Shot
If Dolan is truly concerned about the future security of his family and shareholders than a $5 billion cashout should definitely secure all parties involved for life and allow them to purchase other pro franchises or enter other pro ventures. Dolan is rolling in the dough.
He sold Cablevision three years ago to a European company.
James Dolan sells Cablevision for 17.7 billion* … hopefully @nyknicks are next
— IB 🔌 THE GAMBLER (@incarceratedbob) September 17, 2015
He invested that money into the concert business and now is building two cutting-edge venues in Las Vegas and London for $1 billion each. All the while MSG stock has been elevating each season.
Selling the Knicks wouldn’t affect his MSG profits one bit. He’s the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG), a leading live entertainment company renowned for its world-famous arena complex, professional sports teams, entertainment properties, and historic performances. Dolan also serves as Executive Chairman of MSG Networks Inc.
His biggest headache and what he catches the most flack for is about is his handling of the Knicks who went 80-166 during the Phil Jackson Era. Last year, infamous Dolan wrote a song for the sports website Deadspin’s annual awards show in which he sang, “You know I own a basketball team / For most people that would be a dream / For a trust fund kid it’s a living hell / Always some asshole telling me to sell.”
Here’s an idea: Dolan has an All-Black front office. Why not sell the team to new, All-Black ownership group led by Oprah, P.Diddy, Jay-Z, and Beyonce and become a groundbreaker instead of the miracle crusher he’s been for Knicks fans the past two decades.
Two Decades of Destruction, Disgrace
Dolan’s 20-year run as Knicks owner began in 1999, just as their golden 90s era was fading. The team made the NBA Finals in his inaugural year and then it was all downhill, as the team has been an NBA doormat, blowing through seven team presidents and 12 head coaches — only two of whom (Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Woodson) could muster winning records.
ESPN’s Ian O’Connor summed up Dolan’s legacy best:
“Dolan is not primarily known for his series of sports- and entertainment-business successes, including league-best franchise valuations for the NBA’s New York Knicks ($3.6 billion, according to Forbes research) and NHL’s New York Rangers ($1.55 billion), or for the 129 postseason games has Rangers played over a dozen seasons, before they wrote their fans in February with plans to rebuild.
The James Dolan Theory:
Knicks w/ James Dolan (19 years)
– 13 Coaches
– 14 losing seasons
– 655 Wins
– 887 Losses https://t.co/FUUej8JG0S
— It’s a Hard Knicks Life (@HardKnicksLife) August 6, 2018
Dolan is best known as the overlord of the Knicks’ never-ending futility and as the master of public relations disasters stretching from the lost 2007 courtroom battle to a female executive named Anucha Browne Sanders, ruled the victim of a hostile work environment, to the 2017 scene of beloved former Knick Charles Oakley being hauled out of the Garden by Dolan’s security team before he was arrested and cuffed.”
Those are memories and stains on his legacy that I’m sure Dolan wants to leave behind, regardless of how filthy rich(er) owning the Knicks have made him. Maybe he’ll do it for the right price. Knicks fans are praying on it.