There is a chance that the New York Knicks could make its way through the two-decade tempest that is the ownership of James Dolan.
According to a report from Aaron Elstein of Crain’s, Dolan, who is the executive chairman and CEO of Madison Square Garden Co. “may be laying the groundwork” to sell the Knicks:
“Dolan announced he was exploring a spin-off that would separate the Knicks and Rangers from the rest of Madison Square Garden. While Dolan would remain in charge of the teams, at least at first, putting them together in a separate public company woul doffer him the chance to whittle down his stake easily if he chooses. Dolan is understood to be more interested in music and building cutting-edge entertainment venues than sports.”
It is worth noting that Dolan is the headlining name in his band “JD and the Straight Shot,” which received national attention when he opted to play a show on the night of the 2017 NBA Draft. That’s when Phil Jackson, in one of his final moves as team president, selected Frank Ntilikina with the eighth-overall pick.
Shortly after Dolan’s actions went public, shares in MSG Co. “soared”.
While Dolan also owns the Rangers, a team that has made the playoffs in 11 of the past 13 years, he has become a villain of Knicks fans everywhere due to the organization’s mediocrity and ineptitude ever since he took over in 1999. That was a big year for the Knicks, who were in the playoffs for the 12th-straight year and made the NBA Finals for the first time since 1994.
Since then though, the Knicks have made the postseason just six times and have missed the playoffs in each of the past five years. They haven’t had a winning season since 2012-13 and have been one of the most abysmal franchises in the league since the 63-year-old took over.
Dolan has been at the center of plenty of controversies, whether it’s been the coaching carousel that has seen nine men lead the Knicks bench since 1999, being named a defendant in the Anucha Browne-Sanders sexual harassment case that accused former head coach and GM Isiah Thomas, and his scathing reply to a letter written by 73-year-old fan Irving Bierman among others.
It even led former NBA commissioner David Stern to admit that Dolan’s leadership was “not the model of intelligent management.”