Owning Major Sports Teams Bores Knicks Owner James Dolan: ‘Kind of Sleepy’

Larry Johnson, Latrell Sprewell, James Dolan, Knicks

Getty Former New York Knicks playes Larry Johnson and Latrell Sprewell and Knicks owner James Dolan attend the game between the New York Knicks and the San Antonio Spurs at Madison Square Garden.

Controversial New York Knicks owner James Dolan revealed his true feelings about major sports team ownership in a New York Times profile published on September 20.

“I don’t really like owning teams,” Dolan told the Times.

Dolan, who is the executive chairman and CEO of the corporation that technically owns the Knicks and the NHL’s New York Rangers, said he was not interested in expanding his sports portfolio, even when more than $1 billion in cash and credit was available in 2015.

He described the economics of major league sports to the Times as “kind of sleepy,” despite saying the Knicks and Rangers are “near and dear to my heart.”

Instead of buying another major sports team, he pushed his chips to his most ambitious project: The Sphere in Las Vegas.

Dolan had been vilified by disgruntled Knicks fans — some of them ejected from the Madison Square Garden for showing up with “Sell the team” placards and attorneys who have clients who filed cases against his companies — and by former player Charles Oakley, who was involved in a physical altercation with MSG security in 2017.

Dolan, who has run the two teams since 1999, was unapologetic and stood his ground.

“Basically, every fan thinks of themselves as the owner/general manager,” Dolan told the Times. “Being a professional sports owner in New York, you’re not beloved until you’re dead.”

However, he said fans can criticize the team, but not to the extent of being aggressive toward him or any of his employees.

“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,” Dolan said.

In January 2023, Dolan, 68, told WFAN that he had no plans to sell the teams. According to a January story by CBS Sports, Dolan, who has six sons, had not publicly named a successor, either.

Knicks’ Edge in Potential Giannis Antetokounmpo Bidding War

The Knicks possess what other big-market teams do not have in case a bidding war erupts if the Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo becomes available.

“What the Knicks have going for them is they can return that 2025 Bucks pick to Milwaukee,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on the September 15 episode of his “The Lowe Post” podcast.

Lowe referred to the 2025 top-4 protected pick, which the Knicks acquired from the Kemba Walker-Jalen Durant 2022 draft day trade.

“If you’re the Bucks, you know the picks from the team that gets Giannis are not that appealing because that team is probably going to be very good because Giannis will be on it. The idea of getting picks from teams who are not that team [trading for him], from third teams, including yourself as the Bucks, is an interesting one,” Lowe explained.

The Knicks and the rest of the NBA are monitoring Antetokounmpo, who put the Bucks on the clock in two separate interviews with the New York Times and “48 Minutes” podcast.

Lowe’s hunch is that the two-time MVP might become available as early as next offseason if the Bucks bomb out again in the playoffs next season, with their superstar entering the final year of his supermax deal.

Immanuel Quickley Favored to Win 6th Man of the Year

As Immanuel Quickley‘s future with the Knicks hangs in the balance, oddsmakers have installed him as the favorite to win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award next season finishing runner-up last season.

Quickley is a 5-1 favorite, according to BetOnline, with last season’s winner, Malcolm Brogdon of Boston, trailing him with 7-1 odds.

Two more Knicks reserves have made the betting list.

Josh Hart (25-1) is tied for the eighth-best odds with Indiana Pacers’ Bennedict Mathurin and Brooklyn Nets’ Cam Thomas. Knicks free agent acquisition Donte DiVincenzo is one of the dark horses at 66-1 odds.

Quickley is now extension-eligible, but there are “no substantive talks” yet between his camp and the Knicks.


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