It’s no news James Dolan is not the most popular person in New York City. Unlike other unpopular owners, Dolan earned most of his unpopularity with problems off the court (not that the product on the court has been good).
Robert Sarver, the Phoenix Suns owner, reportedly tried to influence basketball strategy by suggesting defensive schemes before games. Most of the organization in Phoenix feels he is a negative presence in that regard. Dolan, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to meddle with basketball as much and will open up his checkbook when necessary. His issues are conducive with his general persona.
James Dolan didn’t buy the Knicks, he inherited the Knicks. So it’s not shocking that such a person has a hard time dealing with any sort of criticism. His situation with Oakley, pulling press accreditations from reporters whose coverage he doesn’t like – sounds a bit spoiled, right?
We covered Bill Simmons reporting he heard that Dolan was fielding offers for the Knicks. Dolan enjoys the real estate business much more than the basketball one and is supposedly willing to hear people out. It is clear he doesn’t enjoy running the Knicks, and the fans aren’t happy with him so the move would make perfect sense. Then this happened:
“Sell the team!!” No cursing, no aggression. It was enough to trigger Dolan who for some reason felt attacked and found this to be rude. This was all it took for Dolan to permanently ban the fan from MSG. It gets worse when you take into account he has done this so many ties his security team didn’t need any commands. Dolan’s “enjoy watching them on TV” was enough and Kevin was called upon.
As the owner of the team and the arena, Dolan is within his rights to remove anyone from his establishment. It would be a good business decision not to treat paying customers like that, but he knows he can get away with it. But as the owner of the most valued franchise in the NBA, should he be getting around $50 million property-tax breaks?
This phenomenon of billioners getting public subsidies for their pet projects is an issue for quite some time. Will he lose the money? Probably not. Will Adam Silver force him to sell the team? Probably not. Will free agents sign for such an owner? We’d tell you to ask Durant, but then he would get offended. Seems like a match made in heaven.