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The Madison Square Garden Company has denied a report that New York Knicks owner James Dolan is “courting offers” for the franchise.
“The story is 100% false,” MSG said in a statement sent to Amico Hoops and several other media outlets. “There has been nothing. No discussions. No plans to have discussions — nothing.”
The Ringer’s Bill Simmons said on a recent podcast (via Forbes) that Dolan is looking to sell the team.
“Multiple people told me this, who know things. James Dolan is courting offers for the Knicks,” Simmons said. “It’s happening. It’s on. It’s go-time. He’s courting offers for the Knicks. That’s what I heard at All-Star weekend from people I trust.”
The Knicks exit the All-Star break with the league’s worst record at 11-47.
“This is what I’ve pieced together. [Dolan] really cares about the buildings and the in-game/in-concert experience,” Simmons said. “And he wants to put even more money into that,” Simmons explained. “The Knicks are just a pain in the a–, people s–t on him for it. He feels if he can just sell the Knicks for some crazy price, then he can put the money into that music/in-game experience stuff that he cares about. So, the Knicks are available.”
Dolan revealed in a December interview with ESPN that selling the team has become a possibility.
“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,” Dolan told ESPN. “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.”
The Knicks have struggled mightily during Dolan’s ownership, never really recovering after a lousy run that started in the early 2000s. Most fans have put the blame squarely on ownership’s missteps.
Simmons said Dolan is seeking $5 billion to purchase the team, “but he knows he’s not going to get five.”
However, again all of this has been strongly refuted by The Madison Square Garden company.