Update — MSG officials sent us this statement regarding the ESPN story:
In response to today’s speculation about the Knicks sparked by a press story, The Madison Square Garden Company (NYSE: MSG) issued the following statement from James L. Dolan, the Company’s Executive Chairman and CEO.
“As we have previously stated, there are no plans to sell the Knicks.”
Billionaire James Dolan sat for a rare interview with Ian O’Connor from ESPN in a story that was published this morning, offering some colorful insights into the thinking of the MSG chairman and chief executive that rules over the World’s Most Famous arena and the sports teams who reside at the iconic Manhattan venue.
Would he ever sell the Knicks, the basketball team whose fans have largely turned on Dolan after the failed Phil Jackson intervention?
“No one has come through with a bona fide offer. You hear numbers all the time,” he says. “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.”
The ESPN article is definitely worth a read and chalked full of Dolan sound bites that come off a bit resentful and at times delusional, but for anyone who’s followed the Dolan family’s rise to power and James Dolan’s street fighter approach to personal conflicts, little revealed in the article will come as a surprise. Dolan addresses his is public smackdown at the hands of Anucha Brown in 2007 after losing a sexual harassment lawsuit, his feud with former Knick Charles Bradley, his decision to ban WFAN personnel from interviewing players after emerging sports radio host Maggie Gray called him a “vile piece of trash” and a “disgusting human” for his tone-deaf song “I Should’ve Known” and for all the resentment and anger he faces on a daily basis from Knick fans who think he’s the worst owner in the league since Donald Sterling.
“In New York, I really can’t go out in public without having a security person with me, and I’m hearing stuff and it’s like, ‘Hey, I’m just shopping here,'” he says in the piece. “A lot of times people are nice. ‘Hi, how are you doing? Are we going to get this guy? Is this going to happen?’ I try to be nice to them, [but] usually people have negative things to say. … They like to jump out, shout something horrible and run away. That happens all the time. Even at dinner. It’s not fun.”
You can read the profile on Dolan here.