Andrew Yang Rumors
While he’s not willing to reestablish his long-term Knicks fandom as he runs for mayor, Yang’s tone on his podcast, “Yang Speaks,’’ this week seemed to shift on the Garden’s team — impressed with its 8-10 start. Yang said the club has “turned the page” with new coach Tom Thibodeau getting the club to “overachieve.” Yang said he believes in Thibodeau because he’s part of Jeff Van Gundy’s “coaching tree.”
Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan, the chair and CEO of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp., is behind a new political expenditure committee called “The Coalition to Restore New York,” state filings show. The group’s web site warns of a return to the “unseemly era of the 1970s and 1980s,” and emphasizes priorities such as bringing back tourism, a business friendly regulatory environment and “access to the best tools and training” for police.
Likely not high on Dolan’s list of Democratic mayoral hopefuls: former presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Records show Dolan’s committee registered Jan. 15. The day prior, Yang launched his campaign with a website that included a pledge to end tax breaks for the Garden. “If nothing is done, MSG’s total tax break could be $1 billion by 2030,” Yang’s site reads. “I would support existing legislation in the state capital that finally ends this 38-year long property exemption.”
Andrew Yang is concerned the Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau coaching hire might not be the right fit. Nor is Yang convinced the Knicks new administration can change the team’s fortunes with James Dolan as owner. The former Democratic presidential candidate who participated in seven debates believes he has reason for skepticism. The 45-year-old Westchester native had been a Knicks fan since he was a teenager. He recalls standing on line outside the Garden for special $10 tickets.
Yang, a vocal Knicks critic on his Twitter account, recently turned allegiances to the Nets because of all the orange-and-blue heartbreak. In a 25-minute interview with The Post concerning his past Knicks fandom, Yang said his hope is Dolan will realize it is in Gotham’s best interests to sell the team and wonders whether new president Leon Rose’s vision will ever come to fruition.
“You want to be cautiously optimistic,’’ Yang said. “Turning over a new leaf is a positive. The main lens you have for Leon Rose is the sense he’s a relationship guy. The concern you have is: Will he hope to be saved by some epic free-agent haul with his high-powered former clients? That concern is somewhat reflective of hiring Thibodeau with whom Rose had a prior relationship. You look at Thibodeau with a track record of success, Knicks heritage and DNA. This team has needed an identity, discipline, structure. He provides those things — all positives. You think, “so far so good.” But there’s also a concern Thibodeau is the hire [you make] when you’re ready to compete, and this team is somewhat not ready to compete. Is that a fit?”
In a recent interview on The Rights to Ricky Sanchez Podcast, former presidential candidate and big-time basketball guy Andrew Yang said that if he ever does successfully win the White House, he wants to take the former Sixers general manager with him. “One of the fun things about being president is you get to meet a lot of the folks you look up to and admire in other contexts. And Sam Hinkie is one person I haven’t had a chance to meet, and I’d enjoy that because I feel like that guy should be put in charge,” Yang said.