Irving Azoff Rumors
Utilizing his bottomless wealth and familiar bully tactics, James Dolan has attempted to derail the development plans of a low-income city in California and influence its mayoral election from across the country. But as Dolan-led MSG has pumped money into lawsuits to protect its investment in The Forum, Dolan testified in a deposition he knows little about the City of Inglewood that he’s suing, the contractual issues in dispute over a new Clippers arena, or the religious conservative candidate he backed to prevent the community from securing a new NBA arena. More than anything, Dolan, from his deposition, seems comfortable with letting his attorneys, lieutenants and buddy Irving Azoff handle the carpet bomb that he’s bankrolling.
Among the revelations from Dolan’s deposition in November, from a lawsuit MSG filed against the city of Inglewood, as reviewed by the Daily News, and according to sources close to the situation: Dolan said he barely knew the Inglewood mayoral candidate he supported with nearly $1 million.
The day before the Clippers announced plans to explore building an arena in Inglewood, business mogul Irving Azoff floated an idea to Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and top advisor Linda Rambis about a move that could undercut the Clippers and prompt a seismic shift in the Los Angeles sports landscape. “Heres my dream,” Azoff emailed Buss and Rambis on June 14, 2017. “Rebuild the forum from scratch. Lakers plus music. boom.” The Lakers now say that vision won’t be realized, and they are believed to be discussing an extension to their Staples Center lease that runs through the 2024-25 season. “MSG approached the Lakers about the possibility of returning to the Forum following the end of our Lease at Staples Center in 2025, but nothing came from the discussions,” the team said Wednesday in a statement.
They’ve done it with a new administration led by president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry. They were not team owner James Dolan’s first choice. Dolan had one of his most trusted allies, entertainment executive Irving Azoff, talk to Jerry West to see if the NBA legend wanted to take over for Jackson last June, league sources with knowledge of the discussions told Sporting News.
Azoff brought Dolan and Jackson together in 2014, but in this instance, West told Azoff that the time wasn’t right to come to New York. Instead he opted to settle into an advisory role to Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.
David Aldridge: The vote puts the Seattle city government squarely behind OVG, headed by longtime sports executive/AEG CEO Tim Leiweke & entertainment manager/mogul Irving Azoff, instead of billionaire Chris Hansen, who has sought to build an arena in the South Downtown section of the city.