James Dolan Rumors
Leon Rose emerged from hiding to tell the Knicks’ in-house network that he’s “thrilled” with his roster after missing the playoffs and missing out on Donovan Mitchell. “We went through that process (of trying to trade for Donovan Mitchell) and at the end of the day we made a decision to stay put,” Rose said on MSG Network, which is owned by James Dolan. “And we’re thrilled with where we are. Taking a look at the summer, we feel great about what transpired.”
MSG threw cold water on a report that owner James Dolan could sell off the Knicks and Rangers next year. “We have no plans to sell either of the teams,” MSG senior VP of communications and marketing Natalie Ravitz told The Post via email. CNBC had given long-suffering Knicks fans hope, thanks to longtime MSG analyst Jonathan Boyar opining that Dolan was finally close to divesting himself from both teams once the MSG Sphere was finished.
Speaking with CNBC host Scott Wapner last Thursday, Jonathan Boyar boldly predicted “it’s likely” that after construction on the MSG Sphere is completed, “James Dolan, who controls the company, will sell the teams,” – referring to both the Knicks and the Rangers. Boyar added that “private equity has gotten involved in a big way.”
As of this morning, Madison Square Garden Sports Corp stock ($MSGS) was trading north of $162, representing a 5% increase since Thursday. $MSGE is up nearly 4% over that same stretch. “Two things could happen in our opinion,” Boyar forecasts, “either a PE firm or a family office will take a minority stake in either the Knicks or the Rangers. Or there could be a sale of one or both of the teams. Too bad Steve Cohen is not a basketball fan!… At some point it would not surprise us if someone makes an offer for one or both of the teams.”
Morant’s salary is a fraction of what he deserves, which is bad for him and, in the harsh reality of the competitive NBA, magical for his team. To contend for the NBA title, you typically need to win north of 50 games. The Warriors’ math is that if Curry generates 15 wins, then there’s some tap dancing—and cap dancing—to figure out how to afford the other 35-40. After paying Steph, the Warriors had only $67 million left to spend under the salary cap. That would only buy 20 more wins at league-average prices, and who wants to win a measly 35 games? So to leap back into title contention, the Warriors shattered the salary cap and set all-time spending records. Over the broad sweep of NBA history, we see the occasional Joe Lacob, James Dolan, Mikhail Prokhorov, or Paul Allen—billionaires determined to build dynasties with gold bricks. It usually doesn’t work. Even when it does, the league stacks on such punitive luxury-tax bills that everyone eventually loses their appetite for overspending.
New York struggled to find consistency after a 5-1 start. The chemistry between Walker, Fournier and Randle didn’t develop. Randle’s shooting regressed. Rose underwent surgery to repair an ankle injury in late December and hasn’t returned to the court. Noel has been in and out of the lineup. And the Knicks enter the week with a 35-44 record and an opportunity this offseason to turn things around. But, as one former coach who observes the Knicks and has won and lost in the league observed recently: “Is anything different or did the Knicks just have a mirage of a season last year? Is this just Knicks history repeating itself? “If I’m (Knicks owner James) Dolan and Rose, that would be the one thing I don’t want to happen.”