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James Dolan (JEFF CHRISTENSEN / AP)

Basketball

Dolan hints at possibility of selling Knicks

The day that New York Knicks fans have hoping for very well could happen one day sooner than later, as owner James Dolan has mentioned that in an interview with ESPN on Monday that he would consider selling the team. Dolan said there have been offers, but according to the interview, “no one has come through with a bona fide offer.”

Dolan has been involved in numerous questionable decisions with the Knicks, such as the hiring of Isaiah Thomas in 2003, which led to acquisitions of players that did not live up to their contracts, and disappointed in New York, such as Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, and Jerome James, to name just a few. The Isiah era was a controversial time for the Knicks, not only due to the moves he made, but also because Isiah and Dolan had a sexual harassment lawsuit against them from a former Knicks executive, Anucha Browne Sanders. Isiah was fired in 2008, but Dolan had still been consulting Isiah after he was no longer involved with the Knicks. The majority of Knicks fans are disgusted at the mention of Isiah’s name, and that can be blamed on Dolan.

Another hiring that Dolan made, which was panned by Knick fans, was Phil Jackson in 2014. Phil Jackson brought a ton of excitement when he was hired, due to his success as a coach with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, and his famed, “Triangle Offense”, which was expected to turn around the Knicks, however, Jackson did not have experience being the team president, which he was brought in to do. He, like Isiah, also brought in players past their prime, such as Joakim Noah, who he signed to a four year, $72 Million contract. Another negative part of Phil Jackson’s tenure as Knicks’ team president, was the aforementioned “Triangle Offense” which clearly was not accepted by the Knicks players, due to the fact that they were the only team using it. Jackson did not let that stop him from continuously implementing it, and signing players that would fit the offense, rather than their talent. Phil was let go in 2017, much to the pleasure of Knicks fans.

These moves can all be blamed on Dolan, and if Dolan does end up selling the team, as he teased in the interview, it would be a major change in direction for the Knicks, and that change in direction could be beneficial, as long as  the new owner knows to bring in experienced people that know how to operate a basketball organization and lets them do their jobs. For example, Dolan has involved himself in a majority of basketball operations, however it has led to questionable decisions, which have negatively impacted the team. However, Dolan also owns the New York Rangers and has not been nearly as involved with the Rangers, and has let their front office and coaches do their jobs and for the most part, it has worked out for the Rangers, as they have been championship contenders more frequently than not in recent years.

Despite Dolan teasing this in the ESPN interview, Knicks fans should not get their hopes up until it actually happens, because this could just be rumors and end up not gaining any traction. It will be worth following what ends up happening with the Knicks’ future ownership, and Knicks fans will have to stay tuned.

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