Ahead of the opening of James Dolan‘s new Las Vegas arena, the Sphere, Katherine Rosman of The New York Times has published an in-depth feature on the Knicks owner which digs into his adversarial relationship with certain portions of the fanbase.
As he explains within the story, Dolan would support ejecting a fan at Madison Square Garden who was simply holding up a sign urging him to sell the team, but wouldn’t eject the same fan if he were aiming his criticism at the team itself. His logic is that the former is “directed at, on a personal basis, the guy who’s in charge — me,” whereas criticism of the team is aimed at a group.
“If you held up a sign that says, you know, ‘Play better, this team sucks,’ you can do that. That’s part of being a fan,” Dolan said.
Interestingly, in discussing why he decided to spend big money to build the Sphere – a lavish entertainment venue – Dolan said that he initially considered expanding his sports portfolio by buying a franchise in another sport, perhaps baseball or soccer. However, while the Knicks and the NHL’s Rangers are “near and dear” to his heart, he referred to the economics of major league sports as “kind of sleepy,” adding, “I don’t really like owning teams.”
Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York-based franchises:
- Making a rare public comment within Rosman’s New York Times feature, Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose said that Dolan is invested in the front office’s decisions but doesn’t meddle in those decisions himself. “He places a lot of faith and trust in our basketball operations,” Rose said.
- Speaking to Tina Cervasio of FOX5, Nets guard Ben Simmons said he feels a responsibility to regain his All-Star form now that he’s feeling fully healthy following back surgery. “I owe it to everybody, the fans and everybody, to get back to where I need to be,” Simmons said, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “That’s what I did this summer to get back.” The former No. 1 overall pick previously expressed confidence about his chances of having a bounce-back season.
- After opening training camp in Brooklyn from October 3-6, the Nets will move to the UNLV campus for Oct. 7-8, the team announced on Tuesday (story via NetsDaily). Wrapping up training camp in Las Vegas will allow the Nets to avoid traveling for their first preseason game, which will be played at T-Mobile Arena in Vegas on Oct. 9 vs. the Lakers.