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MSG: James Dolan Has No Plans to Sell Knicks, Rangers Despite Speculation

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2018

James Dolan attends DuJour magazine's cover party on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
Andy Kropa/Associated Press

Madison Square Garden Company CEO and Executive Chairman James Dolan will not be selling the New York Knicks and New York Rangers anytime soon.

"There are no plans to sell the Knicks or the Rangers," the Madison Square Garden Company said in a statement, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

Speculation a sale might take place occurred after Dolan said on Wednesday that he is considering making the New York Knicks and New York Rangers into separate public companies.

The Knicks and Rangers are currently part of the Madison Square Garden Company, but according to Aaron Elstein of Crain's New York Business, Dolan's idea to branch them off could have aided in a potential sale.

Elstein noted that it would be easy for Dolan to "whittle down" his stake in the Knicks and Rangers if he went through with the separation.

He also reported that Dolan is believed to have more interest in getting involved with music and "cutting-edge entertainment" than sports.

If Dolan were to make the Knicks and Rangers their own entities, it will mark the first time that the teams are not owned by the Madison Square Garden Company.

Dolan has been in control of the Knicks and Rangers since 1997, but the results have largely been mixed.

Since an NBA Finals appearance in 1998-99, the Knicks have struggled mightily. They have made the playoffs just six times over the past 19 seasons and are in the midst of a five-year playoff drought.

The Rangers have been far better with 11 trips to the playoffs over the past 13 seasons. That came on the heels of a seven-year drought from 1997-98 through 2003-04.

While the Blueshirts have reached the Eastern Conference Finals three times under Dolan and made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014, they missed the playoffs last season.

Much of the disdain for Dolan comes from Knicks fans due to his perceived mishandling of the franchise over the past several years.

That includes hiring Isiah Thomas as president of basketball operations and head coach, as well as giving out bad contracts to the likes of Allan Houston, Amar'e Stoudemire and Stephon Marbury.

Additionally, Dolan had former Knicks star Charles Oakley ejected from a Knicks game last year and temporarily banned him from Madison Square Garden.

Both the Knicks and Rangers are in the midst of a downturn, and although an ownership change won't necessarily turn things around immediately, most fans would seemingly welcome the exit of the much-maligned Dolan.

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