James Dolan: Heckling Knicks Fan Banned from MSG for Life, Calls It an 'Ambush'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 12, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 4: Owner James L. Dolan of the New York Knicks smiles at the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on January 4, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

New York Knicks owner James Dolan went on The Michael Kay Show Tuesday (h/t Andrew Marchand of the New York Post) and said the fan who implored him to "sell the team" following New York's 102-94 home loss to the Sacramento Kings on Mar. 9 has been banned from Madison Square Garden for life.

Dolan also called the confrontation an "ambush" and that he "shouldn't have taken the bait" from the fan.

Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic also provided more details from Dolan regarding the owner's decision:

Dolan doesn't foresee changing his mind:

Fans pleading with Dolan to sell the team isn't anything new. In fact, a group of fans protested on the night of the 2006 NBA draft, marching from Hell's Kitchen to Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks have been a losing team for two decades, and Dolan has been at the helm for that entire stretch. Naturally, fans will get upset at the powers-that-be who run their struggling teams, but Dolan is in the news for the wrong reasons of late regardless of the on-court product.

In Feb. 2017, Knicks legend Charles Oakley was removed from Madison Square Garden by security and banned from attending Knicks games. The ban was eventually lifted.

ESPN.com News Services provided Dolan's reasoning: "Dolan said the organization ejected Oakley because he was being verbally abusive to security while seated near the team owner. Oakley denied this in recent interviews."

Dave McKenna of Deadspin also spoke with a fan in Apr. 2017, who said Dolan called him an "assh--e" for asking him to sell the team outside the Knicks' home arena.

The Knicks also banned New York Daily News beat reporter Stefan Bondy from two press conferences, which Dolan covered in the Tuesday interview:

Dolan also said that he "doesn't have to invite everyone" and that he's "not a public servant."

The latter presser was after the Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks, and Dolan also spoke about the team's ex-franchise player. Of note, he said that ex-Knicks president Phil Jackson, who ran the team from 2014-2017, wanted to deal Porzingis. Dolan further remarked that Jackson did not get along with Porzingis and his brother, Janis, who is the 23-year-old's agent.

Overall, it's been a nightmarish stretch for the Knicks since they made the playoffs in 2013, with healthy doses of on- and off-court drama. The silver lining is that a high draft pick and the ability to sign two max free agents could turn tides for a 13-54 team currently sitting last in the NBA standings.

Related

    Pippen Admits Dunk Contest Judges 'Messed Up'

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Pippen Admits Dunk Contest Judges 'Messed Up'

    Blake Schuster
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Melo Return Possible to Knicks with Leon Rose

    New York Knicks logo
    New York Knicks

    Report: Melo Return Possible to Knicks with Leon Rose

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    New NBA Draft Big Board 📊

    @Jonwass ranks the top 50 prospects before March Madness

    New York Knicks logo
    New York Knicks

    New NBA Draft Big Board 📊

    Jonathan Wasserman
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Knicks Were 'Very Hesitant' to Move Knox at Deadline

    New York Knicks logo
    New York Knicks

    Report: Knicks Were 'Very Hesitant' to Move Knox at Deadline

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report