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.
Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic also provided more details from Dolan regarding the owner's decision:
Mike Vorkunov @MikeVorkunov
The Knicks fan James Dolan kicked out from MSG this weekend has been banned from the arena, Dolan says. He says he intended to bring him back and schmooze him but now says he thinks the fan made a pre-meditated confrontation with him so he's now banned. Dolan says he was ambushed
Dolan doesn't foresee changing his mind:
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.
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.