Lakers News: James Dolan Tried to Get Jeanie Buss to Relocate Team Twice

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2019

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 24: Jeanie Buss attends the 2019 NBA Awards at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
Rich Fury/Getty Images

New York Knicks owner James Dolan said in a November deposition he twice attempted to convince Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss to relocate the team from the Staples Center in downtown L.A. to the nearby suburb of Inglewood, California. 

Stefan Bondy and Nancy Dillon of the New York Daily News provided details from Dolan's deposition as part of a lawsuit the Madison Square Garden Company, which he founded, filed against the City of Inglewood concerning The Forum, a venue MSG owns, and a new Los Angeles Clippers arena.

The Lakers called The Forum home from 1967 through 1999 before moving to the Staples Center, which they currently share with the Clippers, when the arena opened in October 1999.

Dolan filed the lawsuit against Inglewood in an effort to protect his investment in The Forum, which continues to host concerts and other entertainment events. If the Clippers build a new arena about a mile away, it could take over as the area's top choice for top acts, per Bondy and Dillon.

The New York Daily News report noted NBA commissioner Adam Silver tried to facilitate a compromise between Dolan and Clippers owner Steve Ballmer to no avail.

MSG released a statement in response to the newly uncovered details.

"This story, based on cherry-picked portions of a deposition that are grossly misleading, is just the latest evidence of how low the Daily News is willing to go with its attacks," the statement read.

The Clippers lease at the Staples Center runs through 2024, which is when Ballmer would like to move his team to a new facility in Inglewood. That would leave the Lakers alone in the downtown venue.

Getting the Lakers to move to Inglewood first, presumably to play at The Forum again, was seemingly a part of Dolan's efforts to undermine the efforts to create a new arena.

It appears Buss wasn't interested in the idea, though.

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