James Dolan Says He's Not Selling Knicks Amid Team's Search for New President

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2020

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28:  New York Knicks owner James Dolan reacts as he watches an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors from his front row seat on March 28, 2019 at Madison Square Garden Center in New York City. Raptors won 117-92. 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 License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

As the franchise continues its search to replace team president Steve Mills, owner James Dolan reiterated he doesn't plan to sell the New York Knicks

"We are actively looking for a new President of the New York Knicks and hope to conclude the search as quickly as possible," Dolan said in a statement. "I am not selling, but I am determined to find the right leader for the Knicks who will ensure the long-term success of the team, just as we did with the hiring of Rangers President John Davidson."

The New York Times' Marc Stein reported some around the league thought Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri was a realistic target for the Knicks. Ujiri would be the best-case scenario as the team attempts to become relevant on the court again, and he might have alleviated some of the pressure on Dolan.

However, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported the Knicks are "planning to hire" player agent Leon Rose as their president of basketball operations. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, New York is also expected to hire William Wesley, who works alongside Rose at Creative Arts Agency, for a role in the basketball operations department.

Fans have wished for Dolan to relinquish his ownership of the Knicks for years. The situation might be hitting a fever pitch, as evidenced by Dolan addressing the situation Thursday.

Toward the end of New York's 127-106 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 29, numerous fans chanted "sell the team" toward Dolan.

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No matter how much the Knicks lose, Dolan has little incentive to actually sell. Forbes estimated a year ago the franchise is worth $4 billion, the highest valuation in the NBA.

The fanbase's only hope is that the next front-office regime can successfully navigate the typical dysfunction behind the scenes and still build a championship-caliber roster.