MSG shoots down rumors of Knicks sale

With Madison Square Garden Co. looking to separate its sports business, including the Knicks, from its concert and entertainment business, excitement started to build over the prospect of this being an early sign that James Dolan is looking to sell the Knicks.

Madison Square Garden quickly released a statement saying “there are no plans to sell the Knicks or the Rangers.” And it appears the business move is to create capital for new arena projects in other parts of the world.

MSG explores separating its sports business, but James Dolan would still be in charge of Knicks

Madison Square Garden Co. MSG -2.00% plans to explore separating its sports business, which includes the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, from its concert-hosting and entertainment-venue operations.

The company said Wednesday it has hired advisers to help it study a potential spinoff of the sports business, but noted no timetable has been set for its board to make a decision.

The sports company would include the Knicks of the National Basketball Association and its development team, the Westchester Knicks; the National Hockey League’s New York Rangers and its development team, the Hartford Wolf Pack; and the New York Liberty of the WNBA. The spinoff would also include an esports basketball franchise and a majority stake in esports organization Counter Logic Gaming.

If the spinoff moves forward James L. Dolan would serve as executive chairman and chief executive at both firms, the company said.

via Stephen Nakrosis, Wall Street Journal

New York Daily News obtains video of Oakley-Dolan fracas

James Dolan ordered Charles Oakley’s ugly ejection from Madison Square Garden last year and then gave a “thumbs up” after the fracas, court papers argue, citing new arena footage.

The clip, which was submitted by Dolan’s defense team in connection with Oakley’s Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit, was obtained by the Daily News. As Oakley has claimed and the video confirms, he never got up from his seat before being confronted by security.

via Stefan Bondy and Stephen Rex Brown, New York Daily News

Watch the video at the New York Daily News

James Dolan is letting Steve Mills run the show

Mills said Dolan simply told him to hire who was best for the organization.

He told me from the beginning that he was going to give me the room, just like he gave Phil the room to build the basketball team,” Mills said. “He was not involved with our day-to-day stuff. Obviously, it’s a big decision we have to make. We’re going to tell him this is what we think we’re doing. This is the financial implications.

“This is how it fits against what we laid out as our plan. He didn’t tell me who to hire. He said hire somebody you feel good about and is going to buy into what you think we need to do as an organization.”

via Marc J. Spears, The Undefeated

Not your Grandfather’s Knicks

Say what you will about Knicks owner James Dolan, but he has not shied away from giving African-Americans the keys to his basketball kingdom. Eleven years ago, three African-Americans — Mills, Isiah Thomas and Anucha Browne Sanders — occupied Madison Square Garden’s executive suite. That arrangement ended in disaster. Browne Sanders was fired, then sued Thomas and the Garden for sexual harassment.

Today, Fizdale works with a leadership team in which Mills, the executive president of the Knicks; Perry, the Knicks’ general manager; and Craig Robinson, the vice president of player development and G League operations, are African-American. The subject wasn’t raised Tuesday, but they all know everyone is watching.

via William C. Rhoden, The Undefeated

Charles Oakley: MSG security video will be trouble for NBA

“When the commissioner sees the tape, it’s going to be trouble for the NBA,” he said Tuesday at the BTIG charity event in midtown Manhattan. “The tape looked bad. It looked bad. Like I said from the get-go it’s all a lie.”

Oakley said the tape, which he saw for the first time two weeks ago, was sent to him by the Garden and shows him sitting in his seat the whole time.

“Hopefully we’ll know something in a month; we got to write a letter to the judge,” he said. “You watch the tape, from what I see, fans will see sooner or later too, because it’s embarrassing.”

via John Healy, New York Daily News

Dolan sent email to Hornacek about triangle?

According to a source, Dolan last season sent an email to Hornacek saying he was disappointed in him for not buying fully into the triangle offense. This took place sometime around the All Star break. So we know that as recently as last season Dolan, who loves to tell you he’s not involved, was actually pushing Phil Jackson’s offense down Hornacek’s throat in a not-so-subtle way.

via Frank Isola, New York Daily News