Knicks fans have made it clear over the years how they feel about James Dolan owning their beloved franchise.
Turns out, Dolan isn’t that fond of being an owner, either.
“I don’t really like owning teams,” Dolan told The New York Times.
Dolan owns both the Knicks and Rangers, although there is far less venom directed at him for his hockey ownership since he’s regarded as hands-off in hockey operations.
The 68-year-old told The Times that the Rangers and Knicks are “near and dear to my heart” but he is turned off by the economics involved in ownership, calling it “kind of sleepy.”
That view played a role in why he has passed on adding a professional baseball or soccer team to his portfolio.
It also appears the passionate New York fan bases play a role in Dolan’s bleak outlook on owning teams.
The outlet chronicled how a fan approached Dolan to say, “Let’s go Knicks,” while they both attended a concert, showcasing how the fans of his teams are vocal no matter the situation or surroundings, and how the deep connection with the team “is not Mr. Dolan’s vibe.”
“Basically every fan thinks of themselves as the owner/general manager,” Dolan told The New York Times.
He added: “Being a professional sports owner in New York, you’re not beloved until you’re dead.”
Knicks fans have certainly made it known that Dolan is not beloved, with their frequent chants of “sell the team” when the Knicks struggle.
The Knicks have reached the NBA Finals once during his ownership, and have not reached the Eastern Conference Finals this millennium.
Fans who chant, “Sell the team,” are often ejected from Madison Square Garden since they violated a code of conduct that forbids harassment of arena workers, according to Dolan.
“I am an employee,” Dolan said.
Fans’ behavior plays a role in why MSG uses face-recognition technology that prevents certain individuals from entering the arena.
Dolan told The New York Times there are “confrontational” fans and those there for a good time, and he has no use for the former.
Those “confrontational” fans include those holding signs calling for him to sell the team.
“We don’t want you there,” Dolan told the paper.
He cited the MSG code of conduct, stating it prohibits guests from being confrontational with fellow attendees or MSG employees, and believes signs calling for him to sell violate that code.
“(They’re) directed at, on a personal basis, the guy who’s in charge – me,” Dolan said.
However, he has no issues if you want to have a sign criticizing the team.
“If you held up a sign that says, you know, ‘Play better, this team sucks,’ you can do that,” Dolan told the paper.
“That’s part of being a fan.”
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