MSG Puts WNBA Liberty Up For Sale, With Team Not Guaranteed To Stay In N.Y. Market
MSG Co. announced today it will "'actively seek' buyers" for the WNBA Liberty, "putting in question whether Isiah Thomas will remain as team president and even leaving doubt as to whether the franchise remains" in N.Y., according to Marc Berman of the N.Y. POST. The announcement "comes after another successful regular season resulted in a first-round exit in the playoffs, after which coach Bill Laimbeer bolted for the new franchise in Las Vegas last month." James Dolan is the "last original owner" of a WNBA franchise and has "regretted not being able to hang a championship banner after four trips to the WNBA Finals" (NYPOST.com, 11/14). On Long Island, Mike Rose notes the Liberty are "one of just three franchises" from the inaugural WNBA season "still operating in its original city," along with the Phoenix Mercury and L.A. Sparks. The Liberty have also "been among the WNBA’s best teams over the past three seasons" (NEWSDAY.com, 11/14). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Austen Hufford notes the Liberty announcement "comes one day after" MSG said David O’Connor "would step down" from his roles as President & CEO (WSJ.com, 11/14).