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Volume 25 No. 214
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Dolan Addresses Speculation Around Knicks Sale, Liberty's Future

Dolan says he has a responsibility to shareholders to examine potential sales of either the Knicks or Rangers
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES

MSG Exec Chair & CEO James Dolan said the Knicks and Rangers are "very valuable assets, and they get more valuable every year," but he dismissed any speculation of a potential sale, noting "nobody in my family wants to sell" either team, according to Ian O'Connor of ESPN.com. Dolan: "It's not just my dad. It's the whole family. It's my (five) brothers and sisters. They like being owners ... They just have no appetite for running the team. That's a different animal." Dolan added he also does not "have any appetite for running the team, either one of them," as that is "not my expertise." Dolan reiterated his love for the Knicks and Rangers, but said he still has a "responsibility" to examine potential sales. Dolan added as the "head of a public company, you can't say you can't sell, because then you're telling your shareholders that your own personal feelings about your assets are more important than their money" and they "won't invest with you if you do that." Dolan: "I could never say that I wouldn't consider selling the Knicks. Now, my family ... are the majority shareholders. They hold the majority of the vote." On the belief among some high-ranking NBA execs that he has fielded offers of upward of $5B for the Knicks, Dolan said, "No one has come through with a bona fide offer." Dolan: "Yeah, (the feelers are) around that number ($5 billion), but those things, it's like a stock price. It's only important if you're going to buy or sell."

TOUGH SELL: Dolan said the reason why he is selling the WNBA Liberty is because he does not "know how to be successful" with the team. Dolan: "We've always tried to be helpful with the league, and I believe in the Liberty product. If you go to a Liberty game, they're fun basketball games to go to." But Dolan added, "I'll be damned if I know how to get people to go to those games." He noted MSG has "pumped tons of marketing dollars, we've done everything we can to make the team successful, and people don't come." Dolan: "It's the time of year and the perception that the sport is not as good as the NBA" (ESPN.com, 12/17).