James Dolan Endorses Knicks President Leon Rose

As part of a wide-ranging interview with New York City radio station WFAN on Friday afternoon, New York Knicks owner James Dolan said he believes in the job that team president Leon is doing. Rose, and that he “expects fully” the Knicks make the playoffs. this season.

“Yes, absolutely,” Dolan said on WFAN’s “Carton and Roberts,” hosted by Craig Carton and Evan Roberts, when asked if he’s happy with the work Rose is doing.

“Why did I bring Leon? I’ve been doing this for about 20 years, and in my experience with the NBA, there are things you can do as an owner. You can create an environment where everyone gives them enough money.” to do their job, give them more money than they need to do their job. You can stay out of it, which is usually the best course of action.

“But you end up picking the guy who will do all the strategy, who will execute for you. I picked Leon because I think after watching the NBA and the game we play, the team with the best talent wins. You want a guy who can get you the best talent. I think Leon Rose is still the best guy.”

Asked if there was a timeline that Rose, a longtime player agent who was hired by Dolan to manage the Knicks in March 2020, was working under, Dolan said no. Instead, he said the point of moving forward was to show progress.

“Eventually, there’s a schedule,” Dolan said. “But right now, what we’re looking for is progress. We want to become a champion team. We hope to make the playoffs this year. That will definitely be a benchmark.”

“Now, this is sport. Yeah jalen brunson Y Julius Randle both get hurt? [Making the playoffs is] It’s probably going to be hard.”

After victories over the NBA-leading Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics this week, New York has a 27-23 record and sits seventh in the Eastern Conference, a half-game behind the sixth-place Miami Heat. and four games up. Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls, who are tied for 10th place, the final tournament entry position.

Speaking of the Cavaliers, the topic of Donovan Mitchell arose, as the Knicks spent months attached to the All-Star guard this summer before the Utah Jazz sent him to Cleveland. When asked if the more “nosy” version of Dolan would have forced Rose to make a trade for Mitchell, Dolan replied: “I didn’t.”

When asked if it was fair to say that previous iterations of Dolan would have, he said, “Not in the last 10 years,” apparently referring to his decision to push then-executive Donnie Walsh to consummate the Carmelo Anthony trade in 2011. .

“My attitude has changed,” Dolan said. “Every new owner comes in thinking they have the answer on how to make the team successful. Not to disparage my fellow owners, but there are franchises with owners in the last few years, you can see the new owners that have come in. They invested a lot. money, etc., and they are not doing as well as they thought.

“You really have to leave a lot of the strategy to the guys who have dedicated their lives and careers… My dealings with Leon and with [Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau]etcetera, is that I start talking.

“Their deal is that they don’t have to listen to me.”

Since Dolan took over the Knicks in 1999, New York has had 14 different head coaches and seven different top basketball executives.

Dolan also said he has no plans to sell either the Knicks or the New York Rangers.

“I don’t have any plans to sell at this time,” Dolan said. “I’m not retiring anytime soon. It’s a family-controlled asset, so someone in the family will own it.”

Dolan, who rarely gives interviews to the media, did his second in as many days after a morning show appearance on local Fox television station Thursday morning. Both appearances were made in connection with facial recognition technology that Madison Square Garden is using both there, where the Dolan’s Knicks and New York Rangers play, and at other company-owned venues, and which has been used to ban visitors from attending. people to parties. or concerts.

Dolan reiterated his position that the only people affected by this are the lawyers filing lawsuits against his company, and that once those lawsuits are completed, they will be allowed to attend the games.

But when asked directly if fans can be, and have been, banned, he contradicted himself.

“Okay. So, we use… this is a long answer,” Dolan said, when asked if fans should worry about the games being banned. “I think the answer is basically no, except if you get confrontational.

“Confrontation with other fans, confrontation with staff, confrontation with property. You really have to be confrontational, not just say, ‘I don’t like you.’ Usually it involves some form of profanity.”

This led him to wonder hypothetically: if a fan yells from the top floor, will they get kicked out? Or does someone have to come downstairs and yell profanity in Dolan’s direction?

“First, the guy in the stands, I mean, we don’t know if we’re going to hear him,” Dolan said. “But, if we do, so what? But the guy who comes down, he makes his way to the floor and when I’m leaving, he starts confronting me… yeah, that guy’s going to leave. He’s there to choose.” . a fight.”

Similarly, Dolan said that social media posts would not get someone banned from attending the games.

“Did not say. “Even if you come in and look me in the face and say, ‘Your team sucks! Do a better job!’ I’m going to say, ‘We’ll do the next game. Come again.'”

He once again contradicted himself later in the interview, again stating unequivocally that fans shouldn’t worry about being banned from using facial recognition technology (“That’s not going to happen”), when he continued with a question about whether fans have been banned.

“Only the ones that have come down and gotten right in your face. They just cross the line. We certainly understand fans getting excited. That’s part of the game’s appeal. But the ones that get in your face and confront, and that unfortunately has happened.

Dolan also went after Sharif Kabir, chief executive of the New York State Alcoholic Beverage Authority, which is threatening to strip MSG of its liquor license over the facial recognition controversy. Dolan repeated Kabir’s office number on the air during the interview.

On Friday, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman asking them to sanction Dolan for using facial recognition to convert fans away.

“I implore both of your organizations to use their power and discipline MSG and Mr. Dolan for these alarming abuses unless they immediately stop profiling fans with facial recognition technology for non-security purposes,” he wrote. Hoylman-Sigal.

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