One of the worst franchises in the NBA over the past 20 years might be up for sale.
New York Knicks owner James Dolan told ESPN’s Ian O’Connor that he would be open to selling the team if the right deal came along.
For millions of Knicks fans, right now would be a good time for that to happen.
— ESPN New York (@ESPNNewYork) December 17, 2018
The Knicks have been one of the worst teams in the league this century. They have made the playoffs just four times since 2000 and have averaged about 33 wins per season.
They have only advanced out of the first round once in that span.
They have had 11 different coaches since Jeff Van Gundy left in 2001.
And this year they are once again mired in the basement with a record of 9-22, behind even the Brooklyn Nets in their own division.
Dolan said he has had groups put “feelers” out with offers upward of $5 billion for the Knicks, but he told O’Connor, “no one has come through with a bona fide offer.”
According to Forbes, the Knicks are the seventh most valuable franchise in all of sports with a value of $3.6 billion. They are the most valuable team in the NBA — more valuable than the Lakers ($3.3 billion) and the world champion Golden State Warriors ($3.1 billion).
And yet, despite their lack of success, even $5 billion might not be not enough.
“You hear numbers all the time,” Dolan told ESPN. “I think people have sent feelers out, but never any that were pursued. 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.”
Dolan, who is chairman of Madison Square Garden and owns the New York Rangers, said he has a responsibility to shareholders.
“You have a responsibility as the guy who runs the place to deliver on that for them, that’s being open and transparent. And so in that position, I could never say that I wouldn’t consider selling the Knicks. Now, my family is not in that position, and they are the majority shareholders. They hold the majority of the vote,” he told O’Connor.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) December 17, 2018
“As a majority owner, I don’t want to sell, either. As the head of the 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 added.
The Knicks made it to the NBA finals in Dolan’s first year as majority owner in 1999 when they lost to the Spurs. Since then, they had one stretch from 2010-2013 where they made three straight playoff appearances, but other than that, it’s been t’s been pretty much all downhill.
Can we do public ownership? I got an extra $10 I could throw into the offer. https://t.co/Dy1VdukSz9
— Jeff Helgeson (@jeffhelgeson) December 17, 2018
But when you’re in the biggest media market in the world, you can command big bucks, no matter how bad you are.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.