AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
- New York Knicks owner James Dolan threatened to ban a fan who told him to sell the team on Saturday, saying he could "enjoy watching [the Knicks] on TV."
- Dolan was immediately criticized for his comments, by both fans and basketball writers.
- New York state senator Brad Hoylman also got involved, suggesting that the property tax exemptions Dolan receives should be reconsidered.
New York Knicks owner James Dolan was roasted over the weekend after threatening to ban a fan who told him to sell the team.
The fracas took place on Saturday after the Knicks’ loss to the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden. The loss dropped the team to 13-53 on the season — the worst record in the NBA.
As Dolan exited through the tunnel, a fan heckled him, imploring him to sell the franchise. Dolan smirked in response. "Do you really want me to sell the team?" Dolan asked, motioning for the fan to come closer to him.
"Do you not want to come to any more games?" Dolan said. The fan said it was only an opinion. "No, it’s not an opinion," Dolan replied. "You know what? Enjoy watching ’em on TV."
Dolan then sent security to confront the fan and take his information.
You can watch the scene play out below.
Dolan was criticized immediately by fans and writers alike.
Dolan was hit especially hard by the local papers, with Stefan Bondy at the New York Daily News giving a tough take on the Knicks’ notoriously thin-skinned owner.
"Within the last year, James Dolan has barred MSG employees and players from speaking on WFAN and excluded the Daily News from press events," Bondy wrote. "The reason? The owner of the worst NBA team since 2001 didn’t like being criticized. It’s as if Dolan takes his cues from the President of the United States, both in his media policies and tax avoidance. Perhaps not coincidentally, Dolan’s a big Donald Trump supporter and donor."
Dolan even raised the ire of state senator Brad Hoylman, who suggested that the property tax exemptions Dolan receives should be reconsidered if he continued to treat the arena as "his private stadium."
Seeing as Dolan would likely prefer to hold on to those $40 million annual property tax breaks, it might be best that he tread lightly the next time he decides to respond so directly to the criticism of his customers.
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