Knicks Owner James Dolan On Owning Teams: ‘I Don’t Really Like Owning Teams’

Few owners in American sports are more strongly disliked than James Dolan. The owner of the NBA’s New York Knicks and the NHL’s New York Rangers, Dolan’s tenure at the helm of both teams has been defined by a lack of championships and, especially with the Knicks, controversial actions that have led to fans wanting him out.

Dolan has been extremely sensitive to calls that he should sell his teams — people have famously been removed from Knicks games for expressing their belief that he should do this — but if there’s any solace for folks who want him out, it doesn’t seem like he loves being in the sports ownership business. In a recent New York Times piece, Dolan actually expressed that while he loves the Knicks and the Rangers, sports ownership isn’t exactly a passion of his.

He considered expanding his sports portfolio, perhaps by buying a baseball or soccer team. But while the Knicks and Rangers are “near and dear to my heart,” he said, “I don’t really like owning teams,” calling the economics of major league sports “kind of sleepy.” He ruled out that option.

Since Dolan took over the Knicks and the Rangers in 1999, neither team has won a championship. The Rangers have come close on several occasions and are a perennial playoff team in the NHL, while the Knicks have not been nearly as successful, as the team hasn’t made it to the postseason in consecutive years since 2013. Previously, Dolan was the owner of the WNBA’s New York Liberty, which moved farther and farther away from being a championship contender during his tenure. They are now owned by Joe Tsai, whose portfolio of teams includes the Brooklyn Nets.