NEW YORK – New York Knicks owner James Dolan confronted a fan who yelled at him to “Sell the team!” in the waning minutes of Saturday’s 102-94 loss to the Sacramento Kings.
A TMZ video shows Dolan exiting toward the tunnel when he hears the fan and, instead of simply ignoring the fan and exiting the seating area ten feet in front of him, the team owner stops to call the fan closer for a discussion which went like this:
“You think I should sell the team?” Dolan begins. “You wanna not come to any more games?”
“Why?” the fan responds.
“Because that’s rude,” Dolan answers.
“It’s an opinion,” the fan counters.
“No, it’s not an opinion and, you know what, enjoy watching them on TV,” Dolan responds, before signaling to his security team.
Witnesses reported to TMZ that the man was held by police until security arrived to establish his identity and ask him to leave the building.
“Our policy is and will continue to be that if you are disrespectful to anyone in our venues, we will ask you not to return,” said a spokesperson from Madison Square Garden in a statement.
It’s unclear whether the fan is permanently banned from the arena.The Knicks are 13-53 this season — worst in the NBA.
Counter to the MSG policy, New York fans are amongst the toughest in the NBA on out-of-town players, coaches and the NBA referees, often shouting and calling them out. In recent years, even team doctors and staff are visible and boisterous from Courtside seating areas, never mind past antics by former Knicks forward Charles Oakley.
On the New York Rangers side, fans still taunt former NY Islanders great Denis Potvin with chants, certain to be categorized as disrespectful.
Coincidentally, a new head of public relations, Patrick Sandusky of the USOC, will report to work at The Garden on Tuesday, March 12th.
–Staff, TMZ and Field Level Media Report