Knicks release bizarre statement accusing Tribune Publishing CEO of vendetta against MSG

James Dolan is being James Dolan again, which means he's angry at things that he actually caused. (Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

If there’s one thing New York Knicks owner James Dolan loves, it’s money. (He has a lot of it.) If there are two things Dolan loves, it’s money and getting angry at the media for covering the exploits he funds with his money.

Why bring that up? Because the New York Knicks PR Twitter account released a rather bizarre statement on Wednesday in response to a New York Daily News article that was published about Dolan’s ongoing legal feud with Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and the city of Inglewood, California.

The statement publishes in full a comment that MSG gave to the Daily News, which alleges that Timothy Knight, the CEO of Tribune Publishing (which owns the Daily News) has a vendetta against Dolan’s Madison Square Garden Company dating back to when Dolan fired Knight from Newsday, which MSG owns. The statement also inexplicably included the headshots of both Knight and Daily News editor-in-chief Robert York.

Confused yet? Well buckle up, because there’s more. The Daily News article that spurred the statement is about Dolan’s quest to prevent the Clippers from building a new arena in Inglewood. Dolan owns The Forum, a historic arena which is also in Inglewood. A new venue there would threaten The Forum’s ability to get A-list acts, and so Dolan has undertaken quite the campaign to stop it from happening.

The Daily News reviewed a deposition Dolan gave in November, which revealed a few things Dolan and his bankrolled groups have been doing. He gave $1 million to a candidate who tried and failed to challenge the current mayor of Inglewood (who is supportive of the Clippers’ arena plans). MSG spent $1 million in lobbying specifically to try and block the Clippers arena, which Dolan claimed he didn’t know about. He also claimed he didn’t know that MSG is funding lawsuits against Inglewood through a community group that the mayor believes is fraudulent.

Dolan also tried two separate times to convince Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss to relocate the Lakers to the Forum, which is absolutely hilarious. To the surprise of absolutely no one, she said “nope” both times.

As the Daily News pointed out, the building of a new arena does have negative aspects. It drives up prices of housing, which forces residents out of the area. There are environmental concerns, as well as serious concerns about gentrification. And MSG’s statement does say that Dolan’s company is continuing to “stand with local residents and organizations working to protect their neighborhood.” But Dolan’s ownership of The Forum makes it pretty clear that his lawsuit isn’t actually about the real concerns of a new arena.

This whole thing is like a Cobb salad of Dolan’s particular brand of craziness. There are so many different parts to it, and yet it all comes together to form the most delicious Dolan story there’s been in quite awhile. He’s angry at the Daily News for publishing an article about a deposition that only happened because he’s suing the city of Inglewood to stop them from breaking ground on a Clippers arena that would make it more difficult for his Forum to attract big name acts and make him more money.

Does Dolan know what “hoist by his own petard” means? He might want to look it up.

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