Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Dolan Addresses Media for First Time in 6 Years, Says Knicks-Nets Rivalry is ‘Good for New York’
NEW YORK — Knicks owner James Dolan took questions from reporters for the first time in six years on Wednesday but he didn’t say a single word about Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith or Amar’e Stoudemire.
Instead, Dolan, speaking at a press conference to announce that the 2015 NBA All-Star Game will come to Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center, proclaimed the Knicks-Nets rivalry good for New York.
“I think the rivalry is a good thing for New York, so that point it’s enjoyable,’’ Dolan said in answer to a question from the New York Post. “As far as the teams will go, I’m not going to make any predictions. This is about the All-Star Game. My hope is that both teams have a lot of players in the All-Star Game. That would be great.‘’
Since the Nets moved to Brooklyn from New Jersey, the two New York teams have taken turns displaying billboards aimed at tweaking each other and verbally sparring over who would dominate New Yok.
Most recently, when told that Smith guaranteed the Knicks would win the NBA championship, Nets guard Jason Terry said, “Right. Maybe the Rucker Park Championship. I don’t know, not the NBA championship.”
Dolan said rivalries were good for New York.
“New York is used to rivalries,’’ Dolan said. “We’ve seen quite a few of them in our day. The most famous: Brooklyn vs. the Yankees. We’ve seen Rangers vs. Islanders and Devils. They are nothing but good, nothing but fun for the fans. They are great for business and they push the teams involved to greater heights athletically. I expect that should continue to go on. The All-Star Game, we’ll take the timeout from the rhetoric.’’
Sitting on the stage, Dolan looked unhappy for most of the press conference. Asked what he got out of a meeting last season that included NBA Commissioner David Stern and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov aimed at making peace between the two teams, Dolan said, “Free lunch.’’
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to play up the cooperative spirit between the two teams.
“I’m here trying to be neutral between the Nets and the Knicks,” he said. “For the record I have tickets for both.”
How many season ticket-holders of both teams will end up with tickets to the All-Star game itself remains to be seen. Future NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said there would be a lottery, but he couldn’t say how many tickets would be available, explaining that it varies from city to city.
As discussed in this post, Silver also said it was possible the Nets could host the All-Star Game in the future, and that it would be up to the Knicks if they wanted to co-host.
“There will be an opportunity for Brooklyn to host the game [in the future],” Silver said.
In the next two years, the New York /New Jersey area will host the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium, the 2014 East Regional Final of the NCAA Tournament at the Garden and the 2015 All-Star Game, as well as the NBA and NFL Drafts.
The Garden will also host the Eagles band for three shows in November, the same classic rock band that Dolan’s group, JD & The Straight Shot, opened for in previous years.
“The investment we made in the Garden was also one we made in our city,” Dolan said. “And we look forward to hosting other high profile events.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.