Knicks owner James Dolan resigns from his positions on the NBA Board of Directors Committee
Adrian WojnarowskiTop NBA Insider3 minutes to read
Before launching an unconventional lawsuit against the Toronto Raptors that includes allegations questioning the objectivity of NBA commissioner Adam Silver, New York Knicks owner James Dolan resigned from his positions on the influential advisory, financial and media committees of the NBA Board of Governors, according to a memo obtained. By ESPN.
“Given everything that has happened recently, I have come to the conclusion that the NBA neither needs nor wants my opinion,” Dolan wrote in a July memo to Silver that he copied to the league’s other 29 owners.
Dolan also notified Silver and his peers of his intention not to attend Board of Governors meetings, according to the memo. While Dolan has not given up voting power to his side, he has indicated he will turn to Knicks general counsel, Jamal Lessan, to represent the organization at BOG meetings, the memo said. Sources told ESPN that the shift has occurred.
“I hope the Knicks are treated equally and fairly like all other NBA teams,” Dolan said in the memo. “…As you know, I’m very busy with all my duties at MSG. I need to use my time where I can be most productive.”
In two recent unanimous votes, Dolan voted against selling Michael Jordan to the Charlotte Hornets to the group led by Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin and expanding the WNBA to San Francisco, sources told ESPN.
Over the years, Dolan has become increasingly critical of the league and Silver on a number of issues, including the NBA’s revenue-sharing system, sources told ESPN. Dolan has expressed dissatisfaction with elements of the system that requires large market franchises such as the Knicks to share their significantly higher revenues with smaller market teams.
In a lawsuit Monday, the Knicks said they are seeking more than $10 million in damages from the Raptors as part of a lawsuit alleging the theft of thousands of confidential files, and argued that Silver should not arbitrate the dispute in part because of his close relationship with Raptors governor Larry Tannenbaum.
The Knicks filing, obtained by ESPN’s Baxter Holmes, was in response to the Raptors’ Oct. 16 motion to dismiss the Knicks’ initial complaint and have Silver arbitrate the dispute.
In Monday’s filing, the Knicks also argued that Tannenbaum’s position as chairman of the NBA Board of Governors would create a conflict of interest, as “Tannenbaum serves as Silver’s president and exercises significant control and influence over Silver’s continued employment and salary.” Furthermore, Nicks noted the friendship between Silver and Tannenbaum.
Among other things, Tannenbaum was described as a “close ally of Commissioner Adam Silver,” Nix wrote. “Silver himself described Tannenbaum as not just my boss as Chairman of the Board of Governors, but a role model in my life.” “If Silver were to preside over the current dispute, he would be arbitrating a case for his boss and his ally.”
The Knicks’ lawsuit is based largely on a somewhat customary practice among coaches and development staff who change jobs: bringing files and notes with them about various programs they implemented as part of previous teams.
ESPN’s Baxter Holmes and Seth Wickersham contributed to this report.