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James Dolan would rather build a Sphere than fall asleep owning more teams

Dolan’s mind is one of a kind.

Billy Joel’s last residency at Madison Square Garden press conference. Photo by Barry Williams for NY Daily News via Getty Images

James Dolan, owner of the New York Knicks and MSG among many other things out of my financial reach, conceded a very saucy interview to The New York Times ($) on Wednesday, Sept. 20. Saucy and spicy, to say the least.

The exchange with the outlet is based around Dolan’s latest investment: the building of an infamous and humongous Sphere at The Venetian Resort near the Las Vegas Strip, with the capacity to host 18,600 on an 18-acre area amounting to a total cost of $2.3 billion, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Dolan said that he was first enticed by this idea back in 2015 when he had to decide how to use a ridiculous $1 billion-plus in cash and credit that were “available to the companies under his control.”

Instead of pursuing the purchase of more sports franchises or teams, and with the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers already in his possession, Dolan revealed “I don’t really like owning teams,” though he acknowledged the NYK and NYR are “near and dear to my heart.”

Dolan also said that he wasn’t interested in buying any other venues reasoning “Once you own Madison Square Garden, how are you going to beat that?”

Speaking about the Knicks and his sports business dealings, Dolan said that he believes there are “two types of fans” who come to MSG: those who are there “for a good time,” and those who are “confrontational and behaving inappropriately, intent on spoiling everyone else’s fun.”

According to Dolan, those belonging to the second group “should be removed or kept out.” The NYT also quotes the Knicks owner saying “If an otherwise well-mannered spectator at a Knicks game held a sign overhead urging [him] to divest of the Knicks, [he] would support their ejection by ushers or security guards.”

Most impressively, Dolan went on to explain his position on fan behaviors and how he supports the crowd criticizing players but not the owner of the organization.

“If you held up a sign that says, you know, ‘Play better, this team sucks,’ you can do that. That’s part of being a fan,” Dolan said. Mr. D added that it is permissible to criticize the team but not the owner “because insulting a group is different from insulting one person.”

Dolan didn’t stop there, of course. He believes “Every fan thinks of themselves as the owner/general manager,” and that’s what is leading flocks of angry fanatics to criticize how he handles and manages his franchises when they meet him at different events.

“Being a professional sports owner in New York, you’re not beloved until you’re dead,” Dolan said.

As the NYT factually points out, the Knicks had made the postseason in each of the 11 seasons before Dolan took over the franchise in 1998. It’s been 25 years since then, and you don’t need more than two hands to count the times New York has made it to the playoffs in this ongoing span.

It’s happened on nine occasions, just in case, and for context, the Knicks have employed 14 different head coaches and nine presidents/GMs in that time. How about that?

“Kind of sleepy,” Dolan said referring to owning teams. Not sleepy? Hiring and firing foes left and right, kicking people out of his venues, and building monstrously huge round and three-dimensional auditoriums.