Why Has Knicks Owner James Dolan Resigned from NBA Board Committee?

Dolan's Unrest with NBA Policies Takes a Dramatic Turn.

by Nouman Rasool
Why Has Knicks Owner James Dolan Resigned from NBA Board Committee?
© Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

In a surprising move that has sent ripples through the NBA, James Dolan, owner of the New York Knicks, has resigned from his roles on the NBA Board of Governors' influential advisory/finance and media committees. This development, initially reported by ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, comes amid Dolan's dissatisfaction with the league's handling of his inputs and opinions.

In a memo to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the other 29 league owners, Dolan detailed his decision: "Given all that has occurred lately, I have come to the conclusion that the NBA neither needs nor wants my opinion." Despite this withdrawal from key committees, Dolan has not relinquished the Knicks' voting rights in league decision-making, delegating the responsibility to Jamaal Lesane, the Knicks' general counsel, for future Board of Governors' meetings.

Dolan's departure from these committees underscores a growing rift between his perspective and the league's direction. This tension was evident in his opposition to certain critical decisions, including Michael Jordan's sale of the Charlotte Hornets and the WNBA's expansion to San Francisco, both of which were otherwise unanimously approved.

Dolan Criticizes Revenue Sharing

Additionally, Dolan has been openly critical of the NBA's revenue-sharing model, which requires larger-market teams like the Knicks to share a portion of their revenue with smaller-market franchises, a policy he perceives as unfair.

Dolan and the Knicks have taken legal action against the Toronto Raptors in a related development. The lawsuit alleges the theft of confidential files and seeks damages exceeding $10 million. The Knicks have also requested Commissioner Silver be excluded from the hearing, citing a conflict of interest due to his close relationship with Larry Tanenbaum, the Raptors' governor and chairman of the NBA's Board of Governors.

The lawsuit points to a potential bias, with the Knicks arguing that Silver's involvement would be problematic due to Tanenbaum's influence over his position and salary. This legal battle, primarily around the common practice of coaches and staff taking notes for future jobs, further highlights the strained relations between Dolan and NBA leadership.

Dolan's departure from the committees and his legal confrontations with the league signal a significant shift in his involvement with NBA governance. It could have long-term implications for the Knicks and their role within the league.