This will be shocking to you, dear reader, but James Dolan is up to his old tricks again.
On Saturday afternoon, the New York Post reported Dolan donated $50,000 to a Republican PAC in support of GOP congressional candidate Nicole Malliotakis, currently attempting to earn a Republican Congress seat in Staten Island. That alone is not particularly remarkable. But, according to The Post, the motivation behind Dolan's donation was one born of pettiness.
Democratic representative Max Rose, the incumbent politician holding the seat that Malliotakis wants, said Dolan should sell the New York Knicks to TMZ last week. He is not the first person to believe this and express it in a public forum, and he will certainly not be the last. That apparently rubbed Dolan the wrong way, who turned around and donated 50 grand to Rose's opponent. He also reportedly sent an email to his friends urging them to do the same.
“Max Rose thinks he can make our team and my ownership his political platform,” Dolan wrote in a personal email to friends last week that was obtained by The Post. “I need to let him know that we will not stand for this. The best way to do this is to help his opponent. He is in a tight race for the US Congress in Staten Island. … Please join me in helping Nicole defeat Max Rose for Congress. “It will help send a strong message to all NY politicians that the Knicks will not be their political ticket to reelection. The most you can donate is $2,800,” Dolan added. “I cannot do this alone due to the limit on campaign contributions.”
“Faso said Dolan got pissed off at Max Rose because he said something about the Knicks being a sh–ty team and then Dolan turned around and wrote a $50,000 check to his PAC,” a source close to Faso told The Post.
Shockingly, Dolan actually agreed to talk to The Post about this.
In an interview with The Post, Dolan said neither Malliotakis nor Rose had been on his radar before the dustup, but that it was inappropriate for a sitting Congressman to politicize the team. “It’s not like we’re unaware that fans are unhappy with the Knicks performance,” Dolan said. It’s “very disrespectful to his own constituents that they would think that this is something that would help them make up their mind about who should represent them in Congress,” he said. Dolan told The Post New Yorkers should expect to see him become more politically active in the future, as his Madison Square Garden “hemorrhages” money as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns.“I think we’re going to start taking more aggressive positions, particularly in New York politics,” he said. “New York is really a one party city, particularly the city, I don’t think that’s healthy democracy. I think that you will see us be very pro-two party democracy and do more to help balance the scales.”
That last point is particularly interesting because, if you'll recall, the Knicks did not release a statement in the aftermath of George Floyd's death because Dolan did not feel it was the place of his company to comment on such matters. Yet Dolan clearly is not hesitating to use his immense influence to fiddle in the political realm. Those two things don't seem compatible, but here we are.
Rose, for his part, was not particularly worried, and told The Post as much.
“Glad to see James Dolan is taking his talents to boost Nicole’s campaign. God knows he’s got the Midas touch,” the Congressman snarked. “Never forget the Eddy Curry trade! “Proud to say that I don’t take money from Corporate PACs, federal lobbyists, or worst of all — James Dolan.”
Dolan also reiterated, again, that he has no plans to sell the team. Shame.