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The People vs. James Dolan

New York Knicks owner James Dolan.
New York Knicks owner and C.E.O. of Madison Square Garden Sports, James Dolan. MSG has instituted a policy banning lawyers at firms currently suing the company. Photo: Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
Eriq Gardner
December 5, 2022

The tyrannically thin-skinned James Dolan, the Cablevision heir whose family has owned the Knicks and Rangers for two generations, is arguably the worst team owner in all of sports. It’s not just that he oversees perpetually losing seasons as the C.E.O. of Madison Square Garden Sports and Madison Square Garden Entertainment, although those have been absolutely miserable to endure. It’s how Dolan has handled personal affairs, like keeping The Daily News from press conferences because he didn’t like the way the paper covered a female executive’s lawsuit alleging a hostile workplace, or how he threw Knicks legend Charles Oakley out of the Garden over a grudge.  

Still, nothing quite prepared me for reading the sworn affidavit filed on Nov. 2 by Barbara Hart, an attorney at Grant & Eisenhofer. The international firm is providing counsel for the City of Boca Raton Police and Firefighters’ Retirement System, which is currently involved in a lawsuit in Delaware alleging that MSG overpaid for the MSG cable network, and that the Dolan family received unique benefits from the acquisition to the detriment of other stockholders.