Knicks owner James Dolan has resigned from his position on the influential advisory/financial and media committees of the league’s board of governors, according to a ESPN Report. The owner made this decision before launching a lawsuit against the Toronto Raptors, which notably calls into question the objectivity of NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
“Given everything that has happened lately, 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 it to the league’s other 29 owners.
Dolan informed Silver and his peers of his intention to no longer attend board of governors meetings, according to ESPN. The Knicks owner did not waive his right to vote, but indicated that he would turn to the Knicks’ general counsel. Jamaal Lesane to represent the organization at BOG meetings, according to the memo.
“I hope the Knicks are treated equally and fairly like every other team in the NBA,” Dolan said in the memo. …As you know, I am very busy with all my roles within the MSG family of companies. I need to spend my time where I can be most productive.
In two recent votes, Dolan was the only owner to vote “no” on otherwise unanimous issues. He voted against Michael Jordan’s sale of the Charlotte Hornets to the group led by Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin. Dolan was also against the WNBA’s expansion to San Francisco, according to ESPN.
In a court filing Monday, the Knicks said they seeking more than $10 million in damages from the Toronto Raptors in a lawsuit alleging the theft of thousands of confidential files. The team also argued that Silver should not arbitrate the case because of his close friendship with Raptors Governor Larry Tanenbaum.
The recent filing, which was obtained by ESPNcame in response to the Raptors’ Oct. 16 motion to dismiss the Knicks’ initial complaint and have Silver arbitrate the dispute.
The complaint accused former Knicks employee Ikechukwu Azotam, who worked for the Knicks from 2020 to 2023, of sending the Raptors thousands of confidential files – including game frequency reports, a preparation book for 2022-23 season, video scouting files, opposition research and more – after the team began recruiting him to join their organization in the summer of 2023, according to ESPN.
The Knicks argued in their filing Monday that Tanenbaum’s position as chairman of the NBA Board of Governors would create a conflict of interest. The filing continues: “Tanenbaum is Silver’s boss and exercises control and strong influence over Silver’s continued employment and salary. »
“Among other things, Tanenbaum has been described as ‘a close ally of Commissioner Adam Silver,'” the Knicks wrote. “Silver himself described Tanenbaum as “not only my boss as chairman of the board of governors, but he is truly a role model in my life.” If Silver were to preside over the current conflict, he would be arbitrating a case for his boss and ally.
The Raptors have not publicly commented on the matter.
The team also accused Azotam — who worked for the Knicks as an assistant video coordinator and then as director of video/analytics/player development assistant — of violating a confidentiality clause in a contract. work and alleged that members of the Raptors “directed Azotam’s actions.” and/or knowingly benefited from the illicit acts of Azotam.
Monday’s filing marked the Knicks’ first instance outlining potential monetary damages since they filed their initial complaint in August.