James Dolan worried about Knicks without ‘important’ Mitchell Robinson – The Denver Post


BOSTON — James Dolan seems satisfied about the Knicks season thus far but concerned about the next “four weeks” without Mitchell Robinson.

“The Knicks are doing well,” the team owner told FOX5 New York on Thursday morning. “They’re not at the top of the league, but they’re not at the bottom. And they’re in a playoff position now.

“We just lost a player — Mitchell Robinson — for four weeks, and he was important to us. So we have to make it through the next four weeks.”

The Knicks never provided a recovery timeline for Robinson, only that he’ll undergo a re-evaluation three weeks from the surgery on Jan 19. After Dolan’s suggestion that Robinson will be out until after the All-Star break, a team spokesman said, “Nothing changed in our update.”

Heading into Thursday’s game against the Celtics, the Knicks were 1-3 since Robinson broke his thumb on the head of Wizards guard Bradley Beal. They were seventh in the Eastern Conference — which, despite Dolan’s claim, doesn’t guarantee a playoff spot — and also have the NBA’s toughest remaining schedule based on the opponent’s current record.

Dolan, meanwhile, seems more optimistic with his other sports team, the Rangers, who are sixth in their conference with 60 points in 48 games.

“Being a team owner, you have good days and bad days. When you win, it’s a good day. When you don’t win, it’s a bad day,” said Dolan, who was wearing a Rangers scarf. “I think the Rangers are really cooking. They have a shot this year to win the whole thing.”

Dolan’s appearance on FOX5′s Good Day New York represented his first in-depth media interview in nearly four years, and it mostly concerned his controversial use of Facial Recognition Technology to ban lawyers from all MSG venues who are part of active lawsuits against Dolan.

Dolan said it’s his right as a business owner, comparing it to a baker who was sued by a customer and no longer wanted to sell that person bread. When interviewer Rosanna Scotto reminded Dolan that MSG receives tax abatements from New York City, the 67-year-old redirected from the premise that it’s more than a private company.

“We get tax abatements. Every team in New York gets tax abatements,” Dolan said. “If you don’t think we should have tax abatements, we should take away from all the teams. Which of course they don’t want to do.”

Dolan receives a tax break that’s up to roughly $43 million per year because of an exception drafted in 1982 by Mayor Koch. Various New York lawmakers have since threatened to repeal the exemption.

Dolan added Thursday that he won’t relocate MSG despite a suggestion from Mayor Adams that he’s open to that discussion as Penn Station gets a massive renovation.

“I’m not going to move Madison Square Garden,” Dolan said. “It’s in a good place right now. It’s easy for everybody to get to. And honestly, we invested billions of dollars into the building.”

But Dolan has dropped one project: his blues band, JD & The Straight Shot, which has been on hiatus because the opening of his new venue in Las Vegas, the Sphere, experiences continuous delays.

“It’s sucking up all my time,” Dolan said. “I have to wait until I finish this project. Then I’ll get back to the music.”



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