New York Knicks owner James Dolan is perhaps one of the most disliked owners in all of sports as the team’s fans regularly call for him to sell the team.
However, Dolan’s connection to the Los Angeles Lakers is extremely strange.
As a wealthy man with connections to The Forum — the arena the Lakers played in from the 1967-1999 NBA seasons — Dolan tried on several occasions to get an NBA team to move back in. And because the Lakers had already spent so much time there, Dolan figured they should be the team to do it and not the Los Angeles Clippers.
Dolan testified about two separate occasions in which he personally spoke to owner Jeanie Buss about the idea of moving back to Inglewood, according to Stefan Bondy and Nancy Dillon of New York Daily News:
“The Knicks owner testified about two exchanges with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss during NBA Board Meetings, both centered on Dolan’s desire for the Lakers to relocate from downtown L.A.”
Despite Dolan bringing this up more than once, it was clear to him and everyone involved that Buss had no interest in discussing the topic. It was reported that she changed the subject immediately in both cases:
“It was clear Jeanie didn’t want to have a discussion about it, with me at least,” Dolan said. “So she basically acknowledged that I was enthusiastic and changed the subject.”
Since Buss took full control of the Lakers in 2017, she has been adamantly against making major changes. This is in spite of the fact that she needed to make major changes to get control of the team in the first place.
This refusal to change has largely caused issues for the Lakers. However, in this situation, Buss seems to be looking out for the best interest of the team, and not allowing Dolan to have any control over the situation is certainly a phenomenal way to do that.
It’s unlikely the Lakers would ever move back to the Forum. Their contract with the Staples Center runs until 2025 and there are reports they’ve already begun negotiations beyond that.