James Dolan tested positive for coronavirus.
The owner of billionaire Knicks, 64, has “few or no symptoms,” according to the team, and remains isolated while overseeing MSG’s business operations. Dolan lives in Oyster Bay on Long Island, but it’s unclear where he self-quarantines.
The diagnosis was revealed the same day, Dolan agreed to pay the salaries of event staff at all MSG sites until May 3 at least, despite the COVID-19 pandemic closing its arenas indefinitely.
Dolan represents the first known NBA owner to contract coronavirus after several players – notably Kevin Durant of Brooklyn – tested positive. Ironically, the Knicks would have decided not to test their players because, like Dolan, they had no symptoms. Many Knicks left the New York area during the coronavirus shutdown.
Access to testing for asymptomatic and healthy people has been controversial, as most NBA players who tested positive said they had no symptoms. Health officials generally recommend that tests be kept for the sick.
New York is the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 30,000 out of more than 124,000 cases in America and nearly 700,000 worldwide. The virus has killed at least 672 people in the city, including 222 on Saturday alone.
Coronavirus Hits New York: Find Out How The Epidemic Has Affected The State
Dolan is a recovered alcoholic who inherited his father’s MSG and took over the Knicks in 1999. He was extremely unpopular and failed as a basketball owner, but his other team – the Rangers – experienced more positives recently. Dolan has recently devoted much of his attention to live events and is currently the owner of Madison Square Garden, Hulu Theater, Chicago Theater and Radio City Music Hall. It has arenas that will soon open in Las Vegas and London. He also recently sold The Forum in Inglewood to Clippers owner Steve Ballmer for $ 400 million.
Despite its immense commercial success, Dolan’s Knicks has long been a mess. The franchise holds the worst NBA record in the past 20 years and leads a six-year streak without the playoffs.
This season – which has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus epidemic – has been another disaster, and Dolan has often taken center stage. After a resounding loss in November at home, he persuaded team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry to hold an impromptu press conference that put coach David Fizdale on the hot seat. Fizdale was laid off in December, then Dolan fired Mills in February.
Dolan also allegedly ordered the expulsion of a young fan when the crowd from the Garden chanted “Sell the team”. This month, the owner was charged with harassment by Spike Lee after the Knicks’ superfan argued with Garden security.
According to court documents, Dolan is scheduled to participate in a conference call Tuesday with Charles Oakley to mediate their civil lawsuit.