New York Knicks owner James Dolan resigned his positions on the NBA board of governors' influential advisory/finance and media committees prior to launching a lawsuit against the Toronto Raptors in which he questioned the objectivity of NBA commissioner Adam Silver, according to a memo obtained by ESPN on Tuesday (November 21).
"Given all that has occurred lately, I have come to the conclusion that the NBA neither needs nor wants my opinion," Dolan wrote in a July memo to Silver, which was copied and shared to the owners of the league's 29 other franchises.
Dolan confirmed that he and his peers no longer planned to attend board of governor meetings, though specifying that he didn't relinquish voting power for the franchise, which would instead be turned over to Knicks general counsel Jamaal Lesane, who will now represent the team at BOG meetings, according to the memo.
"My hope is that the Knicks will be treated equally and fairly as all other NBA teams," Dolan wrote. "... As you know, I am very busy with all my duties at MSG family of companies. I need to apply my time where I can be most productive."
The Knicks filed a lawsuit seeking more than $10 million in damages from the Raptors alleging the theft of thousands of confidential files, while also arguing that Silver shouldn't arbitrate the dispute given his close relationship with team governor Larry Tanenbaum, who also serves as chairman of the NBA's board of executives.
"Tanenbaum serves as Silver's boss and exercises control over and heavily influences Silver's continued employment and salary," the Knicks' filing states, arguing a conflict of interest.
Dolan is one of the most polarizing owners in American sports with many Knicks fans having called for him to sell the team in the years leading up to the franchise's recent success, as well as his admitted use of facial recognition technology to keep critics out of Madison Square Garden. The 68-year-old recently opened the Sphere in Paradise, Nevada, east of the Las Vegas Strip.