James Dolan

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Dolan: Knicks, Rangers Won't Tank On My Watch

January 08, 2019 - 10:18 am
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By WFAN.com

James Dolan made it clear Monday that he is anti-tanking.

The Knicks and Rangers owner talked to reporters at a Blueshirts practice in Las Vegas on Monday. Both of his teams are struggling mightily amid their rebuilds -- the Knicks are 10-30 and have lost 14 of their last 16, and the Rangers are in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division and have been outscored 18-3 over their current three-game losing streak.

Dolan said he knows some fans would prefer to see their team give up on the season and begin to position itself for the best possible draft spot, but he won't endorse tanking because it can result in "dispiriting your team."

“I think teams that tank are giving away something really big,’’ he said, according to Newsday. “I think they’re giving away that emotional development for the team. ... So none of my teams are going to tank. I’ll never tell a team to lose.’’

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Dolan added that he also believes ticket-buying fans deserve the best game you can give them.

Dolan may have exposed himself to a possible fine for saying he knows Knicks fans "want us to get this kid out of Duke," referring to Zion Williamson, the widely projected first overall pick in next year's draft. As innocuous as that comment might seem, it could potentially violate the NBA's strict rules preventing team representatives from commenting on players who are not draft eligible. 

As for the Rangers, Dolan said he's pleased with the way the team is developing.

“The stew has just gotten on the flame, so like everybody else, I’m waiting to see who we’re going to be,” he said, according to the New York Post. “I’m very happy with our coach (David Quinn). He’s a teaching coach, a development coach who understands how to work with kids, bring their level up and build a team."

MORE: Hartnett: Rangers Hit Rock Bottom In Shutout Loss To Coyotes

Despite their struggles, the playoffs are still within reach for the Blueshirts. They sit nine points behind the Islanders and Sabres for a wild-card spot.

Dolan said the biggest difference between the Knicks and Rangers is star power.

“If the Knicks had a Henrik (Lundqvist), they’d probably be competing for a playoff spot," he said. "No Henrik, no playoff spot.”

The Knicks' best player, Kristaps Porzingis, has not played yet this season after tearing his ACL in February.