Adam ZagoriaKnicks owner James Dolan took questions from reporters for the first time in six years on Wednesday, but he didn’t say a single word about Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith or Amar’e Stoudemire.
Instead, Dolan, speaking at a press conference to announce that the 2015 NBA All-Star Game will come to Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center, proclaimed the Knicks-Nets rivalry good for New York.
“I think the rivalry is a good thing for New York, so that point it’s enjoyable,” Dolan said. “As far as the teams will go, I’m not going to make any predictions. This is about the All-Star Game. My hope is that both teams have a lot of players in the All-Star Game. That would be great.‘’
Dolan said rivalries were good for New York.
“New York is used to rivalries,’’ Dolan said. “We’ve seen quite a few of them in our day. The most famous: Brooklyn vs. the Yankees. We’ve seen Rangers vs. Islanders and Devils. They are nothing but good, nothing but fun for the fans. They are great for business and they push the teams involved to greater heights athletically. I expect that should continue to go on. The All-Star Game, we’ll take the timeout from the rhetoric.’’
Asked what he got out of a meeting last season that included NBA Commissioner David Stern and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov aimed at making peace between the two teams, Dolan said, “Free lunch.’’
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to play up the cooperative spirit between the two teams.
“I’m here trying to be neutral between the Nets and the Knicks,” he said. “For the record, I have tickets for both.”
How many season ticket-holders of both teams will end up with tickets to the All-Star game itself remains to be seen. Future NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said there would be a lottery, but he couldn’t say how many tickets would be available, explaining that it varies from city to city.
Adam Zagoria covers the New York Knicks and Big East hoops for NBA.com and SNY.tv. He also appears as a Big East Basketball Insider on SNY and 1050 ESPN Radio. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.