Knicks fined $50,000 for banning newspaper from news conference

Posted at 4:29 PM, Jun 25, 2019

The New York Knicks were fined $50,000 by the NBA on Monday for violating league rules regarding equal access for members of the media.

The violation took place Friday, the day after the 2019 draft.

A reporter from the New York Daily News was banned from the introductory news conference for the team’s two new players, RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis, despite having a credential to attend.

The newspaper has long had an adversarial relationship with team owner James Dolan, and writer Stefan Bondy was banned from a news conference in December.

“The Knicks acknowledge that we did not comply with the NBA’s media policy and made an error in interpreting Friday’s announcement as an invite-only event,” the team said in a statement. “As we do throughout the year, we have and will continue to provide access to credentialed media as per the league’s policy.”

Most people may consider $50,000 to be a significant amount of money, it’s a relatively small fraction of the team’s value.

According to Forbes, the New York Knicks are the most valuable franchise in the NBA, with a $4 billion valuation. And Dolan, as the CEO of Madison Square Garden Co., took home a $50 million compensation package last year, according to Bloomberg.

Josh Robbins, president of the Professional Basketball Writers Association, said in a statement Saturday, “The New York Knicks’ decision to ban New York Daily News journalists from RJ Barrett’s and Ignas Brazdeikis’ introductory news conference Friday was unprofessional and unacceptable.

“James Dolan, the owner of the Knicks franchise, previously has said that barring Daily News employees from media availabilities sends the Daily News ‘a message.’ In reality, the only message he is sending is that he is a bully who retaliates against legitimate news outlets that publish content he dislikes. Members of the Professional Basketball Writers Association support our Daily News colleagues, and we condemn the Knicks’ attempts to hinder journalists’ ability to do their jobs and inform the public.”