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Cablevision and MSG issue statements about playoff ticket controversy

By Royce Young | NBA writer
A report made the claim that the Knicks withheld Jeremy Lin's knee injury from the public in an effort to sell playoff tickets. A strong claim, but one that certainly makes sense considering the Knicks sat on the information that Lin had a torn meniscus for four days before finally announcing his surgery.

The only explanation as to why you'd hold back on an announcement is to see what Lin would decide. Or to use him a promotional device to sell some playoff ticket packages and collect the interest on the sales. Either or.

MSG and Cablevision though dispute that assertion, issuing statements Monday afternoon:

Knicks owner Jim Dolan:
“I understand that there will always be those who are critical of anyone who owns a controlling interest in three New York sports franchises. But, Mr. Zuckerman's attempts to parlay this into a favorable arrangement for himself could not be more misguided.”
MSG:
"Today's Daily News story is completely inaccurate, and serves only as another example of fabricated reporting by Mr. Zuckerman's newspaper. The suggestion that the timing of Jeremy Lin's injury report is in any way connected to a longstanding Knicks playoff ticket deadline is a malicious attack on The Madison Square Garden Company. Jeremy Lin decided on Saturday to have surgery now in hopes that he would be able to return in time for, or at least during, the playoffs. The Knicks have sold out 61 games in a row, including last season's playoffs, and as standard practice we provided season ticket holders a first opportunity benefit to reserve playoff tickets before going on sale to the general public.”
Cablevision:
“Today's story in the New York Daily News is just another in a long list of articles and cover stories designed to provoke Cablevision and The Madison Square Garden Company. Mr. Zuckerman has engaged in a campaign of intimidation and extortion to effect a merger between Newsday and the Daily News. He has made repeated overtures to Mr. Dolan and his executives to combine the operations with joint ownership and shared printing and editorial expense. This proposal was rejected multiple times.

In fact, at a Four Seasons lunch meeting on March 6, Mr. Zuckerman once again made his proposal, this time adding that “the bad press would end if we became joint owners” (a direct quote). Shortly thereafter, the Daily News ran a full front page with Mr. Dolan's picture as a centerpiece for a skull and crossbones graphic that included the word 'Toxic' in bold print. Today's back page story is just another in a series of these defamatory extortions.”
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