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James Dolan won’t discuss email dustup involving disgruntled Knicks fan

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New York Knicks owner James Dolan was in no mood to address how he engaged in a vitriolic back-and-forth with a disgruntled fan during an appearance on Friday at a panel discussion related to the 2015 All-Star Game.

Dolan was at the NBA’s “Tech Summit” in New York to contribute to a panel discussion entitled “The Currency of Sports.” The Knicks owner addressed the benefits of the video game industry before walking off the stage.

A New York Daily News reporter was far more interested in asking Dolan questions about a far more scandalous story than one having to do with a boring panel discussion, but the Knicks owner wasn’t interested in going down that road.

When Dolan learned that the ink-stained wretch was from the Daily News, he apparently said in a sarcastic manner, “Oh, my favorite paper.”

The encounter between Dolan and a reporter from his favorite paper played out as follows, according to a report from the Daily News’ Mitch Abramson.

“What on earth caused you to respond to that angry fan’s e-mail criticizing your ownership of the Knicks? And why did you send that heated response?”

The smile evaporated and Dolan’s eyes narrowed slightly.

“Oh no, no, no, not going to get into that,” Dolan said as he stood by an exit. Had he been at Madison Square Garden, MSG security surely would have surrounded the reporter and chastised him for talking to Dolan. But in this case, Dolan just stood there for a moment, again with no protection from his security unit or constant aide, Barry Watkins.

“Wouldn’t you like to explain why you sent the e-mail?” the reporter tried again. The Garden boss then disappeared behind the door. The interview was over.

Clearly, Dolan as in no mood — perhaps understandably — to discuss his publicized email dustup with Irving Bierman, a mad-as-hell-and-isn’t-going-to-take-it-anymore Knicks fan who fired off a fiery email to the oft-embattled owner. The story took off once the contents of Dolan’s retaliatory reply were made public, in which he referred to Bierman as “sad person,” a “horrible mess” before opining that the fan was an “alcoholic maybe,” among other not-so-friendly observations, including telling the fan to “start rooting for the Nets because the Knicks don’t want you.”

Bierman stated he doesn’t expect an apology from Dolan for the hostile response to his email, nor does he want one. Instead, the 72-year-old, longtime Knicks fan said “all I want is improvement and to win a championship.’’

Good luck with all that. He’s better off joining forces with the fellow disgruntled Knicks fans who launched the Knicks4Sale website.

UPDATE: Dolan finally addressed the email kerfuffle on Friday while attending a charity event for Citi Harvest and NBA Cares. His comments were as follows, per the New York Daily News:

“Here’s what happened. I got sent a bad, hateful email … I get emails all the time, as I am sure you understand, and I generally don’t respond to the bad ones. This time it caught me at the wrong moment and I responded — sort of a tit-for-tat with the fan. I know I shouldn’t have done that but I did it anyway.

“It made me angry it was a personal, hateful attack that he had sent, but basically it’s over and it’s All-Star Weekend. I’d love if we all just sorta focused on that.

“There is a message I want to say — I actually got a whole bunch of emails that were really very nice. I did not get all hateful emails … so if you have written me a nice email, encouraging, etc., even if it’s a nice email about being upset about losing, you are actually going to hear back from me.

“If you wrote one of those other kind of emails, you are not going to hear back from me.”

And there you have it.