Reuters / Ray Stubblebine
- Shares of Madison Square Garden fell after the New York Knicks turned in a disappointing first day of NBA free agency.
- Top available free agents like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving wound up signing with the crosstown Brooklyn Nets, drawing the ire of fans and investors alike.
- Watch MSG trade live.
The New York Knicks said Kevin Durant wasn’t worth the $164 million another team paid him. But shareholders of the Madison Square Garden Company appear to feel otherwise.
The Knicks’ inability to land Durant — or any other high-profile NBA free agent — sent shares of the team’s parent company sliding as much as 3.4% on Monday. That wiped out as much as $229 million of market value from the stock at its lowest intraday level.
In addition to Durant, the Knicks were unable to convince former Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving to join them. Both players instead signed long-term contracts with the crosstown Brooklyn Nets.
The Knicks’ free-agency woes come after team owner James Dolan said in a radio interview back in March: “I think we’re gonna have a very successful offseason when it comes to free agents.”
Dolan went on to say that top players and their representatives are in regular contact with the team, stressing their desire to play for the Knicks. It’s safe to say that MSG investors entered free agency with high expectations following a season filled with such optimistic comments.
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Despite their failure to lure A-list talent, the Knicks were hardly stingy with their available capital. The team wound up spending a combined $135 million to sign up-and-comer Julius Randle, as well as established role players Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, and Reggie Bullock.
Those just didn’t appear to be the types of signings investors wanted.
MSG’s share losses come amid a broader stock-market rally on news that the US and China reached a temporary truce in their long-running trade war.
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