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Dolan: Thomas was number 1 on my list for Liberty

James Dolan was not surprised there was some controversy over his hiring of Isiah Thomas as president of the WNBA's New York Liberty.

"I'm used to living in controversy," the executive chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company told CNBC.

Dolan said The New York Liberty and WNBA are not as popular as he would like and he needed someone who could put a winning team on the floor. "I looked around to see who could give me a winner and the number one on my list who could do that job was Isiah Thomas so I went for it. I did not to pay attention to all the controversy that I knew would be there," Dolan said.

In 2007 a jury ruled Thomas, a former New York Knicks coach and president, sexually harassed a former team executive. Madison Square Garden, Thomas and Knicks owners were ordered to pay $11.6 million in all.

Dolan jokingly said, "I am so pleased by everyone's interest in the New York Liberty and I can't wait to seem them all at the games."

Dolan also owns the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.