We go through another season of NBA Basketball and the New York Knicks have failed... again for the umpteenth time since 2001. They can never get themselves out of the cellar. Even with some of their big players, it's not enough to get even 40 wins. This year has been all kinds of embarrassment as they celebrated 70 years of basketball, which was when the NBA first started. Once again, owner James Dolan has found himself in the spotlight again, and the league will not do anything about it.
I'm sure some have heard about it already, but this past Tuesday, the Knicks faced the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. A lawyer, Mike Hamersky, was having a quick beer at a bar after getting off work. A season ticket holder, he saw Dolan heading out to a limousine and said he should sell the team, which sounds like something you would hear the last 10 year or so years. Dolan heard it, and went back to Hamersky to call him an asshole and put up some wild accusations. The pudgy owner confirmed the story on Deadspin and told his take on the story. He accused Hamersky of being an alcoholic and told his security crew to make sure he didn't get into the Garden. Supposedly, a security guy did follow Hamersky, and the Knicks PR put up a statement, possibly written by Dolan about what happened and their thoughts. Sadly, this situation is not without precedent.
Back in February, beloved Knick legend Charles Oakley was arrested after security had to drag him out of Madison Square Garden. Oakley has never been liked by Dolan as he is not invited to participate in the team's activities with former players. What happened two months ago is up for interpretation. Some could say Oak said a few negative things by Dolan, or Dolan wanted him out because of what would happen. A night or two after the incident, Dolan goes on The Michael Kay Show and puts up an accusation that Oakley had an alcohol problem. He would ban the former great from the arena, fire a head of security for the incident, and the PR group dug a deeper hole that really made the situation a lot worse. In the end, a lot of people stood up for Oak while Dolan got even more hated. There was a meeting between the two and the ban was lifted.
Two years ago, Dolan got sent an angry email from a Knicks fan that had grown up with the team since their early days in the 1950s. In response, he berated the fan and accused him of not only being an alcoholic, but that he had done nothing positive in life. From this past Tuesday and these two examples, the NBA did nothing. This is a big punch to the face for the league, and its sad that there is no intervention because of the way Dolan acts.
The owner has been one of the most controversial and most hated in the league since his daddy, Charles, gave him the team in 1999. From what I understand, he is a very private person. One of his policies on MSG channels is that you can't criticize the Knicks no matter what. Marv Albert would do that one time in 2004, and he's been working at TNT ever since because Dolan didn't want to hear negativity from one of the biggest play-by-play announcers in the NBA. He fumbled a lot on Detroit Piston legend Isaiah Thomas, which ultimately led to a lawsuit between Thomas and Anucha Browne Sanders regarding sexual harassment. Sanders would win her suit. The way Dolan has handled Phil Jackson has been subpar. There's just a lot of bad things that have occurred.
I don't get why Dolan gets frustrated and says stupid things. The Knicks have been a poor representation of the NBA for the last 15 years. How is that not surprising when he sees fans act that way? When you're that bad for so long, of course the damn fans are going to say to sell the team. He lacks any sort of professionalism. He's never worked hard at getting anything. The same things that are heard every day are going to be that way until he either sells the team (which he probably won't) or passes away.
If he says something even more derogatory or racist, what is commissioner Adam Silver going to do? Give him a slap on the wrist? The foot has to come down eventually, even as all those idiots in Manhattan sell out Madison Square Garden every game. The NBA can't keep dodging this stuff. They have to eventually punish Dolan, whether it's a huge fine or getting rid of the team. If I was in charge, I would get rid of Dolan, his PR guy Jonathan Supranowitz, get rid of their media policy, and try to get someone that is basketball oriented to be the owner instead of a cable TV oriented owner.
Something has to happened soon. Stalling is only going to make things worse. If it doesn't, shame on Silver.
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