For the last decade, the New York Knicks have been an embarrassment under the stewardship of Cablevision and MSG Chairman James Dolan, who gained control of the team in 1999.
Dolan is arguably the worst owner in the history of New York professional sports teams. The New York Daily News even dubbed him the “Scourge of New York Sports” a few years back. The record speaks for itself: 9 straight losing seasons, but with only 1 lottery pick on the roster because the team either traded the pick or the player, plus being in salary cap hell for most of the time because of asinine personnel decisions. He put buffoons Scott Layden and Isaiah Thomas in charge who pushed the team deeper into the abyss, and then handed over the basketball reins to Donnie Walsh who threw away 2 seasons for the pipe dream of signing LeBron James who becomes a free agent at 12:01 a.m. tonight. The Knicks are a distant fourth in the King James sweepstakes accoring to reports. And let’s not forget that Dolan decided not to settle the salacious Anucha Browne Sanders' sexual harassment suit against him, Thomas, and the Garden, which stripped away the last vestiges of dignity this once proud franchise had.
Back to King James. The Knicks meet with him in Akron Ohio at about 1 p.m. tomorrow with a contingent of Dolan, Walsh, head coach Mike D’Antoni, and former Knick player and now team executive Alan Houston. Yes, that Alan Houston who Dolan and only Dolan would have ever considered giving a $100 million contract. That was just another Dolan decision that kept the team in ruin all these years.
The thing about James is, according to reports, the Knicks are willing to sign Atlanta Hawk shooting guard Joe Johnson to max money if they can’t land the King. Johnson is a second tier player at best who came up shorter than Spike Lee in the playoffs last year and, at 29, is nearly 4 years older than James. Yes, only Dolan and the Knicks would consider signing a Plan D player as their Plan B and giving him just as much money as James.
I was a lifelong Knicks fan whose fandom is in flux because of what Dolan has done to the team. The best thing that could possibly happen is for Cablevision to sell the Knicks and the Garden. I thank God for 3 things at night: my family, my health, and Dolan failed in his attempt to buy my beloved Yankees and Jets. But the thing is, the Knicks still have a chance at James despite Dolan turning the team into a joke. That hope has more to do with New York City itself rather than anything else. So it pains me to think that if Dolan can pull a 4-leaf clover out of his ass and sign James then he would have the last laugh.