James Dolan, a name I’ve seen pop up occasionally throughout my lazy NBA venture, but never fully understood why this businessman gets so much publicity. Yes, he owns the New York Knicks and gets continuously ravished by fans, but I wanted to find out why this individual and his team don’t go hand in hand.
Dolan took control of the Knicks in the year 2000, summed up as the end of their golden era. From 1987 to 1999, they qualified for 13 consecutive Playoffs. Since then, and in the 20 seasons under Dolan’s control, the team has advanced to the postseason just five times and won a single Playoff series in 2013. You can’t just blame Dolan for the team’s disappointment as the NBA is carried out by players and coaches, not owners. But success needs to come from the top, down.
The Knicks are bad and full of problems but have rarely found themselves as wooden spooners. So, what do you get with a mediocre team? You get average draft picks or slim chances at landing a talent that could transcend a franchise. But that shouldn’t be a problem as the Knicks have plenty of money, fame, and considered the “Mecca of basketball” where players dream of playing at. But a persistent problem for this franchise is instability. The Knicks have had 14 coaches in 19 seasons and seem to have an enigma for overspending on aging, injury-prone stars. Constant changes throughout the ranks, and unsuccessful big contracts, is a recipe for disaster or misery for fans. And where does instability come from? Upper management, right where Dolan sits on his throne.
The Dolans own less than 10% of MSG’s stock but have complete control of the voting rights. Meaning, no one can force James to do anything, and that’s the outlining problem. Dolan has no accountability for his actions, and unfortunately for Knicks fans, he isn’t going anywhere soon.
Catch you Thursday.