A new petition on Change.Org calls for James Dolan, owner of the New York Knicks, to step down. As a long-suffering New York Knicks fan, I started this petition as a service to all Knicks fans.
It is time for James Dolan to step down as owner and boss of the New York Knicks. In his tenure, from 1999 to the present, the Knicks have been abysmal.
Although the Knicks made the NBA finals in 1999, Dolan’s first year in the helm (when he had much less influence), they only had one winning season until the 2010-2011 season. Numerous media and informal fan polls, including a Sports Illustrated poll, have ranked Dolan the worst owner in the NBA. In 2007, NBA Commissioner David Stern criticized Dolan’s management of the Knicks when he noted, “they’re not a model of intelligent management.”
Dolan’s poor management of the Knicks has been obvious. In 2001, at a time when nobody else had offered free agent Allan Houston more than $75 million, he gave him a 6-year, $100 million contract. He was mostly injured for four years, then with over $40 million remaining on his contract, he was retired.
In 2005, Dolan signed Larry Brown as head coach with a 5-year, $50-million contract. Dolan seems to think that he can always find a quick fix, and Brown was designated as the newest savior of the Knicks. (The most recent “savior” was forward Carmelo Anthony, who was brought in at the sacrifice of half the Knick team plus draft choices.) Brown only coached one season before Dolan desired he wasn’t going to be the savior the Knicks needed. He bought out Brown’s $18 million contract and Brown was able to take away $28 million for one year of coaching the Knicks.
His stupidest decision was probably to hire Isiah Thomas as team president of basketball operations and general manager. Thomas turned out to be a colossal failure, yet Dolan continued to support him through five painful seasons in which the Knicks made the playoffs only one time. He even gave Thomas a contract extension. Then he made things even worse by supporting Thomas’ treatment of Knicks executive Anucha Brown Sanders, who accused Thomas of sexual harassment. When she complained to Dolan about Thomas, he fired her, resulting in her successful $11-million lawsuit against Dolan and the Knicks in 2007.
As noted before, in 2011 Dolan decided to make a controversial trade for Carmelo Anthony, going against the advice of coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Donnie Walsh. The Knicks’ did manage to play better during the 2012-2013 season, winning over 50 games and winning the first round of the playoffs. However, this season are again losing (currently 12th in the Eastern Conference). And they will probably lose Anthony to free agency this summer and get nothing for him.
Also in 2011, Dolan chose to get rid of the player who had caused the most excitement of any player in decades–Jeremy Lin. Dolan refused to match the offer made to Jeremy Lin by the Houston Rockets. Thus, almost as suddenly as he had arrived in New York, Lin was gone, along with the hopes of millions of fans. He had single-handedly led the Knicks back to relevance in the 2010 season. Why would Dolan let Lin go? That is the question many fans asked themselves. Dolan complained that the Knicks would face a huge luxury tax if they kept Lin. However, underlying this was Dolan’s arrogance. He felt betrayed by Lin because he had hired a publicity agent and had restructured his contract with the Rockets. He decided to punish Lin for his unforgivable gall by not resigning him.
When looking at the management of the Knicks, it really appears that “the inmates have taken over the asylum.” That Dolan is has mental disturbances is a matter of record. He has a history of drug abuse. For example, in 1993, he participated in a drug rehabilitation program at the Hazelden clinic in Center City, Minn. I would content people need to be psychologically well-balanced to run a team, just as they have to be to be to coach or play on a team. The way Dolan runs the Knicks is similar to the way a stupid dictator runs a country.
Dolan has never been a basketball person. In college he majored in music, and even now he plays in a band. Playing in a band, not running the Knicks, seems to be his main love.
The petition asking owner Jim Dolan to step down was started on February 14, and may be one of the more unusual petitions ever to be found there. But I thought it was worth a try. Knicks fans, who have waited for another championship team since 1972, deserve an and owner and boss who knows what he is doing. We are asking James Dolan, for the good of the New York Knicks, to step down and give somebody else a chance to bring the New York Knicks back to the exciting level the achieved from 1969 to 1972.
You can see the petition here.