Knicks owner James Dolan is the lead singer and guitarist for his band, JD & The Straight Shot. For a guy who would not have the time, money or connections to have a band unless he was rich and famous, he is decent. However, when it comes to the Knicks, Dolan continues to pluck the wrong strings.
On Tuesday, Dolan scratched the "interim" tag off of all Glen Grunwald's business cards, as he named him the permanent VP and general manager of the Knicks. Grunwald's phone number is still the same, and so is Dolan's tendency to be wrong.
A year and a couple months ago, Dolan slaughtered former president of basketball operations Donny Walsh's master plan, as he entered negotiations with Denver Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke. Walsh had fought since his hiring in April 2008 to bring the desolate Knicks payroll under the salary cap.
In the 2008-2009 season, Walsh negotiated a buyout with Stephon Marbury and traded away the disastrous contracts of Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford for the expiring contracts of Al Harrington, Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley. The trades cleared $27 million of 2010 cap room.
Walsh put the Knicks in the drivers seat headed into the summer of 2010. LeBron decided to play with his buddies in Miami, so the Knicks signed A'mare Stoudemire.
Stoudemire brought a new energy to Madison Square Garden, and with Raymond Felton, Danillo Gallinnari and Wilson Chandler, the Knicks started to play as a team. Dolan ruined all the chemistry trying to be the hero that saved the Knicks. He was not about to let Walsh reap all the credit for fixing the Knicks.
In his time as GM, will Glen Grunwald ever lead the Knicks to a championship?
Instead of leaving the negotiations to Walsh and Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri, Dolan pulled the trigger on the Carmelo Anthony trade well before the deadline, sending Gallinari, Chandler, Felton, Timofey Mosgov, Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry's expiring contract, and New York's 2014 first-round pick away.
The Knicks, who were 28-26 before the trade, went 14-14 to finish the season, and then were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Celtics. According to Basketball Prospectus, there is a 92.6 percent chance the Knicks will face Miami in the first round this year.
Give Grunwald credit for building this team. He turned a team that only had Anthony and Stoudemire into a fairly deep team. He acquired Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak.
Grunwald might be the perfect man for this job, but it is too soon to tell. Smith and Novak are nice complementary pieces, but both are unlikely to be with the Knicks next year. This year's gambles worked—next year's might not.
Even if Grunwald gambles and wins next year, finding the unlikeliest of performers, he will never win a ring in NY.
The real problem with the Knicks is not their complementary pieces, but their foundation. The Broadway Bigs of Chandler, Anthony and Stoudemire do not compare with Wade, Bosh and James, and they never will.
Dolan has set Grunwald up for failure, so he should enjoy his title, while he still has a job.
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