New York Knicks: 5 Reasons the Franchise Will Never Win While Dolan Is the Owner
New York Knicks owner James Dolan has presided over the worst stretch of basketball for the franchise since the 1960s. Despite the excitement surrounding the last couple seasons, the team is still not a contender.
Since he took over in 1999, Dolan's Knicks have missed the playoffs eight times, gone through several controversial coaching tenures and overspent on several free agents. His feuds with the coaches and trade-deadline ineptitude haven't helped, either.
If Dolan continues to run the team the way he has for the last decade-plus, there's no way the franchise will compete for another banner in the rafters.
Here is a breakdown of the five reasons the Knickerbockers will never win while he's the owner.
Poor Coaching Searches and Hires
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James Dolan has made a couple of questionable coaching hires and coaching searches, most notably Larry Brown and Isaiah Thomas.
Dolan signed Brown to a $50 million contract in 2005. But that turned out to be a failure that involved feuding between the two and a quick split after one year.
While hiring Brown might not have been a huge mistake, bringing in general manager Isaiah Thomas to replace him as head coach was a debacle.Thomas was incompetent at the helm, and Dolan hung on to him for far too long, even through Thomas' legal issues.
Fast-forward to today.
Even though Mike Woodson could turn out to be the right man for the Knicks in the long term, Dolan should have been more thorough in his coaching search just to make sure all bases were covered.
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No one can accuse James Dolan of not spending enough money. Dolan's been doing his best George Steinbrenner impersonation for years.
Unfortunately, he's forking over way too much cash for the talent he's getting.
The Houston signing would be a foreshadowing of things to come. Dolan has invested bushels of money to both Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, who haven't turned out to be a lethal combination.
Stoudemire's contract was particularly woeful, considering he's injury-prone and won't give them productive years into his mid-thirties.
Confrontational and Meddlesome
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Whether it was firing and then re-hiring Isaiah Thomas, publicly feuding with Larry Brown or involving himself in last year's Carmelo Anthony deal, Dolan has brought a load of conflict to the Knicks' organization.
One of the most recent manifestations of Dolan's difficult nature was former general manager Donnie Walsh resigning last spring. He cited lack of energy and commitment to the job, but Dolan's meddling was definitely a factor.
Angel Diaz of Complex Sports succinctly describes Dolan's back-breaking effect:
Dolan was the man behind the Melo trade, giving away 80% of a starting five for a guy that doesn't make people better. Donnie Walsh was so disgusted with Dolan's meddling ways, he walked out the door; leaving the franchise he helped resurrect.
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If Dolan continues to deal players like he did in the Carmelo trade, the Knicks will remain handcuffed.
About that trade...
In his star-hungry quest for Carmelo last spring, Dolan orchestrated the deal that sent the core of the Knicks' team to Denver in return for Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups.
Let's go over this deal:
The Knicks received: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Renaldo Balkman, Anthony Carter and Shelden Williams
The Nuggets received: Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, three future draft picks (including a first-rounder) and $3 million in cash.
Too Focused on Media Control
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In addition to the basketball-related ineptitude, Dolan is also too controlling when it comes to the organization's relationship with the media. He would do well to spend less time worrying about the media and more on actually winning.
The Knicks are by far the strictest team when it comes to media policy. Dolan's policy prohibits the Madison Square Garden network from criticizing the franchise.
This stance ultimately led to MSG not renewing broadcaster Marv Albert's contract because he criticized the team. Albert suggested it was more of a firing than a mutual parting.
Obsessively controlling player access to the media and censoring media criticism of the team isn't healthy and doesn't improve the team's well-being.