James Dolan can see into the future. Either that, or he uses his crystal ball as some sort of self-replenishing flask.
Following the New York Knicks' 120-89 loss at home to the San Antonio Spurs, Dolan's band, JD and the Straight Shot, played a show at The Cutting Room in New York. In between songs, Dolan guaranteed a Knicks victory against the Atlanta Hawks, according to the New York Daily News' Frank Isola:
James Dolan just guaranteed a Knicks win "in the next game." This is friggin awesome— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) November 11, 2013
"Thanks to the Rangers, who brought me a win," Dolan said, as quoted by the News' Stephen Lorenzo. "Unfortunately, the basketball [team] couldn't do it today. We're going to win the next game, that's a guarantee."
Surprisingly, Dolan didn't end his on-stage soliloquy with an "or else," or "coach Mike Woodson is fired" or "you'll never see your precious Knicks City Dancers again."
Most owners of a 2-4 NBA franchise that has lost three in a row at home wouldn't be so confident. Tyson Chandler is injured and Amar'e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin are non-factors, leaving Woodson to start the defensively challenged Andrea Bargnani at center. J.R. Smith is still working his way back from injury and a five-game suspension, and Carmelo Anthony, the free agent-to-be, is bearing witness to all of it.
Translation: This team has issues unlikely to be resolved overnight.
Perhaps it was just the on-stage adrenaline talking. Or maybe he emptied his crystal ball/vodka chalice just before he spoke.
Whatever the reason, Dolan was particularly rhapsodic and forthcoming for a change. Upon spotting Isola in the crowd, he apparently even sent him a drink:
I tried to be Donnie Brasco but Jim Dolan spotted me...and sent over a drink. I kid you not.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) November 11, 2013
This from the same owner who, according to ESPN New York's Ian Begley, told the Knicks' staff he expects the team to win a title this season. Not hopes—expects. He probably reiterated his desire when he met with Coach Woody following the Knicks' most recent loss, per Isola.
Known for his disappearing act around the media and eccentric managerial ways, nothing about Dolan surprises us (except for that free drink), including his latest forecast.
Will the Knicks beat the Hawks on Wednesday?
New York isn't a patient city, and the owner of its basketball team is even more petulant. I mean ignorant. Strike that one, too; let's go with inept. Actually, they all apply.
My bet is Dolan would have made this prediction no matter who the Knicks were scheduled to face on Wednesday, be it the Hawks, Miami Heat or juggernaut Philadelphia 76ers. Doesn't matter to him who the other team is. He wants a win; he expects a win. And when he expects something, it shall be done.
"Else" being Dolan's decision to supplant the Knicks' dancers with himself, bellowing blues songs into a headset as he rides around the court on a unicycle, juggling toupees in a leotard.