New York Knicks Fans to Hold Protest Against James Dolan on March 19

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2014

The relationship shared between NBA fans and their favorite team's owner is a complex one. 

In some cities, it's harmonic. Fans and owners think along the same lines and operate on similar wavelengths. In others, it's tenuous, rife with unanswered questions and lack of faith.

In the Big Apple, specifically with regards to New York Knicks fans and owner James Dolan, it's something different entirely: mutinous and dissident. 

And now, it's absolutely broken.

According to the New York Post's Marc Berman, Knicks fans plan to hold a rally outside Madison Square Garden on March 19, before New York takes on the Indiana Pacers, in protest of Dolan:

A rally to protest Knicks owner James Dolan’s handling of the sinking franchise is on tap for March 19 in front of the Garden before the team hosts the Pacers.

The organizers of the 'KF4L Rally,' which has its own Facebook page, are promoting the rally via social media. The KF4L stands for "Knicks Fan for Life.'

Knicks fans Michael Brown, who has staged demonstrations in the past, Anthony Samaroo, a Chicago-based Knicks fan, and Mark Griffin are the rally’s promoters.

Summarizing exactly what fans are protesting is difficult. Dolan and the Knicks have given them so much to work with. 

The Knicks are 21-40 heading into Wednesday night's bout against the Minnesota Timberwolves, positioning themselves for a lottery berth without the benefit of keeping their first-round draft pick, which was sent to the Denver Nuggets as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade in 2011.

Anthony, meanwhile, will explore free agency this summer, at which point he could leave the Knicks, who have the league's second-highest payroll, with nothing. Toss in head coach Mike Woodson's inexplicable defensive rotations and simplistic offense, as well as the Knicks' sudden air of dispassion, and providing a succinct mission statement ahead of the protest seems impossible.

A statement released by the protest's coordinators, per Berman, did a nice job of pinpointing frustrations, citing "Dolan’s failure to allow knowledgeable basketball people the autonomy/power to make basketball related decisions," and "his insistence on overriding the opinions of his basketball people by bidding against himself in negotiations and overpaying in trades" as their underlying cause.

That sums up Dolan's terrifying reign as Knicks owner pretty well, considering all the mistakes he's quarterbacked.

Admittedly, though, the protest could not come at a more inopportune time.

Anthony's loyalty to New York and its fans is one of the few things that could potentially keep him in the Concrete Jungle. Discord among the fanbase isn't going to make his decision to stay any easier.

The Knicks plan to sell Anthony on summer 2015, when they have the financial flexibility necessary to add another star, basically ensuring he'll have to slog through another season like this one.

Per the New York Daily News' Frank Isola, 'Melo isn't willing to wait that long, effectively putting pressure on the Knicks to do something this summer or risk losing him to another team and a more stable environment.

Picket lines and uprisings aimed at unseating a curiously tyrannical Dolan reflect poorly on the franchise. Then again, so does this season. And almost every decision he has ever made.

"Look, it’s all about wins and losses to the fans," Dolan told The Post's Mike Vaccaro in November. "They want to believe in their team. They want to believe their team has a shot at the championship."

Knicks fans, sharpened pitchforks and all, just want to believe their favorite team could someday have an owner who knows what he's doing.



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