James Dolan's New York Knicks play favorites.
You might think that means coach Mike Woodson and his tyrannical boss cater to those who play better than everyone else. You might say additional minutes are given to those who put up numbers. You might say preferential treatment is given to players who represent the Orange and Blue best.
You might say all of that. But if you did, you would be unequivocally wrong.
More than your shooting percentages, overall play and potentially detrimental lifestyle, the Knicks are more interested in which agency represents you, specifically Creative Artists Agency.
"You see how guys from CAA are treated differently," one anonymous Knicks player told ESPN New York's Chris Broussard. "How they get away with saying certain things to coaches. How coaches talk to them differently than they talk to the other guys. It's a problem."
Beno Udrih, is that you? Oh, wait. You're in Memphis. Never mind.
The Knicks have long been known to favor those represented by CAA. According to the New York Daily News' Frank Isola, Woodson ditched his agent in 2012 in order to secure a new contract with the team.
There's also the matter of Chris Smith, the younger brother of embattled chucker and resident party-goer J.R. Smith. Despite lacking the necessary skill set to compete in the NBA, the Knicks signed him to a contract that became fully guaranteed if he made the opening-day roster, which he did.
"Sure, it does," Woodson said in October of Smith's familial ties playing a role in the Knicks' decision to keep him, per the New York Post's Marc Berman. "I look at [Chris] just like I look at J.R., though J.R. is the guy who played in a uniform and has been very productive for us. I have a great deal of respect for that family."
Sounds more like he and the Knicks have a great deal of respect for CAA, who predictably represent "Swish." And superstar Carmelo Anthony. And assistant general manager Allan Houston. And player personnel director Mark Warkentien. And every Madison Square Garden cotton-candy vendor (probably).
The Knicks are CAA's team. Or rather, they're CAA's disaster.
With their playoff hopes on life support and their championship aspirations dead, the Knicks have tied their future to CAA.
It's clear they're hoping the agency's complete domination of the organization impacts Anthony's decision this summer. It's also clear they've maintained that same belief for years.
Finally, it's clear their inequity has become a problem that stretches well beyond the comments of one player, who we're left assume remains anonymous out of fear for incurring the wrath inflicted upon those unwilling to check with CAA before going to the bathroom.