Losing appears to be taking a toll on many within the New York Knicks organization, and the frustration reportedly starts at the very top with owner James Dolan.
According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, a source said that Dolan was "visibly agitated" following the Knicks' 122-95 loss to the Toronto Raptors Monday.
The Knicks are currently 13th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 24-34, including a 2-12 mark over their past 14 outings.
Head coach Derek Fisher was fired after a 23-31 start, but things haven't gotten any better under interim head coach Kurt Rambis, who is just 1-3 at the helm.
News of Dolan's reported outrage comes shortly after Knicks superstar forward Carmelo Anthony called the 2015-16 season "tough" and challenged the team to step up in the face of adversity, per ESPN.com's Ohm Youngmisuk:
Regardless of the record, just losing, accepting that—it is hard to accept that. You can't be satisfied with losing basketball games.
We just got to want to do it. We want to get out there and want to play. We want to compete. I don't think it's anything to do with kind of X's and O's.
I think we got to take it upon ourselves individually, take the challenge as a group, have each other's backs out there.
The Knicks are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season. While that came with a perk last year in the form of drafting promising rookie Kristaps Porzingis in the first round, New York doesn't have that luxury in 2016 since its first-round selection was dealt to the Raptors for Andrea Bargnani in 2013.
Dolan's frustration is understandable since the 60-year-old executive chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company has invested heavily in team president Phil Jackson, Melo and the since-fired Fisher.
There is a great deal of pressure to succeed in the Big Apple, and aside from an outlier 54-28 season in 2012-13, the Knicks haven't been viewed as legitimate threats since the turn of the century.
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The 2015-16 season appears to be a lost cause for Dolan and the Knicks, and the only quick fix for a turnaround in the near future may require the owner to open up his pocketbook even wider in an attempt to lure a superstar such as Oklahoma City Thunder wingman Kevin Durant to New York.
Failing that, a complete overhaul with Porzingis as the cornerstone of a rebuild may be the only way to ensure the franchise's long-term success.
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