Knicks fans are tired of tanking. A fan base as loyal as Knick fans deserve better. While it does look like better days are ahead, the constant losing this season has everyone trying to fast forward to summer. Despite losing, the Knicks are constantly in the headlines, largely tied to what free agents many are expecting to sign with NY.
However, even though Mr. Dolan has largely stayed out of the basketball side of things, he inserted himself as the center of attention this past week, making headlines.
Everyone’s seen the video by now, of James Dolan walking out after a loss only to be heckled by a fan yelling at him to sell the team. Surprisingly, Dolan’s initial reaction at the fan was pretty subdued, stating that it was rude of a fan to be yelling at him on his way out of the arena. As the fan prodded Dolan a little more, Dolan retorted, ‘Have fun watching them on TV’ and kicked the fan out. Now, the game was over already so kicking someone out at that point is largely insignificant. But that fan has now been banned from MSG permanently with Dolan stating he doesn’t really see ever letting that fan back into MSG again.
We’ve come to know Dolan to be easily irritated and thin skinned. He really shouldn’t stoop down to the level of any heckling fans and to his credit he didn’t really take the bait from the fan. While banning the fan is a bit excessive, he’s well within his right to do that as majority owner. Not only that, the fan and his buddies could be seen on camera footage from a couple of sections away, trying to follow Dolan’s exit route so they could get close enough to heckle him while recording on video. Those fans are in the wrong as well. People love to pile on Dolan as the root of all Knicks problems but his irritation here is justified. He’s a fan of the team himself and a season with only 13 wins to this point has to be a tough pill to swallow.
As Dolan made his radio rounds this week, he was pretty outspoken and confident about the Knicks winning in the near future. He certainly has a lot of confidence in their chances to sign marquee free agents this summer, bluntly stating ‘no Knick on this current roster will be the centerpiece of the team.’ He has a sense of what’s coming and when asked about what he’s going to do to change the perception that he’s the root of the Knicks problems he responded, ‘we’re gonna win!’
Now all of this is not to say Dolan’s actions have been right. We know over the years he’s made so many missteps that have hurt the franchise and our on the court product. From battles with the media to the Charles Oakley incident, the list goes on and on. But as he continues reaching his point of self realization that he doesn’t know anything about the day to day operations of basketball, the better off the franchise is without him meddling. And he’s stated so himself that he has taken a backseat when it comes to the Knicks.
Frustrations from a season like this one are understandable, from the fans to ownership. Brighter days are ahead for the Knicks franchise and the moves that have been made to this point have trended in the right direction. As much as people want to blame Dolan, it’s an easy way out. He wants the Knicks to win too of course and all this losing isn’t what he wants for his franchise.
As a last point, just because Dolan has made mistakes in the past doesn’t mean that he can’t learn from them. If you would have told Knicks fans 10 years ago that he would be this out of the picture in 2019, you’d have thought that was a joke.
Everyone is entitled to rewriting their own history and Dolan is certainly attempting to change his own narrative. And his plan for doing that? Just like he said, “we’re gonna win!”