Most people know New York Knicks owner James Dolan as the fun-loving front man of the band JD and the Straight Shot. In fact, there's a lot more to James Dolan than might meet the eye. He's someone that has a reputation for being a bit hot-headed when things aren't going the Knicks way, which in terms of competing for a title is quite often. He's been known to micro-manage the smallest details within the Knicks product on and off the court, which some owners make the choice to do.
With the Knicks starting 1-2 on the season and having 79 games to go, he's apparently not handling the slow start all that well. According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, Dolan went on a rampage during Sunday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves after the Knicks surrendered 40 first-quarter points. He sought out president and general manager Steve Mills to figure out why his team was not playing up to championship caliber.
The media-shy chairman of Madison Square Garden was conspicuously missing from his baseline seat during most of the second quarter of Sunday's lethargic loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. And for good reason.
According to several sources, Dolan was ready to erupt after the Knicks surrendered 40 first-quarter points and as the deficit ballooned to 23 Dolan went hunting for Steve Mills, the team's new president and general manager.
That Mills isn't responsible for either the roster or the coaching staff didn't matter. With Dolan the facts rarely matter. The boss needed to vent and found Mills in a suite.
That's one of the perks of being the boss. You get to assign blame to whomever you choose. So on this night, it was left to Mills to talk Dolan down from the MSG Chase Bridge.
If I were James Dolan, I'd be furious too. You don't spend all of that money on an NBA roster and then not get rewarded with the Larry O'Brien trophy one week into the season. The team has to play better if they're going to win the title three games in. The thing is tricking yourself into thinking the Knicks are a title contender when the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, and Indiana Pacers still exist in the same conference seems irrational. But when your big offseason move is dealing role players and draft picks for Andrea Bargnani, you're going to demand the finest rewards.
That's not even the crazy part of this story from Isola though. It gets even better.
Being the Knicks coach under Dolan has never been a walk in the park, but it's especially difficult now with Dolan expecting a championship. Perhaps the only group that has it worse than Woodson's staff is — and I can't believe I'm typing this — the Knicks City Dancers.
Dolan has become such a hands-on owner — figuratively speaking — that, according to a source, he doesn't want the dancers dancing. Crazy, right? The same guy who wanted creative input on the dancers' outfits (and he's good at it) apparently ordered that the girls' roles be reduced to mostly throwing T-shirts into the crowd. They performed maybe one routine on Sunday.
Why? No one seems to know, except the standard answer is usually “that's Dolan.”
What?! Why would you have dancers and not have them dance? That's like acquiring offensive players and then not running an offense. Oh wait...
In all seriousness, James Dolan stories are plentiful and the majority of them end up with the person telling them just shaking their head in disbelief. He demands the best results while meddling with the process enough to sabotage the people that could possibly be doing a better job if they were left alone to execute their duties.
Isiah Thomas gets the majority of the blame for the decade of Knicks basketball before they acquired Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, and he probably should get his fair share. However, there remains one constant in this stream of hilarity and incompetence that keeps a good situation from becoming a great situation.
(H/T - Deadspin)