TNT color commentator Marv Albert is not a huge fan of New York Knicks owner James Dolan. In 2004, Dolan fired Albert as the voice of the Knicks. When Steve Kerr spurned New York to sign a five-year contract to coach the Golden State Warriors, there were rumors that Albert played a part. In an interview with the New York Daily News' Bob Raissman, Albert denied that he talked Kerr out of it, but said that he did tell his broadcast partner what it was like to work for Dolan.
"Well, I told him it never ends well there. Just look at recent history. It's because of one man (Dolan)," Albert told me Thursday over the telephone. "There is no happiness there. I say this with all kinds of friends I have there and (the ones) at the MSG Network. Everybody hates being there. For coaches it's very difficult. Steve couldn't accept anyone (from MSG's PR staff) following him around with a tape recorder. Like Phil [Jackson], Steve is a guy who wants to say what he wants to say," Albert continued. "He's very opinionated, which doesn't always work when you are at the Garden."
Wow. "No happiness there." Those are some strong words. It doesn't make sense to pin this all on Albert, though -- it would be silly to think that Kerr hadn't reached out to other people and found out all that there is to know about working for the Knicks. The somewhat surprising thing is that Albert shared this publicly, but of course he talked to his friend about the situation. There were many good reasons for Kerr to choose the Warriors, and conversations with Albert probably were not the deciding factor.