Knicks Criticized By NBA Media Roundtable Participants For Being Oppressive, Paranoid
SI.com’s Richard Deitsch recently conducted a roundtable discussion with NBA media members, and several participants had critical comments about the Knicks. Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck named the Knicks the “toughest team to deal with.” He said, “They restrict access more than any other team, monitor every interview, prohibit team officials from speaking to reporters, and generally do everything possible to make our jobs as difficult as possible. It's company policy.” Beck: “The Garden just has the most oppressive and authoritarian culture in the league. It loosened up a bit during the Donnie Walsh era, but the Knicks slid right back into their old ways after Walsh resigned.” The Washington Post’s Michael Lee said of the Knicks, “They create an unnecessary wall between the media and their players that creates a combative environment. I've had relationships with players before they joined the Knicks and they get guarded once they don the blue and orange. But once they're gone, it's back to normal.” The N.Y. Daily News’ Frank Isola noted when TNT announcer Marv Albert recently said that no one at MSG is happy, he was “not exaggerating.” Isola: “It can be a joyless place run by humorless individuals. The Knicks try to make life miserable for the media in every way possible. The culture they've created in the locker room is one of fear, paranoia, and distrust. It's not the (only) reason why the Knicks have been a joke of a franchise for nearly 15 years but it is a reason.” He added, “The Knicks are committed to keeping the media from the players for fear that the two sides will form a professional working relationship. ... But the organization creates a hostile environment and will only deal with those in the media who are willing to trade in their objectivity for access” (SI.com, 5/25).