What Will Continued Negativity Surrounding Knicks Portend For Future Of Team, NBA?
Warriors F Draymond Green took the Knicks' latest PR issue a "step further" this week, saying on his "Dray Day" podcast that Knicks Owner James Dolan "operated with a 'slave master mentality' with how he handled" the Charles Oakley incident, according to Stefan Bondy of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Bondy notes the "growing negative stigmas associated" with Dolan and Knicks President Phil Jackson are "most concerning to the future of the Knicks." In a league where the quality of the product is "so reliant on the quality of the players, the Knicks have been cast as the laughingstock loser." They "already had a problem attracting top free agents," as players "typically choose based on the following factors: the market, the opportunity for success and the culture." Bondy: "The Knicks strike out on two of the three" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/16). In N.Y., Harvey Araton writes the Knicks sunk to a "new low of depravity with the arrest and humiliation" of Oakley. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver became personally involved in the situation "to protect the Knicks from inflicting further damage on themselves and the league than the considerable amount they had already inflicted." The Oakley situation was "enough to raise suspicions that [MSG] had surrendered to an old NBA racial stereotype -- the angry, scary thug." Araton: "What do you suppose this generation of black NBA stars, galvanized as they were by those repugnant Donald Sterling remarks ... is feeling right now about the Knicks?" The Knicks have "jeopardized their ability to lure prominent players to New York, or even to retain the few ... they have" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/16). The N.Y. Daily News' Bob Raissman said, "They're going to have to overpay to bring top guys here. That's the real fallout" ("Daily News Live," SNY, 2/15). SNY's Jon Hein: "If I'm a free agent, I'm thinking twice before even considering New York" ("Loud Mouths," SNY, 2/15).
LATEST EXAMPLE OF LEADERSHIP: In Tampa, Tom Jones writes Silver "brilliantly executed his skillful leadership abilities in the past several days" when the Knicks "became an episode of the 'Jerry Springer Show.'" Though there still "appears to be a ways to go" before Dolan and Oakley fully reconcile, Silver "made his point." He is not going to "have one of the NBA's marquee teams soiling the league's reputation over something so completely silly." This is "just the latest example of Silver moving swiftly to make sure the NBA stays on the right path to success by avoiding the detours of knuckleheaded behavior" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2/16). FS1's Jim Jackson said, "No matter how you paint the picture, it looks bad. So of course the commissioner is going to come in and try to resolve that conflict by any means necessary" ("Speak For Yourself," FS1, 2/14). ESPN's Bomani Jones said Silver "kinda had to" mediate the situation because Dolan "was going to keep trying to fix it." Jones: "Every time he tried ... he made the situation more ridiculous." ESPN's Dan Le Batard said Silver had to intervene "because we were all laughing at the Knicks." Le Batard: "It was embarrrassing, and it's his job to keep away the embarrassing" ("Highly Questionable," ESPN, 2/14). The N.Y. Daily News' Anthony McCarron said Silver is a "boss for pulling that whole meeting off." The N.Y. Daily News' Pat Leonard said the issue "is not settled at all," and it is "only seeing some resolution because Adam Silver is an adult and James Dolan is not" ("Daily News Live," SNY, 2/14).
NO CREDIT FOR DOING HIS JOB: FS1's Jason Whitlock said he is "tired of Adam Silver getting credit for virtually nothing." Whitlock: "He's a reality show mediator." FS1's Chris Broussard: "This is his job. This was his duty. I'm not going to applaud you because you did something you clearly had to do. This was a black mark on your league" ("Speak For Yourself," FS1, 2/14).