Knicks' James Dolan Criticized For Mishandling NBA Free Agency
Knicks Owner James Dolan has come under fire in the aftermath of the team failing to sign any marquee free agents, and that feeling was evident on both local and national TV and radio talk shows yesterday. SNY's Marc Malusis called the Knicks a "poorly run franchise" and said, "It trickles on down from Dolan all the way down.” Malusis: “He thinks he knows basketball. He stays out of hockey." He then noted the Rangers yesterday were able to sign LW Artemi Panarin, the top player in NHL free agency (“Loud Mouths,” SNY, 7/1). CBSSN's Adam Schein said, "Thanks to James Dolan being totally inept, the Knicks have been in hell.” He added the team is a "punchline" (“Time to Schein,” CBSSN, 7/1). Former NBAer Charles Oakley "went on WFAN and claimed that the culture the Knicks have created" under Dolan has "steered players away" (SNY.tv, 7/1). However, WFAN's Gregg Giannotti asked, “Is it fair to say that Jim Dolan is the guy that is so off-putting to (NBA free agents) that they’re not signing with the Knicks, or is that just a convenient excuse?” He added, "I don’t think it’s Jim Dolan that is giving the proverbial ‘stiff-arm’ to these guys in free agency.” WFAN's Boomer Esiason said Dolan is “trying to do the right thing by hiring the right people, and he continues to hire the wrong people” (“Boomer & Gio,” WFAN, 7/2). FS1’s Jason Whitlock said, “I’m not sure James Dolan is stupid for backing out of the plan that was already showing signs of trouble.” Whitlock added the Knicks “were smart to recalculate their plan” after Durant tore his Achilles because "smart people react to new information” (“Speak for Yourself,” FS1, 7/1).
REASONS WHY: In N.Y., Harvey Araton writes people often wonder why Dolan has had "measurable success" with the Rangers while "faring so miserably with the Knicks." The answer "seems clear" -- the NBA's "difference makers, in addition to being corporate powerhouses, are also eminent cultural celebrities." They have a "grand social platform and have been increasingly eager to use it." But "contrarily repellent is Dolan’s utter intolerance of any departure from his less-than-enlightened company line." Araton: "Name a Knicks executive, coach or player during the Dolan years known for his outspokenness" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/2). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jason Gay wrote the Knicks' "optics are terrible" compared to the Nets. The two teams are "bound by geography and now a perception that they are franchises heading in very different directions" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/2).