The New York Knicks (15-36) fired team president Steve Mills after two decades of service with Madison Square Garden and the Knicks. Team owner James Dolan made Mills the scapegoat for another awful season. As per usual, Dolan’s timing was utterly horrible because he fired Mills less than 48 hours before the NBA trade deadline.
The proverbial “sh-tshow” known as the New York Knicks continues. The Knicks will miss the playoffs. Again. The franchise won only one playoff series in the last 20 years. At this point, even the LOL-Jets are laughing their asses off as the Knicks have taken the title for worst sports team in NYC. The LOL-Knicks, indeed.
While many other teams have been working the phones with the deadline looming, the Knicks made another crucial error. Instead of trying to stockpile draft picks or improve the current roster, the team is scrambling to find anyone dumb enough to accept one of the worst jobs in pro sports as the next President of the Knicks.
New York City basketball fans were always regarded as savvy and ahead of the curve. It’s a shame that fans in one of the largest media markets and the so-called “Mecca of Basketball” have been tortured and tormented since James Dolan purchased the team in 1999.
Fed-up fans, including actor Michael Rapaport, shared their angst on social media with the hashtag #FireDolan. Dolan responded by banning fans from Madison Square Garden.
Dolan’s prickly vengeance prevented me from going off on him the last few years, but as a lifelong Knicks fan, I can’t restrain myself anymore. I fear he’ll retaliate for my half-baked remarks and ban me from attending Phish’s annual New Year’s Eve concert at Madison Square Garden.
Fire Dolan, Sell the Team
New Yorkers are never shy about sharing how they feel about, well … anything. It’s like a badge of courage that they wear their emotions on their sleeve. When you get booed at a NYC sporting event, it’s usually warranted.
Loyal Knicks fans watched Dolan destroy the team year after year, yet they continue their undying loyalty to the team. Now, however, many fans have had enough. They let Dolan know what they felt during a recent blowout at MSG against the Memphis Grizzlies that ended in a brawl. The disgruntled fans demanded their hot-headed owner sell the Knicks.
“Sell the team! Sell the team!” echoed off the iconic ceiling at MSG, as Dolan sat courtside with his arms crossed and steam emanating from every orifice.
John Hollinger, the former NBA executive and creator of the PER advanced metric, said in a recent article in The Athletic, “The past two seasons have provided the Knicks’ their most embarrassing stretch.”
Instead of giving the people what they want, Dolan fired one of his most-loyal employees less than one week later. Steve Mills seemed untouchable because he had become one of Dolan’s right-hand men and trusted lieutenants over the past 20 years working for both MSG and the Knicks.
The first inklings of the modern sh-tshow began when Dolan traded beloved captain Patrick Ewing to the Seattle Supersonics instead of letting him finish his career as a member of the New York Knicks. Instead of showering Ewing with love and accolades before he retired, Dolan shipped Ewing out in the middle of the night like a sickly dog that’s going to live on grandma’s farm in the country. Heck, even the mafia operated with more mercy when they put out a hit on someone.
A loud "Sell the team" chant rises up at MSG with Knicks down 18 and a fracas on the court just broken up. MSG starts piping in loud music to break it up. Things are not going well in New York tonight. pic.twitter.com/X9zM0VQ3Vg
— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) January 30, 2020
The Infamous Press Conference
Of course, Mills’ departure happened less than 30 games after the team fired head coach David Fizdale. Everyone knew Fizdale was a dead man walking after the infamous impromptu press conference when Mills and GM Scott Perry addressed the media after another Knicks loss only 10 games into the season.
At the time, it seemed like they were setting up the firing of Fizdale. Why they didn’t put him out of his misery at that moment is anyone’s guess. Then again, that’s what professionals would do. Even mafia hitmen know to make it quick and make it clean. Dolan’s fingerprints were all over that press conference and the protracted firing of Fizdale 22 games into the season because it was both sloppy and merciless.
James Dolan, the son of a billionaire with rock-star dreams that never materialized, could never live up to his daddy’s expectations. Charles Dolan made his fortune in the cable television business. When James got sober after many years lost to alcoholism, he wanted to focus on bringing an NBA championship to New York City. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but every move he’s made since his arrival has been abysmal and catastrophic.
Madison Square Garden is known as the “most famous arena in the world,” despite the fact their basketball team has become the laughingstock of the league. Free agents snubbed the Knicks in the offseason. When Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving spurned the Knicks, they were doomed to have another losing season with no immediate hope in sight.
Pursuing Masai Ujiri
Now, Dolan has his eye on Masai Ujiri to restore the Knicks to their old glory days. Ujiri built a championship team for the Toronto Raptors and is the most coveted executive in pro sports right now. The surging defending champs, riding a 11-game winning streak, look like legit contenders to reach the 2020 NBA championship.
The Knicks are the personification of the phrase “sh-t rolls downhill,” popularized in David Simon’s show “The Wire” (HBO). And, if Ujiri accepts the Knicks job, he’d have to know he’ll eventually drown in a sea of human sewage. So, why would a bright guy like Ujiri leave a top-notch organization to shovel fecal matter in Dolan’s frantic sh-tshow? Good question.
Of course, there’s a price to acquire Ujiri, if he’s willing to come. He’s still under contract, which means the Raptors would want compensation to the tune of two, first-round draft picks. If there’s anyone who would be dumb enough to pay that ridiculous tax, it’s James Dolan.
When the Ujiri Hail Mary doesn’t work out, much like the pursuit of Kevin Durant and tanking for Zion Williamson, what will Dolan do next? Panic and make another poor choice.
“The terrifying thought for Knicks fans, however, is that Dolan won’t be able to snag Ujiri and will hire somebody else,” said John Hollinger. “The two issues with this are 1) that Dolan is doing the choosing, and 2) that he’s certainly more likely to meddle with a Plan B candidate.”
In the meantime, the clock continues to tick on the NBA trade deadline. Ujiri is currently concerned with figuring out if the Raptors want to stay pat and not make any trades. The last thing he wants to do is wade waist-deep in the river of sh-t flooding the hallways of MSG.
Knicks Longshot Odds
According to William Hill, the Knicks are 1500/1 odds to win the 2020 NBA Championship. They are tied with the Cleveland Cavs as the biggest longshots on the board.
If you’d like to bet the Knicks to win a title this season or next season, please give me a call ASAP. I have swampland in Florida, protein powder, and flat-tummy tea to sell you as well.