Keidel: Dolan's Unacceptable Behavior Resembles That Of A Social Media Troll
By Jason Keidel
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The reason many sensible people don't dwell in the Twitter realm is the lack of logic, responsibility, accountability, and the rampant, rancorous, and barbaric language that would make Jim Crow blush.
I've had my ancestry, intelligence, and sexual preference questioned simply because someone disagrees with my take on a baseball game. And while my CBS superiors have implored me to be bigger than the bottom feeders who make up social media, you reach an age, wage, or wisdom in life when you just can't be bothered with the preteen negativity,
And this is coming from a native New Yorker, who was both a trucker and in the military, the twin wombs of profanity. So you must be particularly angry or vulgar to say things I haven't heard.
Surely you've encountered these people. We call them online gangsters, tough guys, bullies, or just haters. They hide behind handles, movie posters, and all manner of online camouflage. I generally call them Fan Guy.
So if a writer with a microscopic Twitter following has no time for this, imagine what James Dolan must hear from the masses. The Knicks are the basketball equivalent of Pompeii, vaporized beyond relevance or even recognition. They've made a conga line of luminaries like Larry Brown, Lenny Wilkens and Phil Jackson look clueless. Indeed, the Zen Master has admitted his lack of masterly ways, calling his tenure an abject failure so far.
Larry Brown has improved every team he's coached, except the Knicks. Lenny Wilkens is the winningest coach in NBA history, but was brutally bad in New York City. Jackson, lord of the rings, looks lost inside the hallowed but haunted walls of MSG. And we had the medieval times of Isiah Thomas, perhaps the worst single regime in NBA history.
Is it a coincidence that Pat Riley couldn't wait to leave he Dolans and then went on to unlimited success in Miami while the Knicks have become historically wretched?
Is it a coincidence that otherwise successful people can't win with Dolan? Is it a coincidence that Carmelo Anthony, who's never cared about winning, is perfectly comfy in New York? Notice how no one who aspires to greatness is even considering a career playing for the Knicks?
Remember when Jackson was the messiah, the savant and savior of all five-borough basketball? The experiment has fallen flat on its face. His words, not mine. Yet another Jim Dolan Joint, to paraphrase the Knicks' most heralded fan, Spike Lee.
A poll of NBA players conducted by Sports Illustrated once branded Dolan the worst owner in the league. David Stern once said the Knicks weren't a "model of intelligent management." We can list his endless business foibles, from Thomas to Allan Houston to Eddy Curry. And this team could be his Magnum Opus, even with the bejeweled Jackson at the helm, at 10-41.
So some guy who's had enough, like millions of New Yorkers, wrote Dolan a rather robust email. And Dolan, like so many times during his MSG lordship, used improper, if not inverted logic. Kinda like handing Melo another $124 million despite all his NBA journeys ending long before June.
In a sense, you can understand Dolan's impulse to pepper the fan with equal vitriol. No matter how inept an owner Dolan is, he's human (we think). And no man's skin is impenetrable, and that email was probably the 1,000th maddening missive to float into his inbox.
But calling a customer a possible alcoholic and questioning his influence over his family is exactly what Fan Guy does, not an entrenched member of the aristocracy. If Dolan can't handle his fan mail then he should hire one more minion to scan it for him.
It's a shame MSG makes so much money, because it doesn't reflect the product. The Garden is an emblem of real estate, not reality. Location is everything in Manhattan. Even the most roach-lathered loft sells instantly if it's properly placed. And, hence, people keep staggering to Knicks games, like a flock of walkers in The Walking Dead.
The Knicks could go 0-82 and they'd still stuff the world's most overrated arena. It's a phenomena, antithetical to everything New Yorkers adore -- winning, production, effort, and intelligence.
So while the Dolan letter is inelegant, it's hardly a deal breaker. Because the Knicks keep begging you to boycott and you refuse. Maybe complaining is a vocation or addiction, as we so often hear the chorus of Knicks fans wax acerbic about Dolan, and then squeeze their season tickets, holding them tight to their busom.
It seems there's no turnoff to turnout, no matter how damned Dolan's basketball team may be. It's hard to say New York doesn't deserve the Knicks when their games are so jam packed with New Yorkers.
Follow Jason on Twitter at @JasonKeidel
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