By Kevin Powell
But the real problem for the New York Knicks is the utter dysfunction of its owner James Dolan, who inherited his wealth and power from his father. Sound familiar? As long as Dolan owns this franchise, the Knicks will continue to make terrible management decisions, continue to alienate players current and former, and continue to be what the Los Angeles Clippers were for many years under then-owner Donald Sterling: an utter embarrassment to the rest of the National Basketball Association. I am not a Knicks fan, have not been for many, many years, since the era of Patrick Ewing, but I am a long-time and very serious New Yorker and a very serious sports fan, too, not going anywhere, so it is impossible not to feel something when you hear people mock and dis the teams in your city. And when you have witnessed, since the early 2000s, the ridiculous revolving door of general managers, coaches, players, first-round draft picks that were busts—with no end in sight—and little to no hope whatsoever. Let’s call it what it is: James Dolan, as principal owner of the New York Knicks and the entire Madison Square Garden enterprise, leads a culture of dysfunction, insanity, and losing: plain and simple. He himself never worked for anything in his own life, so why would he even remotely know how to build anything from the ground up? Hiring name-brand executives like Phil Jackson and Isiah Thomas were band-aid solutions at best. But we all know success as players or coaches does not mean you can be Jerry West and become a legendary executive, too. The best general manager the Knicks have had in the past decade and a half was Donnie Walsh, and he was essentially overruled when he did not want to give up all those young players for Carmelo Anthony in the first place, and Walsh was eventually kinda sorta—yes for real pushed out. I just cannot support any sports team, any business, that moves in that way. Trust me, as a life-long and diehard New York Yankees fan if we had not begun this incredible youth movement I was teetering on abandoning them too. I was like: enough of the high-priced free agents, enough of the mediocre play, let’s invest in young people, in younger players and really grow something here. At least the Yankees leadership is doing that now, in a common-sense way. As for the Knicks, I wish the fans the best of luck. I will continue to root for model franchises like the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs, where it is not just about winning and money, but also creating a spiritual culture that feels, well, sane.