Community Shootaround: Dolan And Free Agency

The dream scenario this offseason for most Knicks fans goes something like this: They win the draft lottery and land the best prospect in years, Duke wunderkind Zion Williamson. Then top free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving decide to join forces in the media capital of the world, giving the Knicks a powerhouse trio and turning them into instant championship contenders.

As those fans know all too well, it’s dangerous to think that way. Their hopes have been consistently dashed over the past two decades, due to poor management decisions and wayward ownership.

The current front office has managed to do some positive things. The Knicks have shed a lot of bad contracts in recent years to the point where they have less than $22MM in guaranteed salary commitments next season. Whether they did the right thing by trading away injured young star Kristaps Porzingis remains to be seen, but there’s an undeniable problem for the franchise: the reputation of owner James Dolan.

Dolan is on the short list of most unpopular owners in professional sports and he recently made headlines for banning a fan who urged him within earshot to sell the team. Paranoia has filled the air around Madison Square Garden under Dolan’s stewardship, poisoning the franchise’s relationship with media, fans and former players.

Porzingis’ unhappiness stemmed in large part from his skepticism that the franchise could ever thrive again under Dolan. As Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today points out, Dolan fails to comprehend that the ultimate owners of a sports franchise are the team’s fans.

All that being said, there’s still a lure about playing in New York City. Coach David Fizdale has done his best to change the culture around the team and develop young players. And if the Knicks win the lottery, Williamson will create an added allure to the franchise.

That leads us to our question of the day: Will distaste for owner James Dolan prevent the Knicks from landing any top-level free agents this summer? Or will they go to New York regardless of how they feel about Dolan?

Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to your input

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14 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Dolan And Free Agency

  1. mriescher

    I have been a life long knicks fan…. if I had the talent I would seriously look to see what else is out there. Dolan has destroyed this team and is banning fans because he is ultra sensitive. In all seriousness he should be offering season ticket holders free playoff tickets if the ever make it again. Without the fans there would not be a team he needs to seriously figure out a way to make things right.

  2. Stat

    I could see a few accomplished stars taking the max in NY to try and add fixing a broken franchise to their resumes

    • whodatcoon

      I think the Dolan name will have the legit stats running flyaway, just as it always has.

  3. x%sure

    I doubt the presence of Dolan blocks anyone’s big plans (i.e., KI, KD, AD, KW).

    For instance, in that latest fan mis-interaction, everyone got what they wanted. What else to grade an owner on, who anymore leaves everything to two GMs. Maybe he had other, nore meddling plans initially, but he seems to have been figuratively beaten down from those dreams. Next year though he could be useful…

    Irving has been talking lately like he’s nervous about issues surrounding leadership, public exposure, and being a focal point of blame, like he has a big FA move coming up that will be long remembered for the equivalent of inmates taking over the asylum. But Dolan is a possible answer to that, not an obstacle, due to being able to be a lightning rod for negative energies.

    • whodatcoon

      It doesn’t work like that. The players get blamed for the play. If the overall team didn’t have enough talent or too much turn over Dolan would be blamed. If Kyrie isn’t a good leader or plays bad team basketball, Kyrie will get blamed.

      • x%sure

        Irving will also be blamed (or credited) from the getgo for his player-based scheme– rocking the boat, too big for his britches, etc. If the stars converge in NY there will be the type of blowback Lebron gets. And with everyone associated with it black, add uppity or some updated phrase. (I’ve pulled out some golden oldies!)

        THEN there’s the W-L record, the prospects, the look– much more than usual to get right, or all wrong.

  4. DuffManCometh

    Dolan needs to understand that every time he goes on a rant or blames the Knicks fans for his tantrums, the Brooklyn Nets gain another fan. If he keeps his antics up the Nets will end up being “New York’s team” and the Knicks will end up being an afterthought. I don’t think selling the team is a must but he has to learn to let his basketball people free of his interference and to keep his presence to a minimum until he repairs his image.

  5. LordBanana

    I think they have a shot at Durant no matter what stupid stuff Dolan does because I think KD wants something like what LBJ got when he brought Cleveland his championship.

    As for the KD/Kyrie team up, does Kyrie really want to go from being LeBron’s sidekick to a failed Boston run to KD’s sidekick? However, I don’t think Kyrie can be the best player on a championship team so maybe he’ll be open to it.

    There’s a very good chance they miss out on both of them though, and with only a 14% chance at Zion, the Knicks could be looking really awful. Even if they managed to grab something like Kyrie and Butler, the team as currently constructed would not be a contender.

    Dolan is an idiot but it’s not going to be his antics that scare away free agents it’s just his truly terrible miserable team. Their only glimmer of hope is KD and Zion.

  6. MZ311

    I’ve been a Knicks fan forever. Grew up watching Starks/Ewing/Oakley. No free agent in their right mind should ever play for this bully. What he did is inexcusable. He’s literally the worst owner in sports. If I was a big time FA and considering NY, I’d sign with Brooklyn. I’ll root for this team again when Dolan sells. Luckily just like the fans, Dolan doesn’t give a crap about NYR. Continue leaving them alone you smug skidmark.

  7. johnnybadd2019

    Dolan is an embarrassment to the human race. I can’t stand them he lives off his family name. The marquee guys will consider coming to the Knicks to improve their brands than get the hell out

  8. mets1536

    Players will go to whatever team can give them the MOST $$$$$ ….. Dolan is a Thin skinned little punk who has had most of his run ins with People who criticize him not any players who were playing for him at the time: he doesn’t mind SPENDING $$$ & if they were NO CAP THEY WOULD HAVE THE BEST PLAYERS & the BIGGEST PAYROLL.

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