Five years, $15 million per, with shares in the team to boot — that’s what it took to pry the reins from Jim Dolan. The irony is that he, Cablevision CEO and MSG Executive Chairman James Dolan, could’ve just quit meddling with the New York Knicks cold turkey. Alas, his addiction to sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong was too strong to just walk away from — as he needed to buy a metaphorical bodyguard to physically remove him from the Knicks’ control room.
Phil Jackson’s new role as President of Basketball Operations is effectively a very expensive rehab trip for Dolan, whose behind-the-scenes manipulation of basketball decisions has driven the franchises in the wrong direction, most likely in more ways than we’re aware of. Dolan admitted he’s just a basketball “fan,” and his “expertise lies in managing…businesses,” and not basketball.
Moments before, he told the crowd he was handing over complete control of the franchise. Does that mean he was admitting he knowingly injected himself into basketball decisions despite being aware that he was unqualified to do so? Is that what a business managing expert does? We hope he never takes control of a company that builds bridges, because judging by his logic, he’d kick out the engineers at the 11th hour and design the damn things himself.
This is chess, not checkers, Jimmy. You’ve got to put some thought into your schemes. No wonder he never addresses the media — he has no idea how stupid he sounds.
So if you watched the MSG press conference today, in which Phil Jackson and the reluctant Knicks’ owner addressed the media, you probably noticed the personality chasm between the two. One was very focused, confident, direct, principled — the other nervously spoke in platitudes and jokes that fell flat.
If you didn’t watch it, here’s the only part you need to see. Knicks fans, behold: Your moment of zen. “Willingly and gratefully.”