The titular head of the Knicks, President and CEO of Cablevision Systems Inc. and Executive Chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company, James Dolan, was playing with his rock band â€” JD and the Straight Shot â€” last night after the Knicks were blown out by 31 points at the Garden. Dolan promptly guaranteed a victory on Wednesday night. Here are some more moves Dolan can make to hurt his own team.
It’s not like Dolan doesn’t care, it’s that he seems to care too much, and his vigilant paranoia and ego won’t allow anyone to persuade him otherwise. Rather than hold himself accountable for the faltering franchise, Dolan usually just fires back at whatever outlet is castigating him for another boorish move with his team; New York’s team. But New York’s team is rapidly being supplanted by the Brooklyn Nets on the court and in the front office.
To wit: J.R. Smith looked awful on Sunday in his return, going 1-for-9 from the field; Tyson Chandler is out with a fractured fibula for the next month plus and we don’t know how he’ll look whenever he returns; Carmelo Anthony is shooting 41 percent on the year and getting bruised at power forward; Iman Shumpert didn’t solidify his starter’s spot during Smith’s suspension to open the season; Andrea Bargnani still doesn’t play defense and Amare Stoudemire is a husk of his former self. The 2013-14 New York Knicks are in disarray, and it’s â€” at least partially â€” Dolan’s fault; although, Smith can still move pretty good in the hallway leading out to the court.
Dolan recently believed a cheerleader rebrand was in order. With all the early losing, the Knicks City Dancers are one of the highlights for Knicks fans during an embattled opening couple weeks. Here are five more superficial changes Dolan can make, which will inevitably backfire.
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Fire Mike Woodson
After that 31-point loss to the mighty Spurs, Dolan had a meeting with his coach, according to the New York Daily News. We can only guess at what was discussed, perhaps Andrea Bargnani’s help defense, but we do know that’s a bad omen for the coach with the mound of facial hair.
Listen, Dolan isn’t above panic firings. It’s become almost part and parcel of his ownership tenure. He hires someone then quickly tires of them, before lambasting them in public before finally cutting the cord on their association with the team. Woodson helped the Knicks win 54 games last season before a first round victory over the Celtics â€” the first playoff series victory since they reached the finals in 1999. Though ‘Melo is struggling from the field, Woodson has him actually giving a crap on defense. Woodson has also handled the distractions of J.R. Smith without ruining his confidence or letting him jack 25 shots a game.
If Knicks glad-hander Marc Berman at the New York Post is defending the job you’ve done even after the season’s first two weeks, then you know Woodson should stay. But wouldn’t it just make perfect sense for Dolan to fire the one guy that can get this team to care about little things?
Trade Iman Shumpert
Over the summer came word that Dolan had flown off the handle yet again, and was seeking to trade Iman Shumpert for he declined an invitation to participate in Summer League in favor of doing a promotional tour in Asia. But Dolan was talked off the ledge.
If Dolan thinks J.R. Smith deserves to start, even if his play doesn’t support it and even after Smith won last season’s Sixth Man of Year award, he might just unload Shump to acquire an overpriced veteran years from his peak as a player. That’s just how JD rolls, regardless of what Mills or Woodson tell him.
The Knicks are already paying Amar’e over $20 million this season, and STAT stinks. His knees are a cluster of fluid and disintegrating tendons and he just can’t move enough to warrant big minutes. Getting rid of the only Knicks wing that plays top notch defense and is still on his rookie deal makes so much sense for Dolan, it’s surprising he hasn’t unloaded him already.
The recently shorn tresses of Iman, has already led to an uptick in Norris Cole jersey sales, and if Iman gets dealt from the Knicks, Dolan might have a riot on his hands from all the twee fans in Manhattan who follow Shumpert’s blossoming rap career.
Despite all this, Shump is still on the roster, but don’t put it past Dolan to panic trade him for Kendrick Perkins if the Knicks continue to falter.