The huge criticism of James Dolan has been his lack of sports knowledge and inability to stay out of the way of his sports people. Most owners have a problem spending money. Not Dolan. In fact, he'll throw money around. He just has no idea where to throw it or how to allow those that do know what smart investments are to run the show. He seemingly wants all the credit. However, things changed once Phil Jackson was brought into the organization. Now Dolan is staying out of New York Knicks business.
One of the first things Phil Jackson has to do as president of the New York Knicks is replace Mike Woodson with another head coach. After watching his first choice, Steve Kerr, spurn him for the Golden State Warriors job many assumed James Dolan would step in and start pushing Jackson around. However, it seems like Dolan is keeping his word and staying out of Knicks business.
Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork reports Dolan hasn't been involved in the team's coaching search.
"I have not asked about the coaching search on purpose. I told [Jackson] I’m here for you if you need me; if you don’t need me, that’s fine, too. I’ve got a lot to do," Dolan said in an interview with WFAN on Tuesday afternoon.
In fact, Dolan even claims to have no knowledge of potential suitors for the job. Additionally, he doesn't plan on getting involved in the Carmelo Anthony dealings either.
"No. I made a commitment to Phil I was going to let him do it," Dolan said. "Unless he asked me for help it’s his to run."
If what he's claiming is true this is a huge change from the norm with Dolan. He is notorious for getting involved and over riding his employee's decisions. Even his family has taken notice.
The owner joked on Tuesday that his family gave him a shirt with the words "Ask Phil" on it — an apparent reference to his daily involvement with the Knicks before Jackson arrived.
When Jackson agreed to take the job he not only received a hefty contract but also Dolan's word that he'd be given complete autonomy over the Knicks. Obviously that's a situation that can only be judged after the fact. For right now we can only sit back and watch.
However, this change in character is exactly what the Knicks need from Dolan if they are ever going to see any real success in the NBA. For some reason Dolan just can't seem to keep his finger prints off the Knicks franchise. He's able to give up control of the New York Rangers to Glen Sather but doesn't seem to be able to do the same with the Knicks.
These are some of the first signs that maybe he's ready to do that with the Knickerbockers. Maybe he's realized that his way doesn't work. Maybe he's finally ready to hand the reigns over. Whatever the reason is, Dolan keeping himself out of the Knicks business is the best thing that has happened to the basketball team in a long time.
It's their one reason to believe in their future. It isn't about Carmelo Anthony. It isn't about Phil Jackson. It's about Dolan not participating in the day-to-day business of the Knicks. He needs to write checks and enjoy the court side seats he has. That's his job. If he can do that, his basketball people can take care of the basketball business.Basketball, Carmelo Anthony, Glen Sather, Golden State Warriors, James Dolan, Knickerbockers, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, New York Rangers, Phil Jackson, Steve Kerr