James Dolan has the Knick City Dancers worryingly looking over their shoulders (Getty Images)
It’s fair to say James Dolan is not much of a basketball man. Apparently it’s also fair to assume that he is no fan of the art of the dance, at least when things aren’t going his way.
The New York Knicks owner and MSG el jefe apparently ordered the Knick City Dancers to back off their scheduled routines during New York’s embarrassing loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night. That rout, with Wolves forward Kevin Love stealing the show at Madison Square Garden, left the Knicks owner so fuming that he reportedly cornered hand-picked Knick general manager Steve Mills during the contest – even though the recently-hired Mills didn’t have a hand in acquiring anyone in the Knick rotation, and had no role in picking the team’s coaching staff.
The media-shy chairman of Madison Square Garden was conspicuously missing from his baseline seat during most of the second quarter of Sunday’s lethargic loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. And for good reason.
According to several sources, Dolan was ready to erupt after the Knicks surrendered 40 first-quarter points and as the deficit ballooned to 23 Dolan went hunting for Steve Mills, the team’s new president and general manager.
Dolan has become such a hands-on owner — figuratively speaking — that, according to a source, he doesn’t want the dancers dancing. Crazy, right? The same guy who wanted creative input on the dancers’ outfits (and he’s good at it) apparently ordered that the girls’ roles be reduced to mostly throwing T-shirts into the crowd. They performed maybe one routine on Sunday.
You’ll recall that Dolan reportedly expects his Knicks to compete for a championship this year, despite only adding disappointing forward Andrea Bargnani to a roster that couldn’t make it to a Game 7 of the second round last season – all while Eastern Conference cohorts Indiana, Chicago, and Brooklyn improved their rosters significantly with returns from Danny Granger and Derrick Rose, and acquisitions like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
Bargnani? Well, he did almost make a dunk on Sunday. Almost.
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The Knicks are a good team, and they could challenge for their second consecutive 50-win season if the squad stays relatively healthy. With that in place, the Knicks have been an abject mess since Dave Checketts was dismissed from the franchise in the spring of 2001 at Dolan’s behest. The team has made the playoffs four times in the years since, but under Dolan’s enhanced leadership the team has squandered hundreds of millions of dollars on underperforming players that no sound basketball mind should have ever expected to perform properly, while working through seven coaches and five general managers.
Mills, hired in September surprise just before training camp, is the latest in that line. And though he had absolutely no role in picking out any of the current Knicks – save for the infamous Chris Smith signing – he’s the one that has to hear Dolan blurt away when things don’t go his way.
The Knick City Dancers? They shouldn’t be left to suffer. Especially when dancing is the best way to stave off the heartache.
Isn’t that right, Mike?
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