James Dolan back on warpath, guarantees Knicks will beat Hawks during concert
Fresh on the heels of his ill-conceived and unflattering choice to go after the Knicks City Dancers as a means to put the team on notice that he is unhappy with the team’s terrible start to the 2013-14 NBA season, New York Knicks owner James Dolan used the stage at a concert as a forum to gripe about one of his teams he owns — the Knicks — and then to guarantee the struggling team would beat the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.
On Sunday night during a performance by his band, JD and the Straight Shot, at a midtown Manhattan club, Dolan stepped to the microphone and said, according to a New York Daily News report: “Thanks to the Rangers who brought me a win. Unfortunately the basketball (team) couldn’t do it today. We’re going to win the next game, that’s a guarantee.”
Dolan, of course, was referring to dreadful home court effort on Sunday, when the Knicks got pounded by the San Antonio Spurs, losing by the score of 120-89.
The loss dropped the Knicks to 2-4, and, given how Dolan has been on the warpath already this season, put both players and head coach Mike Woodson on alert.
Or, it should have.
Carmelo Anthony, the unquestioned face of the franchise, had this to say about Dolan’s guarantee (via the New York Daily News):
“I guess we’ve got to win,’’ he said on Monday. “The owner said it. I guess we got to make it happen. We want to win. If he said it, he’s put the pressure on us to go out there and win the game.’’
The Knicks reportedly had its most spirited practice on Monday, and whether or not it had anything to do with Dolan’s proclamation is unknown.
On Tuesday, after trying to ignore the situation on Monday, Woodson tried to downplay the entire distraction, claiming it had been fueled by the media.
“You guys are the ones harping about it,” Woodson said at practice. “You haven’t heard me say one thing about it. Look, I’m the coach. I’ve got a job to do. Like I said, every game I go out to coach I want guys thinking win. And that’s how I think. So I’ll leave it at that and keep it moving.”