James Dolan praises Knicks fans, says he won’t second-guess Phil Jackson
New York Knicks owner James Dolan recently expressed a complete belief that team president Phil Jackson has the organization on the right path and that the team’s long-suffering fans completely understand that a massive rebuilding requires time and patience.
When asked during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Dolan insisted he has total faith in Jackson — despite the executive’s admission that his rebuilding plan has utterly failed, saying the Zen Master’s hefty price tag — $12 million for five years — is well worth the investment.
“You got to believe, baby! I believe, I believe!’’ Dolan exclaimed.
Dolan also stated he doesn’t envision a scenario where he’ll begin to meddle anytime soon.
“I don’t see it happening. Phil is a brilliant basketball guy, and he and [GM] Steve [Mills] are working together great. I enjoy being out of the limelight,” Dolan insisted, as quoted by the New York Post. “I enjoy having two experts in there that I trust. I barely have to do a thing. It can stay like that for me forever. As long as we continue to make progress — and I’m sure we will. I believe!’’
Dolan has developed a reputation of not doing a very good job of ingratiating himself, and in turn, the Knicks, to fans, as evidenced by an embarrassing incident earlier this season. In a fiery email to a disgruntled fan who wrote a scathing critique of the team, Dolan referred to the individual as a “sad man” who might be an “[a]lcoholic maybe.” Incidents such as these has led a group of fans to start an anti-Dolan movement calling for him to sell the team.
Despite his generally unfavorable reputation with the fans, Dolan nevertheless praised them for their patience.
“The majority of them understand we’re in a rebuild,” he said. “We’re moving as fast as we can and they see our opportunities as being huge. I think they are, but it’s all in Phil’s hands.”
Knicks brass has been in the process of launching a massive PR campaign to take away the sting of a nightmarish season. Dolan’s comments indicate he’s following suit. Whether or not he make good on his assurances, however, is no sure thing. You never know when the Knicks City Dancers might again do something to rub Dolan the wrong way.