James Dolan defends cursing out Knicks fan during confrontation
New York Knicks owner James Dolan got in a verbal altercation with a fan at Madison Square Garden before Tuesday’s win over the Chicago Bulls. Perhaps making matters worse, Dolan defended his actions, which included cursing out the fan, after the fact.
Mike Hamersky, a 35-year-old attorney, claims he was having a beer near the arena’s lobby when Dolan strolled by. Hamersky told the New York Post that he heckled the Knicks owner.
What follows is Hamersky’s accounting of the events, per the Post’s report:
Hamersky said he shouted, “Sell the team, Jim!” before Dolan angrily approached him.
“That’s all I yelled,” Hamersky told The Post in a phone interview. “He continued to walk past me, opened the limo door, then closed the door, turned around and walked all the way back and said, ‘Who said that?’”
Hamersky said he took credit, “Then [Dolan] got 2 inches from my face and started screaming. That’s all I said, and he started cursing at me. He said multiple times I’m not getting in the game. I never thought I’d be mentioned in the same breath as Oakley.”
Dolan charged him with being drunk and stated, “What if I told you, ‘You suck at your job?’”
Hamersky, a Knicks season-ticket holder, has since denied he was intoxicated, claiming on Twitter he “was sober.”
Dolan attempted to ban Hamersky from the game and had him escorted out of the arena. But Hamersky evaded a tailing security guard and gained access to the game anyway.
Dolan afterward addressed the incident with Deadspin, during which he defended his actions.
“I did call him an a–hole because he is an a–hole,” Dolan told the website.
The context of the confrontation, as Hamersky lays it out, has interesting underpinnings. First, it’s not the first time Dolan has had a highly publicized run-in with the fan, albeit the previous incident involved an angry email exchange.
Secondly, in Tuesday’s confrontation, as was the case with the email incident — not to mention his public feud with Knicks great Charles Oakley earlier this season — Dolan again accused his foil of either being drunk or having an alcohol problem.
A spokesperson for Dolan released the following statement in the wake of yet another embarrassing incident involving the perpetually dysfunctional Knicks organization.
“As Jim clearly stated, no one should come to an event at The Garden feeling as though it’s OK to be verbally abusive or disrespectful to anyone — including the owner of the arena — and not expect to be told that their behavior is unacceptable. This fan was completely out of line last night and does not like the fact that he was told he was out of line, and so has chosen to spend the day Tweeting away looking for his 15 minutes of fame.”
Suffice to say, this nightmare of a season can’t come to an end quickly enough for the woeful Knicks.