NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at New York Knicks
Feb 8, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks owner James Dolan reacts from his seat during the third quarter between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Of all the local professional sports franchises, the New York Knicks’ James Dolan is far and away the worst owner in the lot. 

There’s something to be said of the axiom that inherited wealth and privilege is the downfall of civilization. Nowhere is that more obvious than in the case of James Dolan, the Cablevision scion, who is the Executive Chairman of the Madison Square Garden  Company which owns the MSG Network, the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers.

The 61 year-old Dolan, who continues to perplex the adults in the room and confound convention by feuding with fans while driving the team deeper into its recession, has finally reached a new low.

After a recent spat with a critical fan, Mike Hardesty, Dolan went on the record to call Hardesty an “asshole” and has ordered the Garden to shut Hardesty out of the team’s ticket portal, prohibiting the fan from renewing his season tickets.

Hardesty is probably better off. We realize he is an ardent fan, but why support this organization and owner that doesn’t permit it’s employees any latitude to vent nor tolerates any fan or outside commentator access to its facilities. 

Knick fans are crazy to continue to support this owner and/or his antics. Dolan is clearly an incompetent owner. He meddles with the Knicks and appears to have the reverse Midas touch. In contrast, he pays little attention to the Rangers, who are consistent contenders.

The hiring of Phil Jackson, a coach by trade, as the Knicks’ top executive has been a massive failure thus far as have Dolan’s other forays into trying to jumpstart the team. The fact that he cannot accept any criticism and lashes out at – and banishes -fans, pundits (and ex-players i.e. Charles Barkley) who dare to oppose him.

New York is a town that has seen owners of every ilk. We’ve been served the bombastic (George Steinbrenner) and the classy (Wellington Mara) as well as the frugal (insert many names here) and the unlucky (Woody Johnson, Leon Hess) but Dolan may be the only one  who falls into the hated category. Knick fans need to revolt.

 


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John Fennelly has been covering the New York sports scene on the Internet since 1997. He has advised and been published on dozens of prominent websites and in major periodicals and can been heard on sports talk radio stations all over the dial. Before embarking on his career as an accredited journalist, John held several management positions in a successful 25-year career in the financial industry. He holds a degree in New Media/Journalism from Queens College.