Max Kellerman guarantees that Kristaps Porzingis will never win a championship with the Knicks. He’s missing the point.
Max Kellerman is making headlines by proclaiming—guaranteeing—that Kristaps Porzingis will never win a championship in New York. The controversial host of ESPN’s Hot Take—I mean First Take—is laying the blame at the feet of Knicks owner James Dolan.
This headline-grabbing quote initially looks like Kellerman is taking a swipe at Kristaps Porzingis. It’s clear that Kellerman was not trying to diminish Porzingis’ ability or potential in any way. So Knicks fans can relax for the time being because this is all about Dolan.
Kellerman goes on to compare Dolan’s ownership to other franchises that will never win a championship like the Sacramento Kings and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Wait a second. Did he really include the Cleveland Cavaliers? If I’m not mistaken, the Cavs won an NBA championship in 2016.
Obviously, Kellerman knows this. His main argument is that the Knicks will never win with Porzingis unless they can lure in big name free agents to play alongside him. Max must not have been watching the past 10 years of the NBA because this has almost become a prerequisite for winning an NBA title. Superteams have become the rule, rather than the exception.
He isn’t wrong when he says Dolan is one of the worst owners in sports. Knicks fans don’t need me or him to tell them that. What Kellerman fails to mention, though, is how Dolan has taken a considerable step back from his constant meddling. You remember Dolan’s meddling, right? It wasn’t all that long ago thatMadison Square Garden was filled with chants of “Fire Isiah!”
After the hiring of Phil Jackson, Dolan took a gigantic step back from an organizational standpoint. It seems as though he’s maintained this distance despite Jackson’s departure. And let’s be honest—there are lots of reasons for Knicks fans to hate him. From his apparent connections to Harvey Weinstein to his very public feud with Charles Oakley, Dolan isn’t exactly a fan favorite. But give credit where credit is due. He seems to be allowing Steve Mills and Scott Perry to be doing their jobs.
Knicks fans are inherently cynical and a huge reason for that has been because of James Dolan, but right now is a time for optimism. The franchise is heading in the right direction. Porzingis looks like he can be a generational talent and maybe, just maybe, that will be enough to convince another star to come bring a championship to New York.