Dear Mr. Dolan:
I heard that you blocked a proposed trade for Kyle Lowry last week, due in part to the public perception that your Knicks have been taken to the proverbial woodshed in deals with Toronto’s GM, Masai Ujiri, in the past.
To be completely honest, Sir, your action, or lack thereof, took me by complete surprise. (Not the bit about the woodshed, mind you; clearly your franchise has been, shall we say, overly generous in previous dealings with Mr. Ujiri, particularly with regard to the draft picks included in this summer’s trade for Andrea Bargnani.) I mean, this notion that you are even the slightest bit concerned about public perception is shocking to me. In your entire tenure as head man on the Knicks’ totem pole, you’ve never left anyone with the impression that you give even the tiniest of craps what your fans think.
But then it occurred to me…
Maybe you really do care. Maybe it’s just that your pampered, entitled world has left you so isolated from reality that you truly remain blissfully unaware what anyone thinks about the job you’ve done running this team. Fear not, though, your Excellency, let me fill you in.
Conventional wisdom has it that Creative Artists Agency pulls your strings at the Garden. They are the Tywin Lannister to your Joffrey, if you will. Some have even speculated that CAA was responsible for New York’s acquisition of the aforementioned Bargnani even though Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge was reportedly available. This isn’t the only evidence we have of CAA’s influence, either. See, e.g., Chris Smith. (On a related note, Knicks fans haven’t been inspired by Smith’s uninspiring performances in the D-League, for what it’s worth.) It is widely believed that Smith-the-Lesser — and that’s really saying something, given how dreadful J.R. has been this year — was only given a guaranteed contract and roster spot at the behest of CAA. Many have also speculated that your cuddly relationship with CAA is why Glen Grunwald – your former General Manager and architect of last year’s 54-win team – was unceremoniously dumped just weeks before the start of training camp. His replacement? None other than Steve Mills, a man whose only discernible skill is “making friends with Worldwide Wes.”
I know this is a lot to absorb, Jim – can I call you Jim? – so I won’t even get into Isiah Thomas, or Larry Brown, or how you pushed Donnie Walsh to give up too much in the Carmelo Anthony deal, and then subsequently forced pushed Walsh out; all that stuff is water under the Chase Bridges at this point. But given all that, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that the fans have very little faith in your ability to extricate the Knicks from their current malaise. We are all just waiting for you to trade off Iman Shumpert and/or Tim Hardaway, Jr. and/or any future draft picks that the league will allow you to deal in advance of re-signing ‘Melo and consigning the team to an endless bevy of first-round playoff exits.
Of course, it doesn’t have to go down like this. I, for one, welcome your recent self-awareness. Stick with it, Big Guy. Read the Knicks blogs, hop aboard the ol’ Twitters. Fan sentiment can be a dangerous thing at times, but at least you’ll be managing the franchise with your eyes wide open.
After all, don’t you want everyone stop thinking of you as a complete [insert nasty adjective here]? Unless, of course, they’re right.