Sark wrote:Dolan gets a bad rap, which is somewhat undeserved. He has basically given his GMs an open check to acquire whatever talent they can. In almost every other setting, this is not a bad thing. The problem is the restrictive NBA system, in which the fate of a team is completely tied to ping pong balls in the draft lottery.
If you want to see a really bad owner look at Robert Sarver, who sells draft picks for extra cash.
Thank you for posting this. The "open checkbook" argument is the #1 excuse for Jim Dolan, and I think it's important that fans understand how completely off-base it is.
You know the big difference between Jim Dolan and Bob Sarver? Dolan makes a lot of money off the Knicks. In fact, over the past 15 years as the Knicks basketball team became a laughing stock by spending a fortune to produce a losing product, MSG itself has become more and more profitable during Dolan's reign.
In my eyes, there are two main problems with Dolan's ownership.
1. He treats the Knicks not as a basketball team, but as a subsidiary to the overall media corporation which he considers his main occupation. Meaning, the priority of the Knicks is not first to the Knicks; it's to the greater MSG media corporation. Assuming a basketball team should be invested in winning championships, this is an inherent conflict of interest that Jim Dolan has made absolutely no effort to dispel.
2. Dolan's character flaws cripple the actual basketball operations. Instead of insulating basketball operations from his own admitted ignorance, he imposes himself and his excessively poor values/judgement on the entire organizational structure of the Knicks. The most blatant example, of course, being the implementation of a system that rewards loyalty and cronyism (or in the case of Chris Smith, nepotism) instead of actual skill. In my opinion, you see many other character flaws -- including entitlement and drug-addiction -- affect the Knicks time and again through quick-fix, glitzy moves seen as shortcuts to greatness.
Ultimately, his biggest flaw is that he feels the need to impose his will on the Knicks at all. Al Davis and Jerry Jones immersed themselves in football and at least attempted to become experts. Mark Cuban learned on the fly by taking a modern CEO's approach of creating a vision and then delegating to trusted experts.
When the defining characteristic of an ownership style is treason, that's a pretty big problem. To me, Jim Dolan is right there alongside Donald Sterling (you know, the slumlord racist who heckled his own players) at the table of the worst of the worst of owners in all sports.