You'd think a team owner would want his new starting power forward to get more than three games under his belt, or wait until the reigning sixth man of the year returned from suspension before storming from his seat to find and berate the GM. But that's not how James Dolan does business.
According to a report from today's New York Daily News—and we remind you, Frank Isola is no fan of Dolan's—the Knicks owner is overreacting to a slow start in record time. Early on in Sunday's loss to Minnesota, which dropped New York to 1-2, Dolan bolted from his courtside seat next to Kristen Wiig to track down new GM Steve Mills and bemoan this team that's supposed to win a championship, at least in Dolan's mind. Never mind that Mills only came on in late September, so he has nothing to do with the roster, not even the inexplicable offseason trade that brought Andrea Bargnani down from Toronto.
You can't say that Mills, who was a likely successor to Billy Hunter as executive director of the players' union, didn't know what he was getting into with Dolan—he was around MSG for the bad old days, until he took the fall for a sexual harassment suit against Isiah Thomas and the Garden.
But this is how things are. After giving a win-now speech to the Knicks coaching staff last month, as if fourth place isn't the ceiling, Dolan isn't tolerating anything that distracts from the goal. According to Isola, Dolan's micromanagement extends even to the Knicks City Dancers.
Dolan has become such a hands-on owner — figuratively speaking — that, according to a source, he doesn’t want the dancers dancing. Crazy, right? The same guy who wanted creative input on the dancers’ outfits (and he’s good at it) apparently ordered that the girls’ roles be reduced to mostly throwing T-shirts into the crowd. They performed maybe one routine on Sunday.
Why? No one seems to know, except the standard answer is usually "that’s Dolan."
That is Dolan, and maybe we should be thankful. The Knicks are a fairly boring team to watch, taking fewer three-pointers and relying more than ever on Iso Melo (you saw how well that worked in the closing seconds against Chicago). Any fun is going to come from the off-court drama, and that starts at the top.