NBA Roundtable

Dolan Interfering In New York?

In General NBA on April 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm

The New York Daily News reports

Dolan’s media boycott should not imply that he is a hands-off owner. On the contrary, he is still very active in the day-to-day operations of the team.

It was Dolan who threatened to fine Eddy Curry last October if the veteran center did not meet a weight requirement. Dolan also put the kibosh on the Knicks signing Allen Iverson. In keeping with his private persona, Dolan was not seeking credit for either decision, even though both moves made sense.

Then again, it was at Donnie Walsh’s introductory press conference two years ago when Dolan, reading from a prepared statement, stressed that the Knicks’ new team president had full autonomy. Clearly, Dolan has his own ideas of what autonomy really means.

Dolan insisted that Thomas, the deposed president and coach, remain in the role of a consultant and had Thomas not became the coach at FIU last spring he would have remained with the organization. Walsh made a few additions to the scouting department and front office, but other firings and hirings were vetoed by Dolan, according to a team source.

That does not sound good.The article continues

Dolan, however, did not stand in the way of Walsh re-signing Nate Robinson even though Dolan made it clear that he didn’t want the diminutive guard to return. Robinson, of course, was traded to Boston six weeks ago.

The Robinson situation seems to be a case of Dolan expressing an opinion but leaving room for doubt. Another example was the team’s pursuit of Iverson. In November, according to the same source, Dolan became enraged when The News reported that he recommended to Walsh that he not sign Iverson. An internal investigation was launched to reveal the source of the leak. Dolan, via a team official, believed he had the culprit and told Walsh to terminate the employee. Walsh refused, citing insufficient evidence.

From all indications, Dolan remains supportive of both Walsh and D’Antoni even though the new regime is on the verge of losing 50 or more games for a second straight season, something the club hasn’t done in 24 years. Dolan believes the duo has the Knicks on the right path.

From the information at hand it’s hard to judge how serious an issue this. The Nate Robinson and Allen Iverson situations sounds like Dolan stated his preference but left the decision up to Donnie Walsh. The hiring and firing of other front office officials, however, show evidence of interference from ownership. It’s something to be concerned about … but it’s hard to tell how bad it is.

Hopefully Donnie Walsh has the freedom and resources he needs to do the job the way it needs to be done.

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