HoopsHype James Dolan rumors

March 19, 2014 Updates
March 18, 2014 Updates

When New York Knicks executives chased free agents in the summer of 2010, owner James Dolan made himself a part of the presentations. He isn't the most engaging, enchanting man, but Dolan does fancy himself a musician. So, yes, there were player and agent meetings four years ago when Dolan delivered a parting gift on the way out of the room. "He passed out copies of his CD," said a source, who stuffed his copy of one into a bag and no longer remembers where it's gone. Yahoo! Sports

“By no means am I an expert in basketball.” The above words were spoken by New York Knicks owner James Dolan in a press conference on Tuesday morning, a press conference in which he introduced the new team president, NBA coaching legend Phil Jackson. The sentence, so unassuming and honest, is nonetheless strange because the man who said it has been running a professional basketball team for years. James Dolan is not an expert in basketball. He’s proven this over years of handing out bizarre contracts and tossing away draft picks. For The Win

Dolan is more likely to order Jackson to remain isolated in the Gulag bunker than schedule one-on-ones with Frank Isola, Robin Lundberg or Joe Benigno. “If he (Jackson) immediately agrees to Dolan’s media policy you know this whole thing is a sham,” said a network executive with a long-time NBA connection. “I don’t see this happening, it would adversely affect what the ultimate goal is here. At this point, Dolan probably gets that, too.” New York Daily News

March 17, 2014 Updates

Two other management sources who've had extensive dealings with the Knicks in recent years believe that the comically meddling and mistrusting Dolan will, at least initially, give Jackson free rein to make the changes he thinks are necessary. (Whether that will include the media policy that has, over the years, turned so many smart, capable folks who could help Dolan with his horrible public image into pod people is not yet known.) "Jim will try to make it work," one of them said, insisting that Dolan won't get in Jackson's way -- at least not right away. "... He will listen to Phil, just like he listened to Donnie [Walsh]," the other management source said. "Then he can't help himself and he will start fighting Phil and start listening to other people." NBA.com

In 1998, you applied to be the general manager of the Denver Nuggets—while working for the Post. This has always struck me as a conflict of interest. Tell me why I’m wrong. And do you think you would have/could have had a fruitful career as a GM. Peter Vecsey.: I was always told, you’ve got to have at least two conflicts of interest to be successful. Pro sports has plenty of former sportswriters-turned executives. The Knicks were started by Ned Irish. The latest example was John Hollinger leaving ESPN to become VP of basketball operations of Memphis. Why shouldn’t we be allowed to pursue front office or coaching, as long as it’s during the off-season? I tried to put together group to buy the Nuggets in the early ’80s … tried to get Rick Pitino to hire me as GM when he was running the Celtics … approached Larry Brown about helping him in Washington when he was close to coaching the Wizards … had an interview on tap as Hawks’ GM just before Stan Kasten left … and had a very brief interview with James Dolan to be Isiah Thomas’ GM. I am positive I would’ve been an asset to one and all. Jeff Pearlman

A group of New York Knicks fans planning to protest owner James Dolan and team executives' handling of the franchise hasn't been dissuaded by the hiring of Phil Jackson. The group plans to hold a protest prior to the Knicks' game Wednesday against the Pacers. "The rally is still on," Mark Griffin, one of the organizers of the protest, wrote in an email Sunday night. "As a group, we all share the same promise and hope that other Knicks fans have at the hiring of Phil Jackson. This is a good step, but it does not change our skepticism that Dolan will allow Phil the autonomy to bring a real competitor to Madison Square Garden. We've been sold the same promise and hope time again by this owner." ESPN.com

The fan group that has organized the protest -- KF4L (Knicks Fans For Life) -- cites issues with Dolan, the lack of communication from team president/GM Steve Mills and the team's ties to Creative Artists Agency as its main sources of contention. "We know Dolan's history of stubborn behavior and that nothing really changes unless he changes. We still want to let Dolan know that we hold him accountable for where things go from here," Griffin wrote in an email. "We support Phil Jackson and hope he has a lot of success. We at KF4L want to see Phil provided full autonomy." ESPN.com

March 14, 2014 Updates

Jackson’s deal with the Knicks is expected to be finalized within days and a press conference could be held at some point next week, just in time for James Dolan to upstage a fan protest that is scheduled to take place in front of Madison Square Garden on March 19. On Wednesday, both Kobe and Magic Johnson made public pleas to Lakers management to hire Jackson, but a Lakers source said that team VP, Jim Buss, has little interest in bringing back the Hall of Fame coach. New York Daily News

Oakley, though, thinks that owner James Dolan, who has a history of getting involved in his executive's basketball decisions, needs to give Jackson the "power" to shape the Knicks' roster the way he sees fit. "I think [Dolan] convinced Phil to come here [so] then to go back on what you said, it's going to look bad on Dolan's end because Phil is a guy who's got a lot of credibility and I think that the people in New York, they want something positive to happen," Oakley said. "If you sign a man for three, four, five years [and] if you tell him he's got the power and authority to make moves, I know it's tough to give someone power when you've had power for so long [and] you give it to a man whose done this and done that somewhere else. Now he comes in here and things don't start out the way you plan, you might get a little irritated, but you just have to bite you're tongue," Oakley added. "They told me many times throughout my career to bite my tongue and I told them my tongue's been bleeding since I was born." ESPN.com

March 13, 2014 Updates

It will be a fascinating culture clash: Dolan’s paranoid, iron-fisted autocracy vs. Jackson’s free-spirited individualism. Dolan is intolerant of dissent and known for profanely upbraiding anyone who challenges him. Jackson is candid, unfailingly outspoken and headstrong. No one tells him how to run his team—or when he can speak to the media. Dolan isn’t likely to be the first. Bleacher Report

March 12, 2014 Updates

James Dolan and Bill Bradley could not be any different in terms of education, background and career paths. But the billionaire Knicks owner and the Hall of Fame player known as “Dollar Bill” do share a common goal: bringing Phil Jackson to New York. The Daily News has learned that Dolan has solicited the help of Bradley, Jackson’s former Knicks teammate and longtime friend, to serve as an intermediary in the club’s negotiations with the Hall of Fame coach, who is contemplating a lucrative deal to run the Knicks. New York Daily News

The source claims that reports of Jackson being offered an annual salary of $12 million are erroneous and that Jackson could be looking at a deal that pays him in excess of $15 million. The person close to Jackson also indicated that the two sides have had preliminary discussions about Jackson possibly owning a minority stake in the team. New York Daily News

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