HoopsHype James Dolan rumors

April 18, 2014 Updates
March 27, 2014 Updates

For a marriage between Jackson and Dolan to work, Azoff knew it could never feel as if either of them was asking for anything. They each had to realize on their own it was in both of their best interests. "Deals are deals, but they don't work unless relationships do," Azoff said. "The reason it took so long is I think all the parties wanted to make sure that there was a real relationship and bond before they entered into the marriage." ESPN.com

And so over the course of the next few months there were at least three face-to-face meetings involving Jackson, Dolan, Knicks general manager Steve Mills, Azoff, Jackson's agents, Todd and Brian Musburger, and several other key figures on both sides. They talked philosophies and beliefs. They talked contracts and decision-making processes. Who would have the final say over basketball decisions? Who would deal with agents and general managers? How would they recruit free agents? How would they scout? It was like signing a prenup. But the process was absolutely necessary. And when Jackson finally signed on, both sides felt like they won. "I always find that in every deal," Azoff said. "Both parties have to win." ESPN.com

March 26, 2014 Updates

On Tuesday, Jackson wasn’t granting interviews inside Staples Center, and considering Dolan’s suffocating media policy and total disregard for the press in general, the Zen Master’s silence makes him the early favorite to win Employee of the Month after one week on the job. The word from the Knicks was that Jackson, just seven days after promising a more professional working relationship with the media, wasn’t talking. He is, however, doing a lot of avoiding. New York Daily News

March 20, 2014 Updates

The natives still may be restless, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, in the form of Phil Jackson. That was the takeaway from Wednesday evening’s protest before the Knicks’ 92-86 win over the Pacers, when about 50 fans gathered in front of the Garden to voice their displeasure with owner James Dolan. The Knicks made a major move on Tuesday, officially welcoming Jackson as the new president of the team. Jackson won 11 NBA championships as a coach with the Bulls and Lakers, and two more as a player with the Knicks. That didn’t deter the protestors. “The catalyst was the bad season, after we had such a successful one last [year],” Karina Guerrero, one of the protest’s organizers, told The Post. “Everything started from the top. It’s been years of the same mismanagement from Mr. Dolan. We’ve just been tired of it. We thought that it was the perfect time to come and finally say something after so long.” New York Post

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

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