Dear James L. Dolan:
I know you won’t read this letter on this fine website that I work for. I understand you don’t care, either. Who can blame you when you are printing money and cashing all of it in? Enablers support you through thick and thin despite 18 years of horrible basketball under you. Your awful Knicks franchise makes out at $4 billion worth remarkably. Why sweat the small stuff, right?
I have self-respect for myself, though. While most Knicks fans will root for your sorry team no matter what and defend you, I decided to end my 25-year-old relationship with the Knicks as a fan. I am now a Los Angeles Clippers fan.
You know, Mr. Dolan? The nice part about this country we live in is that we can exercise our options on what we want to do. I made the decision to exercise my right. I am too old for your nonsense. I am not wasting another 20 years of my life rooting for a team that is going nowhere. I am turning 40 in October, and I have every right to have fun watching sports. The Knicks failed to provide that under your horrible 18-year reign. You don’t get it, and you won’t get it. I get you don’t care, so why should I care?
You are an embarrassment to the NBA, New York and the Knicks. You made this franchise the new version of the Clippers, which is so hard to do, but by golly, you did it. This will be your legacy along with losing a young generation to Nets fans. You are even worse than the fictional “Wild Bill” character in the movie Eddie.
You never understood the importance of the Knicks towards the city of New York. You never got the fans. You failed to understand the Knicks tradition. You never appreciated the legacy the people have done for this once-proud organization in the past. For you, the Knicks started in 2001 when you took over, and it has been a forgettable 18 years.
So much losing. So much drama. So many coaches and executives coming and going. So many unfulfilled promises. So many players leaving as losers. At some point, this is a you problem, not them. When you can’t win with executives such as Donnie Walsh and Phil Jackson and a Hall of Fame coach in Larry Brown and a great coach in Mike D’Antoni, it’s not them, it’s you.
You lost me a long time ago, but I put up with you because I grew up watching the Knicks when they were great under Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy when they were entertaining under Rick Pitino. Patrick Ewing and the Knicks turned out to be must-see TV in the 90s. I remember the days when the Knicks captivated this town 24/7/365. When I attended school growing up, I remembered talking Knicks with my teachers and my classmates in class. The Knicks were bigger than life back in their zenith days in the 90s.
I know you were not a Knicks fan then. I understand that you never cared about sports back in the day. This explains why the Knicks don’t matter to you that much and why you fail to get it even now.
After 18 years, you either get it or you don’t. With you, it’s the latter.
You caused so much embarrassment for this franchise such as alienating Charles Oakley by throwing him out and banning him at games despite him doing more for the franchise as a player than you ever did. Throwing fans out at the Garden because they have the nerve to call you out is such a narcissist move. Getting rid of people like Donnie Walsh and Dave Checketts bothered me. I hated that you fired a popular TV sideline reporter in Tina Cervasio, who is competent at her job unlike Rebecca Haarlow. Firing the voice of the Knicks in Marv Albert is something you can only do. Not firing Isiah Thomas for being involved in a sexual harassment suit, which he made sexual advances to Anucha Browne Saunders, who was fired instead of him.
You are just a bad guy, and I had enough. I hate you so much that I rooted for the Knicks not to win the Zion Williamson and Ja Morant sweepstakes, so that you would not benefit from them and that they don’t have to waste their careers working for you.
I have every right to have fun as a basketball fan. Life’s too short to be miserable, so I made the move to root for the Clippers. You see the Clippers have everything going from a great owner in Steve Ballmer to an excellent executive in Jerry West to a wonderful head coach in Doc Rivers to entertaining players on the roster. Something your franchise can’t say under you.
You are the new Donald Sterling. Players don’t like playing for you. No one likes working for you. You developed a losing culture. You created an environment where everyone is paranoid. You made the Garden of Eden into Garden of Dante’s Inferno at Madison Square Garden.
You ruined everything. Your legacy will be ruining the Knicks, losing stars to the Nets and losing a young generation of fans to the Nets.
That’s not something to be proud of. You ought to be embarrassed, but hey you are counting too much money to even care.
I don’t want to be part of it anymore. I earned the right to have bliss. That’s why I love America. The freedom to choose is what makes this country a beautiful place, and I exercised it.
Shame on you for ruining my love for the Knicks. Be embarassed you destroyed what was once a proud franchise that New Yorkers could be proud of.
I will go back to being a Knicks fan when you are gone.
Here’s hoping it’s sooner rather than later.