It has become a common truth that owner James Dolan is what ails the New York Knicks, but Rasheed Wallace and an NBA agent disagree.
Mention James Dolan’s name around anyone who follows the NBA, and 99 out of 100 people will give you the same response. Incompetent. Since taking over as owner of the New York Knicks, the franchise–which once had a wonderful history of winning from the late sixties and early seventies, and were coming off a decade of deep playoff runs in the nineties–has done nothing but lose, sometimes in spectacular fashion.
Of course, there were a few exceptions when the Knicks were good under Dolan’s ownership tenure, most notably, during the 2012-13 season when they won 54 games and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
Rasheed Wallace was a veteran player on that playoff team, and he recently offered his opinion on whether the Knicks can with with Dolan in charge. The four-time All Star, who won an NBA title with the Pistons, believes the Knicks need to put the right people in place under Dolan, and offer some consistency and depth to their lineup.
“It’s just a matter of who you put in place,” Wallace said on The Moose and Maggie Show on WFAN on Tuesday. “You can’t win if you’re changing your coach every year or every two years. You can’t win if you only have that one player and you’re not bringing no backup help in here for him. You’re not bringing no bench into your forum. You can’t win.”
Wallace only played in 21 games with the Knicks before retiring after the 2012-13 season. But he has played for three different organizations in the playoffs, totaling 177 postseason games, so he has a pretty good idea of what it takes to be a part of a competitive franchise.
Adding to Wallace’s viewpoint, Mitchell Robinson‘s former agent, Mayar Zokaei, recently dispelled the narrative that James Dolan holds the Knicks back.
“Some of the craziest sh*t I hear is about James Dolan,” Zokaei said on the Knicks Film School Podcast on Tuesday. “They have no idea how passionate this guy is about his team; how he will spend whatever it takes to make that team a winner; how he stays in his lane and allows the people that he hires to do their job; and how he’s willing to move on from his mistakes.”
Of course, there has been plenty of evidence to suggest Dolan is precisely the problem with the Knicks–I mean, look at the results–but it is interesting to hear different viewpoints from people who have spent time around the beleaguered owner.
Whether he is posturing for his next client, or not, Zokaei says he would have no problem having another client play for the Knicks.
“Trust me when I tell you,” Zokaei said to Jonathan Macri. “There’s players that I talk to right now, who I have relationships with that are on other teams, that are maybe two-three years into their NBA deals, that are potential max guys on their second contract, that would do almost anything to play for the New York Knicks.”
Here’s hoping, Knicks fans!
The Knicks are currently 21-45, the sixth worst record in the NBA, in what will be their seventh consecutive losing season. They have not made the playoffs since that magical run in 2013. And it appears they will hire their seventh different coach in the past seven years.