Knicks: Blame Dolan, Not Just Jackson

Phil Jackson has been taking a lot of heat as president of the New York Knicks this year. The current flap about Kristaps Porzingis is just the latest in a list of controversies Jackson has had to deal with. But as bad as things are going for the Knicks I still find it hard to blame Jackson to the extent hat he’s being blamed by most fans. I hold team owner James Dolan even more responsible than Jackson.

Just look at Dolan’s track record since taking control of the team. In 1999, the year Dolan took over, president Ernie Grunfeld left the team. Depending on who you talk with he was either fired or resigned, but either way this was a harbinger of things to come. Donnie Walsh and Glen Grunwald were two very well respected basketball men who couldn’t make things work under Dolan either.

Head coach Jeff Van Gundy resigned just 19 games into the 2001-02 season. Lenny Wilkins, one of the winningest coaches in NBA history and a Hall of Famer, resigned in 2005 after coaching parts of 2 seasons. Larry Brown, another Hall of Famer, only lasted one season. Mike D’Antoni resigned in 2012 after not being able to run games the way he wanted.

And we haven’t even spoken about the disaster that was Isiah Thomas.

Yes, the Knicks are in turmoil right now and it looks like Jackson isn’t the savior that many thought he would be when he joined the team. But when you look at the track record under Dolan you have to wonder what may be going on behind the scenes between the owner and basketball operations and how he may really be responsible for what the team has been going through.

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