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Adam Silver & James Dolan = Roger Goodell & Robert Kraft

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Football season is over. So why does the NBA have a potential scandal similar to that of the NFL, this close to the All-Star Game?

In case you didn't know, New York Knicks owner James Dolan responded to a critique from a 73 year old fan who suggested that he (Dolan) sell the Knicks, by blasting the fan rather savagely, suggesting that the fan might be an alcoholic. As of Monday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver chose not to punish Dolan for this act of foolishness, this less than a year after he forced Donald Sterling, an older man whose mental faculties were clearly questionable at best, to sell the LA Clippers.

Silver, clearly, in the eyes of New York's tabloid press, was looking to stay on Dolan's good side, never mind the fact that Dolan's mismanagement of the Knicks has been beyond bad for the NBA. Dolan is the worst owner of a sports franchise in New York, and makes the late George Steinbrenner look like a saint by comparison. To actually suggest that the fan, Irving Bierman, start supporting the cross-town rival Brooklyn Nets, "because the Knicks don't want you", is just flat wrong.

No, in truth, Bierman is absolutely right. Dolan, who spends his down time playing guitar in a garage band, is the NBA's answer to Vince McMahon. They both micromanage their franchises right down to the very nubs, and Dolan seemingly is such a narcissist that employees aren't allowed to "stare" or look him in the eyes as he enters his office. We know McMahon is prematurely senile. Dolan is almost there himself. He treats his MSG Networks like a propaganda machine, not allowing announcers to give credit where it's due when the Knicks lose. Not so sure about the more successful Rangers of the NHL, mind you, but since Dolan doesn't do anything with them.....!

If Silver's going to give Dolan a free pass for this incident, what's he to do if Dolan does something twice as bad? NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell came under fire for being at a party thrown by Patriots owner Robert Kraft prior to the AFC title game last month, leading the Pats' detractors to suggest, again, that Kraft was currying political favoritism. Silver cannot risk going down that same road with Dolan, who runs a losing team, and badly. If he's so willing to throw the book at Donald Sterling, why isn't Silver in such a hurry to punish Dolan?

A simple answer might be that the All-Star Game is in New York this year, and Dolan and his Brooklyn counterpart, Mikhail Prokharov, should be serving as ambassadors for the city and their teams. It would be bad press if Dolan was not only fined, but slapped with a suspension during All-Star Week, but sometimes, if it has to be done, it should be done. Silver's got to the end of the week to change his mind about the Dolan-Bierman incident.

In case anyone wonders why Dolan & McMahon have been at odds in recent years, resulting in fewer WWE events at Madison Square Garden, though they just had a WWE show right after Christmas, it's because they are too much alike. Like looking at each other through a mirror. While McMahon does have his benevolent side (i.e. Tribute to the Troops), Dolan doesn't seem to have one. He even treats cable customers with disdain. He fired a touring company of the Rockettes (Dolan also owns Radio City Music Hall) for no real reason.

It's clear as crystal. James Dolan is the next to go. Adam Silver cannot protect him the way Roger Goodell has looked the other way for Robert Kraft and the Patriots. New York already has one piece of tarnished Silver. They don't want a second one.


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