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An idiot with power is a dangerous thing

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James Dolan, chairman of Cablevision, the 2nd largest cable provider in New York, also owns the New York Rangers (NHL) & Knicks (NBA) and their home arena, Madison Square Garden. However, if you believe the press in New York, Dolan has also inherited some of the late George Steinbrenner's old, bad habits.

Consider the plight of Knicks President Don Walsh, for example. Walsh, who built the Indiana Pacers into a playoff contender during the 90's, was hired in 2008 to replace Isaiah Thomas after the former All-Star resigned in disgrace over accusations of sexual harassment, now has to look over his shoulder now that Thomas, while still head coach at Florida International, has been brought back by Dolan to serve as a consultant. What? Has Dolan been watching Friday Night Smackdown lately?

For those who don't follow the WWE's secondary show, former GM Vickie Guerrero was rehired by Chairman/CEO Vince McMahon last fall to act as a "consultant" to GM Theodore Long, knowing that if anything were to happen to Long, Mrs. Guerrero would take over. Even the slightest amount of power is abused. As the old saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Dolan being the big kahuna with both the Knicks & the Rangers illustrates this point to a tee.

While the Rangers have been a playoff contender every season, though not always advancing to the playoffs, the Knicks have been on the outside looking in. During Thomas' disastrous run as GM & Coach, he & Dolan overspent on veteran free agents, leaving the Knicks unable to sign more quality players that could've helped the team. Thomas was, in every respect, the public face of the team while Dolan tried to forge a second career as a musician, playing in a garage band that few might actually have heard of. His dismissal in 2008 stained the reputation of a once-proud superstar who helped Detroit to 2 NBA titles in the early 90's. As was discussed earlier today on ESPN's Around the Horn, Thomas might actually be in violation of NBA guidelines just by keeping his college job. Dolan doesn't seem to care, much less understand. He wanted Walsh to hire Thomas as a GM. Walsh refused, but settled on making Thomas a consultant instead. Hmmmmm. Wasn't Brutus a consultant to Julius Caesar before the Ides of March?

Bottom line is, Dolan is setting Walsh up to fail, so he can elevate Thomas into the President's office and rubber stamp everything Dolan wants done. The Knicks are better off if someone comes along with a megabucks deal to buy the team, along with the Garden and the Rangers, away from the clueless martinet currently signing their paychecks. You know that if/when Dolan does pull the trigger to fire Walsh, he'll use the failure to bring LeBron James to New York as one of his many excuses. You know it, I know it, and you better believe Walsh and the New York press knows it. Making Dolan a Weasel of the Week would be too easy. Giving him a lifetime membership at the Jabroni Athletic Club makes more sense. If he actually spends time in a gym and gets to know his players and understands exactly what the team really needs, he might actually get somewhere. Like, sometime next decade.

[The preceding was originally written on my other blog, "The Land of Whatever".]


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