The annual valuations for NBA teams was released yesterday by Forbes, and guess which franchise tops the list? James Dolan's.
The bumbling franchise with one playoff series victory in 17 years -- and with zero NBA championships since "The Godfather" won Best Picture-- is worth $3.3 billion, according to Forbes, and raked in $376 million last season while losing 50 games.
So in case you thought Dolan had incentive to change his ways, to prioritize winning games over petty feuds, guess again. The Knicks are a punchline and Dolan is laughing right along to the bank.
But impressive profit margins won't stop the losing, the embarrassments, the disapproval from star players across the NBA. In a league where the quality of the product is so reliant on the quality of the players, the Knicks have been cast as the laughingstock loser. We all get a kick out of the tone-deaf uncle reminiscing about the good ol' days, but nobody is taking him seriously -- and nobody is going home with that guy. Or the Knicks.
Dysfunctional Knicks NBA's most valuable franchise, says Forbes
Draymond Green, the outspoken Warriors All-Star, took it a step further on his podcast when he said Dolan operated with a "slave master mentality" with the way he handled Charles Oakley.
"You doing it for me, it's all good," Green said on his "Dray Day" podcast on Uninterrupted. "You doing it against me -- you speaking out against my organization -- it's not good anymore? That's a slave mentality. A slave master mentality. That's ridiculous.
"It was all fine and dandy when he was laying people out, taking fines and all this stuff for your organization. But now, all of a sudden, when he says something that he feels, it's a problem."
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Green has a point that is lost when brought into the context that Oakley was an at-will employee paid millions of dollars. The way Dolan so easily accused Oakley of being an alcoholic monster with anger problems fed into stereotypes, and Dolan must've thought they would've been better received with the way he so flippantly used them on ESPN radio.
Draymond Green: Dolan had ‘slave master mentality’ with Oakley
In a matter of two days, Oakley went from a safety risk to being invited back to the Garden by Dolan, so you can imagine how strongly the Knicks owner felt about his insulting accusations.
Most concerning to the future of the Knicks, however, are the growing negative stigmas associated with Dolan and Phil Jackson.
"When you look at what's going on now with the Melo situation in their organization and now how you do a legend in Charles Oakley, I don't know a free agent that would want to go there," Green said on his podcast. "I don't know someone who would really want to go there."
Green isn't the first marquee player to support Oakley over Dolan, just the latest with the most pointed remarks. LeBron James dug in his heels against Dolan and Jackson. Dwyane Wade chimed in. Even the president of the Player's Association, Michele Roberts, publicly condemned the way Oakley was treated.
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The Knicks, a storied marquee franchise, are open season. They already had a problem attracting top free agents, with Jackson settling for Robin Lopez and Joakim Noah when they enough cap space for a star.
"(Players not wanting to could be a case in some situations," Carmelo Anthony said. "I think the way the deals are structured now, even if you don't want to come there's an opportunity for you to make more money.
"A lot of times players look at that, that kind of overshadows other situations."
That's true. Players go after the money first. But for the top-level players, the winning players, the money is equal. They typically choose based on the following factors: the market, the opportunity for success and the culture.
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The Knicks strike out on two of the three.Send a Letter to the Editor