Dolan: My goal is to win, not to be loved
March, 18, 2014
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK -- James Dolan realizes that he isn't loved by most Knicks fans. And he's OK with that.
"My goal isn't to be loved," Dolan said on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Michael Kay Show." "My goal is to win."
"As far as being liked and disliked, I know what my job is. I know what I have to do. I go about doing it," Dolan said. "You're not going to be liked by everybody. If your goal is to be liked by everybody, I don't think you're going to do such a good job because you're going to worry more about that than making the right decisions."
Dolan, who has presided over some of the worst seasons in franchise history, pointed out that there aren't many owners of New York sports teams that are well-liked.
"Not in the time I've been here," Dolan said.
Dolan touched on several different subjects in a revelatory interview with Kay:
On Phil Jackson's autonomy: Dolan said that Jackson would have final say in basketball decisions. When asked about the agency CAA's involvement in Jackson's decisions, Dolan said, "I have only one answer for that: Phil Jackson is in charge of all basketball decisions. Period. Including all of those."
This will be worth watching. It all sounded good today, but only time will tell if Dolan is truly willing to cede power. He promised something similar to Donnie Walsh, but that didn't work out so well.
"It's all Phil's call," Dolan said.
Coach Jackson? Not happening: The owner also addressed the possibility of Jackson coaching.
"I don't think that that will ever happen. That's not what we're looking for Phil to do for us," Dolan said. "We're looking to help build a consistently winning franchise. I think he knows how to do that. I think he'll put the personnel in place."
The 'Melo trade: Dolan was asked by Kay if he thought the Knicks paid too much for Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks, you may remember, dealt Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov, among others, for Anthony back in 2011.
The Knicks have won just one playoff series since.
Dolan defended the trade by explaining that the players the Knicks dealt were either in the final year of their contract or the second-to-last year of their deal.
"Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari were real good players and were going to command much more than what they were making when they initially started with us," Dolan explained. "In order to sign them, we would have had to lock the team in."
Dolan makes an interesting point. He also noted that the Brooklyn Nets were heavily pursuing Anthony, so the Knicks may not have had the opportunity to get Anthony as a free agent. Would you rather be watching a team featuring Gallinari and Chandler, or one featuring Anthony?
No second thoughts on Lin: Dolan was also asked by Kay if he has any regrets about choosing not to match the Houston Rockets' offer sheet to Jeremy Lin. He said he did not.
"No regrets with Jeremy Lin. I wish Jeremy the best of luck but he's going to get paid $19 million next year and imagine what our team would be like, we'd be stuck for a long time," Dolan said.
Dolan's math is a little off. Lin's contract counts against the salary cap for $8.3 million.
The Knicks will be over the cap, so Lin's salary would only add to Dolan's luxury tax. It would also make it more difficult for New York to get under the cap if it desired to do so this summer.