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A group of fed-up New York Knicks fans will protest what they call the "systemic and consistently recurring lack of responsible decision-making at Madison Square Garden" by owner James Dolan and team executives before a home game against the Indiana Pacers on March 19.
"We understand Dolan will not sell. We understand change may not come of this. We just want our voices heard," Mark Griffin, one of the organizers of the protest, wrote in an emailed statement. "We want to remind Dolan and the NBA that our voices matter. We buy the tickets, the jerseys, the NBA League Pass subscriptions. We are frustrated. We are tired. We deserve better."
The Knicks, who declined to comment Thursday, have performed far below Dolan's stated expectations this season. They snapped a seven-game losing streak with a win over Minnesota on Wednesday but are 19 games under .500 and 5½ games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The fan group that has organized the protest -- KF4L (Knicks Fans For Life) -- cites issues with Dolan, the lack of communication from team president/GM Steve Mills and the team's ties to Creative Artists Agency as its main sources of contention.
Griffin says the group resents Dolan's "insistence on overriding the opinions of his basketball people by bidding against himself in negotiations and overpaying in trades."
The group also takes issue with Mills failing to publicly explain the team's decision-making.
"Steve Mills has yet to speak to the media or fans about the state of the team since he came back. The fans deserve explanations and the media deserve to do their job in order to keep fans informed," Griffin wrote.
Griffin stressed that the protest was not directed at Knicks players.
"The focus of our rally is not the players. If Carmelo Anthony wants to re-sign and continue trying to bring a championship to the city, we support him. If he seeks to do that elsewhere, we will respect his decision. We lack faith in leadership to build a team capable of lasting success whether Carmelo decides to stay or leave," Griffin wrote. "We hope Carmelo looks at the rally as a fan base that truly cares about the success of the organization and all of the players on it."
Knicks fans have organized public protests in the past. A group in December 2007 protested the team's poor performance under Dolan and then GM/coach Isiah Thomas.