By now, you've surely seen the footage of Golden State owner Joe Lacob being booed like crazy by Warriors fans at Chris Mullin's jersey retirement ceremony last night. It's one of those wonderful spontaneous fan moments when management of a franchise believes their fan base stands rapt and worshipful at their every word ... and then discovers the exact opposite in the most vivid way possible. Sports owners are massively wealthy humans who spend their entire days and nights being told how fantastic they are, how important they are, how honored this restaurant is to have their business. They live in a bubble of bullshit. In open arenas in which they have no power, fans have a tendency to pop their bubble in unforgettable ways. That happened last night. Which got us to thinking ...
It has been more than five years since Jim Dolan gave an interview about the Knicks, and his last two appearances (announcing the Carmelo Anthony trade and the Mike D'Antoni resignation) ended with him shuffling off before reporters could pepper him with any of those annoying questions. But if Dolan thought Marc Berman and Frank Isola would be a problem, can you imagine how he'd fare in an open arena?
Knicks fans have done their fair share of booing over the last few years, and just saying the name "Isiah Thomas" three times into an MSG mirror can actually raise the dead from their graves. But it is absolutely nothing compared to what would happen if Jim Dolan spoke at center court. C'mon, look what happened when beloved Ranger Brian Leetch merely mentioned his name. (Skip to 6:10 mark.)
Look at this video again.
Yeah, that's awkward ... but come on. That guy — whose only real crime, by the way, was recognizing that the Warriors needed to rebuild, something that Dolan has never even been able to do — is getting a public massage compared to what would happen to Dolan. Now, on one hand, Dolan has to know this is what would happen if he ever took the mike. On the other hand ... honestly, does that guy get any of this? (After all, they're always cheering at the JD and the Straight Shot shows in the commissary!)
Someday, the Knicks are going to win a championship. It's extremely unlikely that this championship would ever occur under Dolan's watch, but — play along — imagine if it did. Even with the Knicks crowd soaking in their long-denied title, even with the place ablaze in a giddy bomb, there is absolutely no way that they wouldn't stop the minute he picked up the microphone to boo him with all their heart and might until he gave it to someone else. Dolan is often criticized for his lack of public appearances. But if we were him, we wouldn't leave our house either.