BY LESLIE MONTEIRO
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
I didn’t even know the Knicks officially introduced Jalen Brunson as the new point guard on Tuesday. No one knew.
Like most Knicks fans, I found out on Twitter around 6:00 p.m. I was wondering why that was the case. Then, it turned out the Knicks did not invite the press to this conference in a tweet that New York Daily News’ Knicks beat writer Stefan Bondy wrote on Twitter.
Brilliant. So the Knicks not only managed to ruin what was a good day for them by getting a good player to sign with them, but they managed to show their new player why this organization has always been mocked by critics.
What professional sports franchise does this?
This isn’t an all-time low by all means. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving signing with the Nets and the Anucha Browne Saunders should be cited as examples of all-time low for this sorry franchise. Nevertheless, this recent act is so amateur and stupid. There’s no other way to explain it.
Don’t offer this pap that the Knicks decided to not invite the sportswriters and television personalities because they would ask Donovan Mitchell questions and the team did not want to get fined for tampering. This has to do with Knicks CEO James Dolan engaging in silly nonsense with the media because he and his franchise get ripped often. Remember this is an owner who lets Julius Randle not talk to the media and president of basketball operations Leon Rose not take questions from the media about the inept job he has done this past season.
What do the Knicks benefit from this? This act only makes it worse for the team. It does not give them the benefit of the doubt from the media. Other basketball fans mock them.
Here’s what Dolan fails to realize: The Knicks are a public trust. The media serves as a conduit to the fans. It’s their job to tell them what’s going on with the team whether it’s good or bad. As negative as the media in town is, it can be great a public relations tool when a team is winning. The Knicks received positive coverage two years ago just by being mediocre and making the playoffs. They got ten times the coverage the Nets got despite the Nets contending for a championship. Who can not forget the media being all in on the Knicks during their run to the championship in the 90s?
It’s on the Knicks to get it right than the media. The media serves as freedom of truth. Only they can change the perception through winning and doing things right. The Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat and other successful NBA teams receive positive press because they win and they know how to work well with the media.
What the Knicks pulled the other day only hurts them. Remarkably, Knicks fans gave the team the benefit of the doubt. That’s amusing for a franchise that has missed the playoffs more often than not under Dolan. This is a franchise that missed the playoffs in eight of the last nine seasons. This is a franchise that has a 49-year championship drought. This is a franchise that has not gone to a conference game since 2000. What’s to defend Dolan and the Knicks organization?
This is a franchise that really deserves criticism. The Knicks ruined the public trust for off-the-court incidents such as the harassment of Saunders along with media incidents and much more. The common denominator of all this is Dolan. Ever since he received the keys to the kingdom from his father, he has run the Knicks to the ground and alienated greats that serve the franchise well like Charles Oakley, Patrick Ewing, Marv Albert and the late John Andariese. It’s just pettiness that does not serve the franchise well.
Their actions deserved to be scrutinized by the public and media. It’s the media’s job to play it straight to the public. When a franchise is run as bad as the Knicks are for the last 21 years, there should be answers to why. There’s nothing to defend what the Knicks are doing.
Players know about the Knicks’ nonsense, and all of this becomes a distraction to them that they don’t need. It’s hard enough to play in New York as it is. It’s hard enough to go out there and play an NBA game. It’s work. This is the last thing the Knicks players need. It’s no wonder why LeBron James, Durant, Irving and other prominent free agents wanted no part of playing for the Knicks. They don’t need it. This has nothing to do with the media. This is more of the franchise being involved with petty stuff that has nothing to do with basketball.
There’s no need for the Knicks to do stuff like this. They have nothing to gain by doing this. It makes all of this worse.
Mitchell must wonder why would he want to play for a franchise like this. The three-time Utah Jazz All-Star knows what it’s like to play for a professional organization that understands the value of the media. He would be crazy to come to play here when Dolan wants to create an unnecessary feud with the media that wants what’s best for the Knicks and their fans. For his own good, he would be better off playing for a professional organization like the Heat.
It would be nice if NBA commissioner Adam Silver tell Dolan to stop with the nonsense, but the Garden CEO won’t listen to him, either. He is not going to change ever. If anything, it’s pointless to even tell the Knicks to change.
When the Knicks do what they did Tuesday, it makes it easy to root against them.
It’s so sad to see after this once-proud franchise did everything right in the 90s under Pat Riley and Dave Checketts.
This writer can be reached on Twitter at: @LeslieMonteiro6
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