The list of Cablevision owner James Dolan’s enemies is ever expanding: there are long-suffering, abused employees, any and all reporters, especially his own sports reporters, and extra-especially bloggers. And though the Voice — Runnin’ Scared in particular — has had its disagreements with Mr. Dolan in the recent past, nothing compares to the special Dolan-aimed ire held by not only New York Knicks fans, but basketball fans in general.
And the most well-respected basketball fan (if not all-around sports fan) in the world these days is doubtlessly ESPN’s Bill Simmons. Surprise — he has harsh words for Dolan, too:
In his column Friday, Simmons took a breath from gloating about the surprising Celtics to give a primer on the new Russian owner of the New Jersey Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov, who’s determined to bring basketball back to this fine city, hopefully in Brooklyn and maybe with LeBron James. And so Simmons answered the question on everyone’s mind, considering how badly the Nets suck: Why them, especially after one of the worst seasons in NBA history? (Emphasis ours.)
He admitted they weren’t his first choice. Prokhorov first sniffed around with the New York Knicks, trying to figure out a scenario in which he could get them, the Rangers (“the ice hockey team” as he called them) and Madison Square Garden. Somewhere along the line, he probably had a meet-and-greet with James Dolan and realized either “There’s no way he’s selling” or “Wow, I’d much rather keep this loser in the league and buy the New York-area team that directly competes with him.” Or maybe both.
Simmons left Dolan’s intimate anatomy out of it, so he probably won’t be hearing from Jimmy’s attack dogs. But if it came down to a war between the Knicks owner and Simmons, Boston’s prodigal sports son, it’d be the only time it’s OK to root for Boston.