Tag:James Dolan
Posted on: November 1, 2011 11:30 am

Report: Salary cap will not drop for 2011

By Matt Moore

Back when this delightful lockout began, the words "hard cap" were still very much in play. The idea was that the owners were going to get everything they wanted, exactly as they wanted them, and that included a hard cap that would be substantially lower than the cap structure in the prior CBA. That had some pretty terrifying consequences for big-spender teams who might have seen forced cuts of superstars they'd worked hard to acquire, or an inability to build on the core they've built. The Knicks, for example, might have been stuck with the basics of last year's squad, unable to improve enough around the two stars to compete for a title. Luckily for them, the hard cap has been removed from the conversation, replaced with luxury tax discussions while the league continues to pound the union's BRI into oblivion. 

In fact, the cap structure won't change and will actually increase next season, according to the New York Post:  
According to multiple sources, one of the resolved issues in a new CBA is the 2011 salary cap will remain at the level as it was in 2010 -- $58 million.

“That’s what we’ve been discussing, though the exact dollar amount is not set until the new deal is done,’’ said one league source, who added no new talks have yet been scheduled.

Economic projections from sources say the salary cap will then grow to about $60-$61 million in 2012, when the Knicks will have the largest cap space in the league and have room to woo either Chris Paul, Deron Williams or Dwight Howard, who are slated to become free agents. The Knicks could be at least $20 million under the projected 2012 cap.
via Knicks owner Dolan works to keep NBA salary cap same size - NYPOST.com.

So the Knicks' dream of building their own superteam is alive and well, and their pursuit of the final piece of the puzzle begins this year (or may have already started depending on your take on the Isiah Thomas rumors). They'll have to make some tough choices, though, what with needing to build supporting pieces as well as nab one of the 2012 big three. It'll be interesting to see Dolan's response to the new luxury tax and just how much is too much for the MSG mogul. 

But for those that enjoy this era of super-teams, the cap will remain in place to make it a possibility.  
Posted on: September 14, 2011 12:21 pm

Report: Isiah Thomas courting CP3 for Knicks

By Matt Moore

The New York Post reported two Knicks  items of note Wednesday. The first is that Amar'e Stoudemire is currently working out in Miami at Florida International University... the same university Isiah Thomas is currently employed at. There has always been talk of Isiah Thomas' closeness with owner James Dolan even after his dismissal from the club. He was heavily rumored to have been involved in the discussions over All-Star Weekend to bring Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks, and was part of the deciding factor in Dolan's decision to "give up the farm" in the deal in order to insure they acquired Melo as soon as possible. Stoudemire working out there is likely just a convenient option for him, given its sunny location and facilities, but it's also a sign that Thomas is never far from the Knicks, as he continues to hover while the Knicks seek out a new GM.

But the more eye-opening information regards the Knicks' top free agency target of 2012, not 2010. The Post reports that Dolan is actively working with Thomas, who is not under contract with the Knicks (the league ruled it would be a violation for a head coach of an NCAA team to be on contract with an NBA team), to court Chris Paul. From the Post:  
Plus, Isiah continues to share a close relationship with some of the league's top players. That would include Carmelo Anthony, Amare and more importantly, Chris Paul.

This is the reason James Dolan continues to lean on Isiah for advice, even though Isiah doesnt have an official position with the Knicks. If he did, Isiah would be in violation of NBA bylaws for having contact with players during the lockout.

Isiah played a role in the Knicks signing Amare two summers ago and he played a role in the Melo trade. He's now working behind the scenes to help the Knicks land Chris Paul.
via Knicks Amare Stoudemire works out at FIU, where former Knicks president Isiah Thomas is head coach

The report, if accurate, is alarming for all kinds of people. Knicks fans have to be concerned because this just puts Thomas closer to the organization and further opens the possibility of Thomas returning to the role of GM, despite Thomas' denials. Hornets fans have to be concerned with another team actively working to recruit their star player before free agency begins. The league has to be concerned on two fronts, from a tampering aspect and from a team working through back channels to communicate with a player through free agency. And Chris Paul has to be worried that Isiah Thomas has his cell phone number. Okay, not really, Thomas is respected by the players. 

In reality, it's possible this is more of the same rumors and innuendo that have linked Thomas with the Knicks and Paul for years.  But if Dolan is still pursuing a three-man team-up of Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and Amar'e Stoudemire, how is he going to feel about a hard cap which may restrict his ability to sign all three? These are the kinds of questions we're trying to navigate in an uncertain apocalyptic lockout landscape. 
Posted on: August 23, 2011 5:27 pm

MSG stock downgraded because of the lockout

Posted by Royce Young

It may still just be August and the lockout may not have caused any lost games yet, but that doesn't mean it's not having an effect. For example: Via the NY Post, MSG's stock has been seriously downgraded as a result of the lockout.
The NBA lockout claimed a stock market victim Tuesday, as shares of New York Knicks parent Madison Square Garden Co. (MSG) were downgraded to neutral by Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- in part because of lost income caused by the work stoppage.   "Despite our continued belief in MSG's robust long-term story ... we think the shares will be unlikely to outperform over the near term with $90 million of adjusted operating cash flow at risk from a full-season NBA lockout and a possible LA Forum acquisition on the horizon," the analysts wrote in a note.

They lowered their target price for the stock to $28. MSG agreed to buy the LA Forum concert venue late last year.

Shares of MSG were down a fraction to $22.72 at Tuesday's US market open.

So stock projections are estimating that the entire NBA season could be lost. Isn't that wonderful? But what this means is that MSG, which is primarily owned by Knicks owner and serious negotiating power broker James Dolan, is already losing money. And not just because of the economy or other factors. But instead, as a direct result of the lockout.

Probably not enough to make Dolan waver and therefore influence other owners to get to bargaining a little more, but it's at least something to take note of.
Posted on: August 4, 2011 12:30 pm

Knicks owner sings about his friend Isiah Thomas

By Matt Moore

Who knew James Dolan had a sense of humor? Last week, Dolan and his band, JD and the Straight Shot (yes, he has a band) opened for Aretha Franlkin at the Jones Beach Theater. (What can we say, being the head of a massive telecommunications and entertainment entity has its perks.) During the set, Dolan dropped a catchy little ditty called "Fix the Knicks." Here's the video, courtesy of Alan Hahn of Newsday on Twitter: 


In the course of that little tune, there's an interesting line around the one minute mark. 

"Doing my best, yes, that's my promise
I check with my friend called 'Isiah Thomas'."

Now that's just funny.

It's a pretty obviously tongue-in-cheek reference to all the claims that Dolan and Thomas are best-buds (and there are a lot of them). While the song is pretty terrible,  that's pretty amusing and a nice crack at the criticism. Also pretty solid is one of the final lines about how everyone has the answer on draft night to "fix the Knicks." 

Maybe his next hit can be "The Revenue Sharing Blues."  

(HT: Isiah Thomas
Posted on: June 6, 2011 3:01 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 6:49 am

Isiah Thomas talks about his future with Knicks

Posted by Royce Young

There is an assumption that Isiah Thomas will be returning to the Knicks in some regard, after Donnie Walsh didn't reach a contract extension with the team. Thomas remains involved in some manner with the team as a consultant-but-not-a-consultant type of thing.

He's already said he won't rejoin the team
in an official capacity, but via Sports Radio Interviews, Thomas was asked about his future with the team since again, most seem to doubt he will rejoin the club in an official capacity.
Do you want to be back with the New York Knicks organzation?

“I don’t want to be the President of the New York Knicks. That’s not what I’m angling for. In terms of being in the NBA or working in an NBA organization I’ve said this before at some point in time I would like to return to the NBA and I would like to continue in the NBA, but at this time my focus is at FIU [Florida International University] and working in college and working with the kids that I’m working with.”

Why do you not want to be the President of the New York Knicks or for any team?

“I … not necessarily any team, but I would just say in this situation right now you know what with what went on with myself and my family and the toll that it took on just my family here in New York. It was just difficult for us and we had a very difficult time. I don’t know if I would want to go through that again.”

Let me just make this clear for the listeners out there. Are you trying to say that if your friend, the billionaire, Mr. Dolan, picked up the phone, called you and said ‘I want you back in the same position you had before you’d likely say no?’

“I probably would because I think I could help him … I would try to help him in other ways. I just don’t know if my skin … I don’t know if my family and myself …  I don’t (know) if we could all go through that again. It was very difficult for all of us during that period of time and I wouldn’t want to go through that again.”

What about being the coach of the Knicks?

“Absolutely not.”
As with anything in sports, you can only take Thomas at his word. He says he's not returning to the Knicks and because of the PR nightmare it would create, you've got to believe it. Isiah Thomas isn't going to be the Knicks next GM.

He's said before that he wants to return to the NBA at some point, but he's not dumb. He understands that a return to the Knicks wouldn't be good for him or the organization. Not with all the baggage that's there. But he does have a major leg up there because of his relationship with Dolan. Even with that, Thomas acknowledged how difficult a return would be. He doesn't rule out the chance to return in some capacity, but he's sure he doesn't want to be president and especially not the coach.

Sleep easy, Mike D'Antoni. And Knicks fans.

Posted on: June 5, 2011 4:16 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 6:48 am

D'Antoni not too worried about losing his job

Posted by Royce Young

After the question of Donnie Walsh's future was settled with his decision to move to an advisory role with the team this week, now it's about what happens with coach Mike D'Antoni.

Maybe D'Antoni's biggest fan -- besides his wife, I assume -- was Walsh. But according to the New York Post, owner James Dolan is also in the corner of D'Antoni.
It is unclear if a contract extension would be discussed, but one source said Dolan likes D’Antoni a lot. D’Antoni has one year and $6 million left on his contract, and Dolan is not keen on eating it during a lockout-shortened season with revenues down.
Following the sweep at the hands of the Celtics in the opening round, D'Antoni's seat went form warm to hot. The team was playing without Chauncey Billups in three of the four games, but being swept isn't something Knicks' fans had in mind when the team made the postseason.

D'Antoni spoke with the Post recently and expressed that he's not too worried about his future with the Knicks.

“No, I feel good,” D’Antoni said. “I hate it Donnie is leaving. I owe a lot to him. We had three good years. He did exactly what he wanted and said he would do and he’s got us in position to be one of the better teams in the NBA next year. That’s to his credit.

“We worked well together,” he added. “I appreciate his support and I feel good about us having a great year next season. It’s all a coach can ask for, to have him give me that chance. He’s put me in that position.”

The biggest criticism of D'Antoni this year came because of incredible defensive meltdowns, specifically in the second halves of games. The Knicks have two premier scorers in Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, but both of those players lack on the defensive end.

There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding D'Antoni's assistants who all have their contracts expire June 30. According to the New York Times, D'Antoni is expected to add a defensive specialist to his staff at the request of the front office. As the report notes, that's nothing new -- in Phoenix, Marc Iavaroni served as D’Antoni’s defensive coach for three and a half seasons.

There isn't much doubt that D'Antoni will return next season to finish out his contract but if things start slowly, his seat could turn to fire. And of course if marked improvement isn't shown -- especially on both ends -- it's not going to matter how much Dolan likes him. It's time for the Knicks to start winning again.

Posted on: June 3, 2011 8:06 pm

Report: Isiah Thomas says he won't rejoin Knicks

Isiah Thomas reportedly says he will not re-join the New York Knicks management staff. Posted by Ben Golliver. isiah-thomas

In a surprise move on Friday, New York Knicks owner James Dolan and president Donnie Walsh announced that they had "mutually agreed" that Walsh would not be back as president next season, instead shifting into a consulting role.

Breathe easy, Knicks fans: Walsh's departure doesn't mean that former Knicks president, and noted Dolan confidante, Isiah Thomas is coming back for a sequel.

Indeed, ESPNNY.com reports on Friday that Thomas has ruled himself out.
"I'll only say that Jim and I are great friends," Thomas said, "and I will always try to help him help the Knicks. If he wants me to help, I'll be there for him.

"I have no desire to return as president of the Knicks," said Thomas, now the head coach of Florida International University. "I'm not a candidate to replace Donnie. I like the job I have right now, and the toll that the (Knicks) job took on me, my wife, and my kids, I don't want to go through that again."

The Thomas years were filled with bloated contracts, strange trades and sexual harassment allegations. Clearly, no one wants to go back down that road.

CBSSports.com's Ken Berger has much more on who has emerged as early candidates to replace Walsh


Posted on: June 3, 2011 2:46 pm

Walsh says departure was a matter of age

Posted by Matt Moore

On a conference call Friday afternoon after it was announced he would be leaving his position as President of the Knicks, Donnie Walsh pinpointed age and the need fro the President going forward to work under a multi-year deal as the primary reasons why he would be departing the Knicks after three years.  

"Jim (Dolan) and I started working on some sort of extension that would be a multi-year deal. The more we talked about it, the more I realized I wouldn't want a multi-year deal. I can understand why he'd want that. I just realized I probably wasn't the guy to go forward with."

Walsh, ever the company man and a man who does business "the right way" denied reports that autonomy was an issue between he and Dolan, with rumors implying Dolan wanted more control over decision-making than Dolan was comfortable with. Still, there were things Walsh said to suggest everything is not peachy within MSG. 

"I basically had a good relationship with Jim," Walsh said. "He treated me very well." Walsh spoke about how it's commonplace for owners to be involved in negotiations like what occurred during the trade negotiations for Carmelo Anthony. He denied that Dolan's involvement led in any way to his departure.

"No, it had nothing to do with it. I don't understand why people make a deal about an owner getting involved in a negotiation. I was called and told by (Dolan) before the deal, 'I can't make this decision. This is your decision.'" 

Walsh spoke highly of the organization, the fans, his staff, and Mike D'Antoni, saying he had spoken with the Knicks head coach prior to the announcement and given him his support to "finish the job."

As far as the future of the Knicks, Walsh spoke often about "filling in the blanks" or "gaps" on the Knicks' roster with players to support the two franchise superstars, Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire. He said he will relocated to Indiana but maintain an apartment in New York in his role as a consultant to help with "whatever (he) can." 

Most forcefully, Walsh denied Isiah Thomas' involvement in the situation. 

"I don't think Isiah Thomas had anything to do with basically anything I'm doing right now. I've always had a relationship with Isiah, I'm not going to give that up because everyone's talking and writing about it. I haven't seen Isiah in a long time."

The New York Daily News reports that part of the offer from James Dolan to Walsh to stay on including a 40 percent pay cut.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com