01.31.06

Araton : Blame D’oh-lan!

Posted in Basketball at 1:47 am by

Sparing us an autopsy of last night’s latest Knicks embarrassment — a turnover-crazy, blowout loss to Atlanta that had Larry Brown clearing the bench midway through the 4th quarter — the New York Times’ Harvey Araton wonders how an experienced business dude like James Dolan could’ve allowed the charges against his basketball GM to hit the headlines.

What could James L. Dolan, the Garden’s chairman, have possibly been thinking when he, the person with the last call as the holder of the golden checkbook, instead signed off on the dismissal of Browne Saunders after she filed a complaint within the company against Thomas?

Did his high-powered lawyers really advise Dolan that Browne Sanders had no case in court and could be vanquished without negotiating a suitable severance that would, as the lawyers say, make her whole? Or was Browne Sanders another Jets stadium to spurn, another perceived infidel to slay, another chance for the son of a rich man who wanted to be a rebellious rocker to smash his toy basketball team all over the stage?

When Dolan needed to be a pragmatic manager and chant: “War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing,” he opted for his longtime anthem, “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” Could he really be so uncompromising and disdainful of the public and his critics that he would destroy Thomas in the interests of defending him, and expose his organization and the N.B.A. to so much residual shame?

Adds the New York Post’s Peter Vescey,

I don’t want to suggest Garden executives are getting a bit paranoid, but after tonight’s State of the Union address, they’ve demanded Isiah get equal time.

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