TheDailyNews We know of at least one person taking James Dolan seriously when the boss says he expects the Knicks to win the NBA championship this year. That person? Well of course, James Dolan. The media-shy chairman of Madison Square Garden was conspicuously missing from his baseline seat during most of the second quarter of Sunday’s lethargic loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. And for good reason. According to several sources, Dolan was ready to erupt after the Knicks surrendered 40 first-quarter points and as the deficit ballooned to 23 Dolan went hunting for Steve Mills, the team’s new president and general manager. That Mills isn’t responsible for either the roster or the coaching staff didn’t matter. With Dolan the facts rarely matter. The boss needed to vent and found Mills in a suite. That’s one of the perks of being the boss. You get to assign blame to whomever you choose. So on this night, it was left to Mills to talk Dolan down from the MSG Chase Bridge. On the one hand, I applaud Dolan for being appalled. It’s nice to know someone in a position of power found the Knicks’ performance unacceptable. Dolan could have easily just sat there on Sunday yukking it up with the actress seated to his left, “Saturday Night Live” alum Kristen Wiig. (In the final preseason game, Dolan’s guest was actress Olivia Munn. That’s another perk of being the boss.) Dolan, though, wants results and he wants them now. “There’s no need to panic,” Carmelo Anthony said on Monday. “It’s three games into the season. We’re still trying to figure a lot of things out.” That’s easy for Melo to say. He’s one of Dolan’s guys and he has the contract to prove it. Dolan hasn’t and may never call his franchise player on the carpet. Mills is another story. He knows Dolan means business — as does Mike Woodson, who in early October was in the room when Dolan delivered his win-now edict to the head coach and his staff. Being the Knicks coach under Dolan has never been a walk in the park, but it’s especially difficult now with Dolan expecting a championship. Perhaps the only group that has it worse than Woodson’s staff is — and I can’t believe I’m typing this — the Knicks City Dancers. Dolan has become such a hands-on owner — figuratively speaking — that, according to a source, he doesn’t want the dancers dancing. Crazy, right? The same guy who wanted creative input on the dancers’ outfits (and he’s good at it) apparently ordered that the girls’ roles be reduced to mostly throwing T-shirts into the crowd. They performed maybe one routine on Sunday. Why? No one seems to know, except the standard answer is usually “that’s Dolan.” And this is where I draw the line. Be upset all you want at the players for underperforming. But the dancers? The KCD’s have been the model of fitness, enthusiasm and execution for two decades. The Knicks? They’ve had one good season out of the last 13.And maybe that’s what is driving Dolan to drive everyone else crazy. He tasted a little bit of success last season — 54 wins, finally winning a playoff series — and he doesn’t want to go back. The loss to Minnesota left the Knicks with a 1-2 record heading into Tuesday’s home game against Charlotte. Dolan’s basketball team hadn’t had a losing record since March 24, 2012. Sure, it’s a modest run but it’s better than the alternative. And Dolan doesn’t want to experience losing anymore. When the fans say things like “sense of urgency” and “sending a message,” that’s what Dolan is giving you on a nightly basis. Is he really asking too much to expect his expensive roster to do the same? This is Dolan like we’ve never heard him before. One minute he’s talking NBA title like a modern-day Red Auerbach and the next he is messing with the game-night entertainment like he’s Fred Astaire. And it’s only Game No. 3, for crying out loud! Can he really keep up this pace all season, or at least until J.R. Smith’s drug suspension ends on Sunday? I know those around Dolan wouldn’t dare say this to his face, but he needs to be patient. It will be good for his health and the health of the team in general. Let’s wait on J.R., give Andrea Bargnani a chance to learn a new system and new teammates, while Woodson deserves a grace period to figure out a rotation. And in the meantime, bring out the dancing girls. Please.
As a Knicks fan, I am excited that James Dolan is showing some fire for once, the Knicks (1-2) were totally unready to play out of the gates in Sunday’s home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves and somebody needed to be held accountable. Mike Woodson preaches defense, but a sloppy Knicks team on both ends surrendered 40 points in the first quarter, and James Dolan had every right to be angry over his team’s performance. The Knicks came back and made it a game, losing 109-100, and they likely would have won if not for that listless first quarter. It is not time for Knicks fans to panic yet, but the sloppy play and lack of defensive effort is cause got concern, and I am glad that James Dolan has taken notice of his poor on court product instead of schmoozing with celebrities per usual. When the Knicks getting blown out at home, James Dolan had every right to shut down the Knicks City Dancers, he is not in the mood to see hotties give more effort on the court than his players are giving. I’m all for a more fiery James Dolan, he pays a lot of money for this team, and he should be upset when they underperform.