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Report: Owner Dolan told Knicks no trades, no coaching changes coming

Dec 27, 2013, 12:35 PM EDT

Washington Wizards v New York Knicks Getty Images

There are a lot of Knicks fans hoping this is the vote of confidence coaches seem to get just before they get canned.

But in what appears to be an attempt to get Knicks players to stop looking over their shoulder, owner James Dolan told his team Thursday no changes are coming, reports Marc Stein at ESPN:

New York Knicks chairman James Dolan told Knicks players in a meeting Thursday that there are no trades or changes to the coaching staff forthcoming, ESPN.com has learned.

Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that Dolan gathered the team before the first practice in the wake of New York’s embarrassing 29-point home loss to Oklahoma City on Christmas Day largely in an attempt to hush the growing speculation about coach Mike Woodson’s job security in the wake of the Knicks’ 9-19 start.

To start, I would take this pronouncement with a grain of salt. James Dolan is a lot of things but he’s not an idiot — he doesn’t look at this roster right now and thing everything is just fine. This was likely more PR than reality.

Clearly the Knicks have had a lot of issues this season. At the top of that list is a fragile roster construction — this team won 54 games last season and got to the second round of the playoffs, but the offseason moves combined with the way the team was built from the start was likely to lead to struggles if nearly any piece was removed. Especially if those were key pieces. So when Tyson Chandler went down for a stretch with a fracture in his leg, the defense in particular fell apart. Without Raymond Felton there isn’t much depth of quality shot creation.

And when Carmelo Anthony was out Christmas Day, everything collapsed.

However on top of all that has been an effort issue that can be pinned to Woodson — did you see just across the Brooklyn Bridge on Christmas how a Bulls teams minus it’s two best scorers still fought for a win? You don’t see that with the Knicks.

It’s believed Dolan took the step in an attempt to convince Woodson’s players to band together and throw their full support behind the embattled coach to help dig New York out of the sizable hole it finds itself with essentially one-third of the regular season in the books, the sources said.

However, management also seems to get that even if the Knicks did pull it together the second half of this season and win the Atlantic Division, this team is a long way from contending. A long way. The Thunder, that is what a contending team looks like.

So the Knicks have a rebuilding plan that starts with Rajon Rondo… but that’s another tall tale for another day.

  1. money2long - Dec 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    i do think the celtics would like to pair avery bradley with iman shumpert. i’ll just leave it at that.

    • legend30 - Dec 27, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      Why would they want Shumpert? They already have Jordan Crawford, who is playing much better than the overhype Shumpert.

      Thank goodness, the Nuggets have the Knicks’ 2014 first round pick, because if Wiggins or Parker, got drafted by the Knicks, then they’ll likely be the biggest bust of the decade.

  2. bucrightoff - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    The Knicks
    The Lakers
    The Nets
    The Redskins
    The Cowboys

    All owned by morons with big egos who would be better served stepping aside. All with little to no hope for the future. Dark days for fans of these teams.

    • jw1991 - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      spending tooooo much $$$ on washed up/overrated players in the past/present:

      Kobe
      Haynesworth(redskins)
      almost everyone on the Nets

    • onlyavoice - Dec 27, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      don’t forget the Detroit Loins

  3. brianscalabrine - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Almost every single player besides Chandler and maybe Prigioni is a score-first, one-on-one player. The Knicks are the worst ball movement team in the NBA outside maybe the Kings.

  4. MyTeamsAllStink - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    this is great news!
    signed
    the rest of the NBA

  5. atlbrave5 - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    So the Author Mr. Kurt Helin feels that James Dolan isn’t an “idiot”, but the Knicks are in deep water without a life vest! So what would that make the Spurs owner Peter Holt or the Heat Owner Mickey Arison?? Let’s face it, when it comes to running an NBA basketball team, Mr. Dolan is in fact an IDIOT!! He paid Amare $100 Million for one good season!! He let fan favorite Jermey Lin walk away, Kenyon Martin was washed up 4 years ago but now he starts some nights, Ray Felt can’t shoot his way out of a paper bag, and among other things the Knicks STINK..he signed off on all the decisions therefore he is an idiot!

    The best decision the Knicks can make now as a upper level franchise is to make a HUGE splash at the trade deadline..Money isn’t really a factor even if they say that it is…if it was a factor, Amare would have been amnestied and the Knicks would have money next year like LA. They need to package Shump, Andrea, Felton..(basically anybody NOT named Chandler and Melo), go out and get an all-star point guard (Rondo), bring back a shooter named Novak and tell coach Woodson to look over his shoulder or get these guys motivated to play every night! That’s how professional teams win in sports. They DON’T do what James Dolan just did and reassure everybody that no changes are coming to a losing team just for PR…C’MON SON!!

    • leahcima1 - Dec 27, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      How can the people who blog be so stupid as to think, like this guy atlbraves5, that other teams want the players he thinks suck (everybody not named Melo or Chandler according to him) in return for all stars like Rondo? What planet do these idiots reside on. They are all over the blogesphere.

      • jimeejohnson - Dec 28, 2013 at 10:48 PM

        Anything’s possible.

  6. jolink653 - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    There’s no flow to the Knicks on the court; they look like a group of individuals playing rather than a team. Outside of Chandler, you see no emotion and no fire and no one who wants to step up and lead this team. Melo should be the leader of this team, but he’s not, and he seems to be content just scoring instead of trying to make his teammates better. And I’m not knocking his effort: he’s been crashing the boards hard and putting up his points, but he never assumes the leadership role. Waiting for Rondo is not the answer. Instead of throwing away draft picks, the Knicks should look to horde picks and build from the ground up.

  7. cantonbound13 - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    I was hoping Dolan was there to announce he’s selling the team.

    • leahcima1 - Dec 27, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      Good idea cantonjerk, then he could buy the Heat and learn from Pat, Eric, Dwayne and the goat Lebron.

      • cantonbound13 - Dec 27, 2013 at 10:00 PM

        Pat couldn’t win in NY if you remember. Oh that’s right, you just started watching the NBA 3 years ago, bandwagon fan.

  8. indrathegod - Dec 27, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Melo has never been a leader..it’s not in is blood. He is more than capable of being an offensive threat – and sometimes even puts a lot of effort on the defensive end. However, for someone with as many accolades and accomplishments, why can he not lead ANY team?

  9. onlyavoice - Dec 27, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    Wanna-Be Woody needs to go.
    He was absolutely LOST last post season.
    If the Celts were healthy they would have eliminated the Knicks.
    Woody is Melos hand picked Yes Boy. The team supports him because they run all over him & he lets them.
    Also management needs to keep quiet instead of putting players that No One wants up for trade.
    These players are not going to give it their all knowing they’re not wanted.
    Why isn’t JR playing like last season? Because he got Paid.

  10. bball1950 - Dec 27, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Mr. Dolan is the worst owner in sports history. Knicks have been hard to root for decades. Dolan has now rehired the executive that hired Isiah Thomas.
    Is Isiah coming back? OMG

  11. sportsfan18 - Dec 27, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    Report!

    Dolan was asleep when he uttered these words to coach Woodson in his office.

    When he watches his team “compete” in their next game and reads this report that said no changes or firings, he’ll deny ever saying that.

  12. RavenzGunnerz - Dec 27, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    “Don’t worry guys, there will be no accountability for your failures”

    — NYK Management.

  13. bballhistorian - Dec 27, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    I was so intrigued by James Dolan’s consistent failures as the Knicks (and Rangers) owner that I decided to read his wiki profile to know about him more.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_L._Dolan

    What did I get from this: Mr. Dolan was born with a silver spoon (his father Charles Dolan was founder of Cablevision)…and 1 significant business move he made, which was when he opposed his father’s Voom Satellite acquiring, made him a formidable force as a business mind. Unfortuntely, almost everything he has done afterwards have been way below expectations, or just failures….including purchasing the failed Wiz Electronics, his handling of the Rangers and also the Knicks since “taking over” in 1999.

    What has Dolan done for the Knicks since 1999? Isaiah Thomas. Allan Houston contract. Larry Brown’s 1 season. About 3 playoff appearances. Sexual Assault lawsuit (that he paid $3 mill on). Amare’s $100 mill and now this.

    If you are a Knicks fan…just know this. AS LONG AS DOLAN IS OWNER OF THE KNICKS….THEY WILL NEEEEVVEERRR WIN. Carmelo needs to leave town! Just like what @bucrightoff referred to, teams with incompetent owners will never succeed.

  14. Fred - Dec 27, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    Bball, don’t forget Scott Layden. When Isiah was hired we figured he couldn’t possibly be worse than the guy who handed $91 million to Shandon Anderson and Howard Eisley. So, in fairness, James Dolan exceeded expectations there.

  15. 24thesho - Dec 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    I do remember Melo’s reaction(s) to Jeremy Lin whenever asked about the former Knicks pg. I’m not a such a fan of J. Lin and I’m not coming to his defense, but, it appears to me that he has played at least as well as any of the Knicks guards and he looked pretty good when the Rockets beat San Antonio the other night. And the last time the Knicks were really interesting to watch was when Lin had that crazy run. If it wasn’t for Dwight Howard, I’d be cheering for the Rockets to win at least the Western Conference. As for the situations of the Knicks and Rockets Melo and to a lesser degree, Lin…….., oh the irony.

  16. redbaronx - Dec 28, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    @Kurt Helin – Seriously Kurt? You think Dolan isn’t an idiot? You know the history of the Knicks, so I don’t have to tell you that there isn’t a single professional sports team that has made more off and on court blunders than the Knicks. When someone actually thinks it’s OK to have a bunch of sexual predators in the front office (and yes there was more than one), when someone decides to put personal relationships above the team, when someone has ZERO accountability even to himself, you think that guy isn’t an idiot?

    The only thing that doesn’t prevent the Knicks from being the worst team in the NBA is that Dolan has money to throw around, just like his Russian counterpart in New Jersey. Teams with a lot less resources are way more successful because their owners who know zippo about basketball stay as far away from the team as possible. I don’t agree often with @basketballhistorian , but I agree that as long as Dolan is owner, the Knicks are not winning a banner.

    I grew up in New York and Knick fans shouldn’t take this as “hating” on their team. Nothing would please me more then seeing a good team in New York. The NBA is much more interesting when the Knicks are at the top of the league. I want to see them succeed. I just wish Dolan would sell to someone else.

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      I think there is a difference between being stupid and knowing how to run a basketball franchise are different things.

      • redbaronx - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:42 AM

        Kurt – I didn’t say he was stupid. I said he was an idiot. It has nothing to do with whether he can run a basketball franchise. It has everything to do with how he screwed up with decisions from forcing the Yankees to create the Yes network to keeping sexual predators in his office and condoning other odd behavior like Alan Houston’s anti-Semitic rants and keeping him on the NY payroll. If Dolan hadn’t been given a corporation by his daddy that has practically been running itself, Dolan would not be where he is today.

        You’re right. It has nothing to do with running a franchise. It has everything to do with him being a cancer to any organization that he runs by being a buffoon! He’s lucky he has the #1 valued franchise in the NBA. The Knicks didn’t receive that ranking because of anything he did. New York is a great market and it says a lot about Dolan that DESPITE him, the Knicks are the #1 valued franchise in the NBA.

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