Knicks owner James Dolan says he believes in Phil Jackson, optimistic about rebuild
New York Knicks owner James Dolan says he believes that the team will turn their fortunes around in the near future under president Phil Jackson.
Jackson took over the Knicks in March 2014, signing a five-year deal worth a reported $60 million. He said that the team will make the playoffs, but the Knicks started this season by losing 36 of their first 41 games, including a franchise record 16-game losing streak.
New York has the worst record in the NBA at 15-63, setting a team record for most losses in a season.
"You got to believe, baby! I believe, I believe!" Dolan said an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Dolan also said it was a mistake to respond to an angry email from a longtime fan, when he told the fan that he "most likely [had] made [his] family miserable. Alcoholic maybe," adding that the fan should "start rooting for the Nets.”
"I don't believe what I said was wrong. I believe responding to him was wrong,” he said. I believe what I said was absolutely correct. But that's the thing -- why engage with people like that? That was a mistake," Dolan said.
The season has been so bad that it prompted Jackson to write a letter and send a video to season-ticket holders asking them to "remain optimistic” for the future.
Jackson has said that his experiment had “fallen fall flat on its face” and that watching this year’s squad gave the basketball gods “heartburn.”
If the Knicks finish with the NBA worst record, they will be guaranteed to select no lower than fourth in June’s draft.
"The majority of them understand we're in a rebuild, we're moving as fast as we can and they see our opportunities as being huge. I think they are, but it's all in Phil's hands," Dolan said.
But Dolan still insists he will stay out of the basketball affairs of the team.
"I don't see it happening. Phil is a brilliant basketball guy, and he and Steve [Mills] are working together great," Dolan said. "I enjoy being out of the limelight. I enjoy having two experts in there that I trust. I barely have to do a thing.”
- Scooby Axson