Fans of the struggling New York Knicks have planned a protest outside Madison Square Garden on March 19 before the team plays host to the Indiana Pacers, according to a Facebook group set up by organizers of the event.
The purpose of the protest is to speak out against a number of things that they believe is wrong with the organization, including team owner James Dolan's "failure to allow knowledgeable basketball people the autonomy/power to make basketball related decisions." The group's event is called "KF4L Rally," or "Knicks Fan for Life" rally.
"We understand Dolan will not sell. We understand change may not come of this. We just want our voices heard. We want to remind Dolan and the NBA that our voices matter. We buy the tickets, the jerseys, the NBA League Pass subscriptions. We are frustrated. We are tired. We deserve better."
The protestors also plan to take issue with the recent hiring of Steve Mills as the team's general manager, as he "has never been in the GM role before and presided over one of the most embarrassing eras in Knick history.’’
Despite entering the season with the expectation to contend for the No. 3 spot in the East behind the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat, the Knicks are now poised to miss the playoffs yet again with a front court that features two players -- Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire -- who will have been paid $200 million from the organization by next year. The team has not advanced past the second round of the postseason since its appearance in the Conference Finals over a decade ago, losing to the Pacers 4-2 in 2000.
In January, the Knicks were listed as the most valuable NBA team, estimated at $1.4 billion, up 27 percent from the previous year, and now boast annual revenues of $287 million. Despite their struggles, the Knicks' average TV rating on its MSG Network is up 71 percent from the previous season. Over the past few years, Dolan has invested nearly $1 billion in renovating Madison Square Garden despite the New York City council voting this past summer to permanently close the venue in 10 years.
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