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A letter to James Dolan

Yesterday, we learned of an email Knick owner James Dolan sent to a long-time Knick fan frustrated with his ownership. Here, in the style of Dolan's response, is a response to that response.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Mr. Dolan,

You are a sad person. So sad that even when you're happy, it brings sadness and pain to others. Like a sun shining down on an ozone layer-less world.

Why so sad? Is it your constant failure to build a winning team? No worries. Truth is, New York sports fans don't really sweat incompetence as much as you might think. If they did, the Yankees would be the only game still in town, and by their standards they're in the doldrums too. We don't mind a loser. So long as it's one we can relate to. The 1962 Mets are legendarily loved. Your Knicks are still the city's team. But you are not loved. You are not liked. You are endured, the way one endures a congenital defect: because there is no choice in the matter.

But all is not lost. To be liked, you simply need to be relatable. The first step toward being relatable is being accessible. You rarely speak to the press or the public. Your interviews are rarer than Knick playoff success under your watch. You say you're a good owner because you "try to give [fans] a good product," and that you feel "an owner needs to be present." Let me help you here. You own Cablevision. Which do you consider the "good" customer: the one who tries to pay the bill? Or the one who pays it? Results matter. To the shareholders, the bottom line is profit. To the fans, it's wins.

A good owner doesn't try to give fans a good product. A good owner gives the fans a good product. Not all the time, of course. No team's good every year. That'd be impossible. One good year out of 15, though, is implausible. That sweet spot somewhere between impossible and implausible - that's where good ownership lies.

As far as being present, I suppose responding to Irving Bierman, who's followed the team longer than you've been alive, counts as an attempt. But your response to this man - calling him "sad," a "mess," a "nothing...negative force" who makes his family "miserable," accusing him of suffering from a disease whose ravages you know all too well? That was not good ownership. If you know this man has suffered from alcoholism, wielding it as a weapon against him is abhorrent. If you don't know that he has, and you're just casually accusing him of it...that's the worst. A good owner doesn't tell off a fan. A good owner doesn't urge that fan to switch allegiance to the other team in town.

You accused Bierman of being someone others don't like having around. I'm curious, sir. Which facet of your personality do you think Glenn Frey spends the most time gabbing about with his friends? Do you think the absence of humanity and compassion in your email is the fuel that gives your singing that warmth and light the people clamor for? Do you think Phil Jackson's opinion of you is unrelated to the number of zeros in his contract?

Why would anybody write such a hateful letter? I am just guessing, but I'll bet your life is pretty sweet, in a lot of ways. I imagine it'd have to be, to write what you did. Only someone accustomed to comfort has the luxury of time and privilege to act like it's something owed them.

What have you done that anyone would consider positive or nice? The confetti after the team's first playoff win in a decade? Driving away likable, successful people? Giving Isiah Thomas a contract extension while forcing Hall of Fame coaches like Lenny Wilkens and Larry Brown out of town after a year? I suppose Isiah considered that nice of you. Touche.

You most likely have made your family proud, even at the expense of millions of Knick fans. Family should always be number one. Guess I have to tip my cap to you there.

I just celebrated my 36-year anniversary of not being you. You should try it. Maybe it will help you become a person that folks would like to have around, or at least one who didn't drive folks to hold protests. Do you know how many hits come up when you google "James Dolan sucks"? 192,000. That's TEN TIMES the number that come up for "Andrea Bargnani sucks." Again, you've made the implausible a reality.

In the meanwhile, I hear there's an NBA team not far from you up for sale soon. Why don't you start owning the Nets? Because Knick fans, management, media, and I'd guess even Knick announcers don't want you. We'll endure - while you're the owner, and long after you're gone and happily forgotten. In the meantime, you might consider hiring someone to copy-edit your emails. And yes...I am available.


Literally millions