Knicks Owner Dolan Facing the Axe

Head coaches, and managers in baseball, get fired all the time.

But an owner?

In March, the shareholders of Madison Square Garden — whose shares are traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MSG (what else?) — filed suit to oust James Dolan from his CEO position with the Knicks, whose 17-65 record in the recently-completed regular season was the worst in the NBA. The suit was filed in Delaware, for some mysterious reason (maybe it has something to do with why those mail solicitations that we all receive from credit card companies trying to sell us one more credit card that we don't need always seem to come from that state as well?).

The aforementioned 17-65 finish was the second time in the last six years in which the Knicks have notched that record — six years in which they have neglected to make the playoffs even once, and have gone 163-329 therein — a .331 winning percentage.

Yet that is far from the only reason — or even the main reason — why Dolan is on the brink of losing his job.

Dolan is the front man and lead guitarist for a rock band with the presumptuous (to say the least) name of J.D. & the Straight Shot — and the plaintiffs in the suit maintain that he is devoting too much time to this and not paying enough attention to his floundering NBA franchise (the plaintiffs claim that in 2017 alone, the band made 50 appearances in six different countries, including in 41 different U.S. cities).

Another charge made in the suit is that Dolan is morbidly overpaid: his current contract has made him an estimated $75.6 million over the last three years. The average for all 123 MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL CEOs over the same period has been approximately $17 million. Plus, one can safely assume that the vast majority of these other CEOs have delivered far better on-the-field/court/ice results than Dolan has.

And though not mentioned in the lawsuit, Dolan has a history of getting embroiled in incidents that do not endear him to the team's fan base, and probably do not put him in good stead with the shareholders either: Dolan has long feuded with wildly popular former Knicks forward Charles Oakley, a vendetta that apparently started when Oakley criticized the team for signing Amar'e Stoudamire in 2010 and climaxed with Oakley's arrest at a Knicks game on February 8, 2017. Dolan also came under fire for banning a fan for life after being heckled by said fan at a Knicks game on March 9 of this year (said heckling consisting of three words directed at Dolan by the banned fan: "sell the team").

So now, Dolan seems about to come "under fire" in a different way.

And if Dolan is forced out, a lot of people — from Charles Oakley to the banned fan to all the head coaches and managers who have gotten fired — will receive a huge rush of satisfaction from Dolan's misfortune.

We don't have a single word in our language to denote that rush of satisfaction. But the Germans do:


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