Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, November 24, 2014

An Open Letter to James Dolan

Dear Mr. Dolan,

Can I call you James? Great. Listen, Jim, if you aren’t too busy lavishing premature laurels upon your first place hockey team, you may have noticed that the other denizens of your fine bit of real estate on top of Penn Station aren’t doing very well these days. And as is oft the case, New York fans want the head coach of said offending team served to them on a silver platter with a nice sauce béarnaise.

I’m here to tell you that the maddening crowd in this instance is one hundred and twelve percent right. Mike D’Antoni must go! Fire the offending cretin immediately! Send him packing with his tail between his legs to the wilds of Arizona where he’ll be forced to show his ID every time he’s caught lurking in the bushes outside Steve Nash’s house. And rightly so. That ‘stache he sports is very foreign-looking. I never trusted the man anyway. After all those years hanging around those blasted Italian/European socialists, who knows where his true loyalties lie? Now that that’s settled, you’ll need of a captain for your leaky, ship-be-sinking-type ship. Lucky for you, I’ve got the perfect candidate.

Me.

Granted, I have never coached or played organized basketball at any level. Truth be told, I couldn’t put the ball through the hoop if you gave me a three-foot stepladder. But that’s precisely the point! Just as is the case in the current political climate, where the hoi polloi are clamoring for an “outsider” who hasn’t been tarred by the all-corrupting influence of the D.C. establishment, Knick fans will rally behind me, a man who is completely unqualified for the job at hand. C’mon, think outside the box! After all, isn’t “conventional wisdom” the oxymoron that led to this muddled mess of a roster in the first place? Why not hire a visionary like me who, days after the trade for Carmelo Anthony went down, wrote:

I know that in a couple of years we’re going to regret this ghastly trade. Just like the Francis deal or the Curry deal or the Marbury deal and on and on, this is going to a be a franchise-altering mistake.

You may be thinking, “But Bob, how will your sage-like wisdom improve the Knicks right now?” Easy-peasy, Jimmy. You are standing in front of a keeper of the one true faith. I’ve been watching this Beckettian exercise in repetition and failure that you call a basketball team since the end of the Carter administration, fer chrissakes. Let’s apply a little basic math. If I’ve watched about fifty games a year, minus the few nights that I have some semblance of a social life, for thirty years at 2.5 hours a game, that comes to approximately 3,000 hours of intense study (and I think your so-called offense consisted of dumping the ball into the post and standing around watching King/Ewing/Melo shuck and jive for at least 2,876 of those hours). I don’t know if that’s impressive or sad or frightening or all of the above. I’ll let you be the judge of that. I can tell you one thing with absolute certainty — after so many hours in the belly of the beast, I can tell what’s going to happen in a game. I know when the other team is about to go on a run. I can smell a turnover coming like a fart in a crowded cubicle. I may not be able to diagram a play or run a practice, but my psychic powers will make up for any and all strategic deficiencies.

I can see you’re impressed. But wait, there’s more! If you glance at my resume you’ll note that when I’m not glued to the tube, I have spent many a year writing, directing and acting in stage plays. As such, I’m well-versed in managing a group of whiny, pouting, narcissistic, me-first divas. A group of individuals who, possibly save for their sexual preferences, are not that dissimilar from the rancid, cancerous personas that supposedly make up the majority of NBA rosters. Plus, the same basic ingredients that make for great theater make for great basketball – rhythm, tempo, floor spacing, unselfishness, and possibly having someone in a tiger costume show up in the 2nd act.

More importantly, let’s get real, Jimbo. Unless Cablevision scientists have figured out a way to bring Red Holzman back from the dead, there isn’t a coach alive that would be able to pull this so-called team out of the gutter. I’ve got a much better solution. Why attempt the Sisyphean task of fixing the Knicks’ myriad, crippling flaws when it’s so much easier to simply change the narrative? This is America, after all. Here, we don’t sell the steak, we sell the sizzle! In place of the justly-deserved groans about Amar’e and Melo being unable to coexist and/or pinning all our hopes on the over-burdened back of Baron Davis, let’s just make the story about me, the deranged lunatic who will enter a pre-game press conference gnawing on an alley cat found outside the Sbarro’s next to the Garden bellowing, “To defeat Charlotte I must consume the beast’s life force! Bring me the still-beating, fat-clogged heart of Boris Diaw!!”

Lest you think this is all a tired rehashing of the plot of the movie Eddie, unlike that morsel of saccharine Hollywood chum, I’ll bring the weird, Jimmerino. I guarantee that I’ll do everything in my power to distract the local yokels from the execrable product you’re putting on the floor. Think of the possibilities! Those ink-stained wretches will barely be able to contain their glee as they scribble bile-filled jeremiads about your incompetent ignoramus of a coach who refuses to stop racking up technical fouls for chain-smoking on the bench during the games, publicly refers to Iman Shumpert as ephebe, quotes liberally from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and as far as my plans for The Knick City Dancers go, well…let’s just say it’s not fit to print in a family blog. We may not win, but at least we won’t be boring. Isn’t that preferable to the pall of all-encompassing, inevitable doom that’s befallen the Knicks, where fan and reporter alike hover like jackals, ready to pick at the rotting bones of this mangled corpse of a season? In these dire end-times, you need as wily a political operative as the great Rowdy Roddy Piper, who once said, “Just when they think they’ve got the answers, I change the questions.”

I’m ready to go to work, boss. Together, we will march to Bethlehem on a road paved with our enemies’ bones. Get the me on the blower and we’ll embark on this magical journey together. Better yet, stand in the middle of a grassy field (any field will do) flap your arms wildly, and let out a joyous, Whitman-esque yawp. Somehow my soul will know and I’ll come a runnin’.

Signed,

Your Future Head Coach,

 

Robert Silverman

58 comments on “An Open Letter to James Dolan

  1. Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta) Post author

    flossy:
    But how do you feel about switching on picks?

    Switching? Are you mad? In my regime, every Knick player will carry a concealed weapon like that Wide Receiver in the movie, “The Last Boy Scout.” If an opponent dares to even set a pick, Toney Douglas will pull out his Glock. Problem solved.

  2. sisterray

    But how is any of this going to help get MSG back on Time Warner Cable? Shouldn’t we get Dolan to work on that *before* we replace MDA with one of our own?

  3. TheRant

    Isn’t the real question the more important one:

    – After David Stern decides to invoke Eminent Domain (you know, that law that allowed the Nets to take over Atlantic Yards) and seize the Knicks from Cablevision, who should own the team?

    I think a public trust would be terrific and nominate Clyde Frazier (of course), Spike Lee, and Woody Allen to sit on the Board. Alongside Robert Silverman.

    Anyone else who should get an invite?

  4. Ben R

    sisterray:
    But how is any of this going to help get MSG back on Time Warner Cable? Shouldn’t we get Dolan to work on that *before* we replace MDA with one of our own?

    Are you kidding me, with Robert coaching the Knicks will become such a spectacle every game will be nationally televised. If not TNT or ESPN how about E! or Bravo or VH-1. It will be epic it can air right after La La’s full court life.

  5. gransoporro

    D’Antoni’s allegiance may be nore than suspicious: I am pretty sure he is also an Italian citizen (however we Italians recognize the multiple citizenship).
    In fact he played for Italy (badly) in the 1989 European championship, and at those times you could play for Italy only if you had the citizenship.

    Jokes aside, he is American, Italian citizenship or not.

  6. Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta) Post author

    Thomas B.:
    Hey Robert, if you get the gig, can I be your special teams coach?

    With out a doubt. I’ll be looking to hire legions of assistants.

    DRed:
    Coach Silveman, your thought on the Toney Douglas extension?

    That scurvy bastard has photos of me in some very compromising positions. That’s all my lawyers will let me say at the moment.

  7. chrisk06811

    Bob: I have a few questions before I can throw you my support.

    First, assistants??? I’d vote to fire Wooden, but keep Danny D and Herb Williams. For Dan, it would be awkward, and Hugh is cool.
    Second, how do you motivate Melo? Yell and scream? Suggest zen readings?
    Third, does Balkman play?
    Forth…..please describe your sideline demeanor.

  8. Eternal OptiKnist

    i just tried reading this on a blackberry in a meeting and gave up(yay for priorirties), can someone please give me the cliffs notes here? I’m not following…

  9. Z-man

    Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta): Switching? Are you mad? In my regime, every Knick player will carry a concealed weapon like that Wide Receiver in the movie, “The Last Boy Scout.” If an opponent dares to even set a pick, Toney Douglas will pull out his Glock. Problem solved.

    Dolan: Now let me get this straight, Bubby… you want our fortunes to depend even more on Toney’s shooting skills? Well, hell, I did just pick up his option…hold on a second, I got an idea…[picks up cell phone] Hey Glenny, get in touch with that Agent Zero guy, I think Silverhorn here is on to something…

  10. Bruno Almeida

    Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta): Switching? Are you mad? In my regime, every Knick player will carry a concealed weapon like that Wide Receiver in the movie, “The Last Boy Scout.” If an opponent dares to even set a pick, Toney Douglas will pull out his Glock. Problem solved.

    if Toney hits 23% on 3 pointers, he might end up killing Chandler or Shumpert if he tries to shoot at somebody lol

    great writing Robert, it was a pleasure to read as usual.

  11. Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta) Post author

    chrisk06811:
    Bob:I have a few questions before I can throw you my support.

    First, assistants??? I’d vote to fire Wooden, but keep Danny D and Herb Williams.For Dan, it would be awkward, and Hugh is cool.
    Second, how do you motivate Melo?Yell and scream?Suggest zen readings?
    Third, does Balkman play?
    Forth…..please describe your sideline demeanor.

    1. All the current assistants are gone. I’m hiring Charles Oakley and a bunch of KB posters. Send me your resumes and a crisp 20 dollar bill (for shipping and handling) if you want to be considered.

    2. Melo’s going to be fine. Remember, I won’t be improving the team, just providing entertainment/fodder for the masses while this Titanic team sinks. And the band plays on!

    3. Hell yes! I’m thinking of starting Shumpty at point guard.

    4. A cross between a rabid hyena and Manjusri, the bodhisattva of wisdom

    And thanks for all the kind words, guys

  12. max fisher-cohen

    This was really hilarious. We all know that this will lead to Dolan calling you into his office for a long chat, so I think your next article should be some reportage from that interview.

  13. daJudge

    My grandma (if living) would say (with heavy Yiddisha accent), “Jimmy could do worse then hiring Robert. He’s a very smart boy”.

  14. Frank O.

    For me, throughout this prolonged period of darkness there has been one thing that connects the years and years of futility.
    I believe if you rid this team of this corrosive, vile connection, the team would flourish.
    So, my first request of the new head coach, Bobby, would be to jettison this element, this plague, this cancerous lesion, this man.

    DAMN YOU, HERB WILLIAMS!!!!!! I lay this at your enormous feet.

  15. carl

    Best letter I have ever read to a sports blog. Can I have an assistants gig? What’s your policy on the Knick City Dancers? Can we?

  16. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    My role as assistant coach:

    “So, okay, here’s the thing, Amar’e: we love you and all, but every time you take a shot from outside the paint, you’re sitting on the bench. Do it enough times, and I’m going to trade you for Kenneth Faried and a couple of second rounders. Got it? Good.”

  17. daJudge

    Robert, if we can’t shoot straight or pass, can we at least get Al Trautwig to freaking stop using the phrase “whipping boy”. In all seriousness, this really bothers me. I bristle every time I hear it.

  18. mase

    blasphemy!
    d’antoni is not the problem its the low IQ superstars who couldnt hit the side of a barn playing in an intelligent, pass first system

  19. bobneptune

    Thomas B.:
    Hey Robert, if you get the gig, can I be your special teams coach?

    i would like to throw my hat into the ring as mikveh inspector for the knick city dancers. and i promise the honorable one i will perform my duties strictly by the numbers!

  20. bobneptune

    DRed:
    Coach Silveman, your thought on the Toney Douglas extension?

    more money for jimmy d to collect on insurance as soon as tonya harding’s husband kneecaps him!

  21. Degree_Absolute

    It is so [unfortunate or fortunate] (I can find the full article anywhere) that we are going to fire D’Antoni after science [may or may not] (again, I can’t find the freaking article) have proven the [effectiveness or ineffectiveness] of his SSOL offense:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125172312.htm

    Based on reading the abstract and the offensive beauty of last year’s Pre-Nakba Knicks, I am going with:

    unfortunate
    may
    effectiveness

  22. Will the Thrill

    I don’t know why everyone is saying that our season is riding on the back of Baron Davis’s return. Sure, we are waiting until he comes back to avoid having to trade some guys but will definitely going to trading for a point guard if Baron can’t get the job done. We simply cannot have 1 legit point guard on the team (him being Michael…Bibby). I can definitely see us trading TD, Fields, Walker, and maybe even Shumpert for a decent point guard that can pass if this whole Baron Davis thing doesn’t work out.

  23. d-mar

    BigBlueAL:
    Bogut possibly out for rest of season.Knicks might be able to grab 8th seed after all.

    That may be one of the saddest posts I’ve read in a while, remember “we should at least get home court in the 1st round”? Sigh

  24. BigBlueAL

    d-mar: That may be one of the saddest posts I’ve read in a while, remember “we should at least get home court in the 1st round”? Sigh

    LOL I know. My goal for this season was to be a 4th/5th seed and win a playoff round. Looks like the best we can hope for is a 7th/8th seed and hopefully winning 1 game vs either the Bulls or Heat in the 1st round.

  25. Owen

    “Bogut possibly out for rest of season.”

    That sucks. Bogut is really good, but man he can’t stay healthy….

  26. BigBlueAL

    Amazing win for the Celtics tonight. Guess only spot up for grabs for the Knicks is the 8th seed since Celtics have the 7th seed locked up already lol

  27. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Also, it is total BS that D’Anton is going to take the fall for this season. However, if Phil Jackson could seriously become the next coach, I’d fire D’Antoni in an instant to replace him with Phil freakin’ Jackson. Dude’s only one of, if not the, greatest coach in the history of the NBA.

  28. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin):
    The good news is that if the Knicks just get to .500, they’ll probably make the playoffs. The bad news is…well….you know, they might not get to .500.

    The 8th seed in the East could easily be a few games under .500 if not worse. Its between the Knicks and the Bucks w/o Bogut. I assume the Cavs will eventually drop off. Knicks are going to most likely be 6 games under .500 by end of this week. Bucks have 2 difficult games as well and could be 5 under. The Cavs will be the 8th seed by end of this week and not be at .500 and again we all assume they wont come close to being .500 for the season.

    Its still pathetic and a huge disappointment that it will probably come down to the Knicks sneaking into the playoffs as an under .500 8th seed but for me at least it will still be better than missing the playoffs and we could dream about 1999 until the Bulls sweep them lol

  29. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin):
    Also, it is total BS that D’Anton is going to take the fall for this season. However, if Phil Jackson could seriously become the next coach, I’d fire D’Antoni in an instant to replace him with Phil freakin’ Jackson. Dude’s only one of, if not the, greatest coach in the history of the NBA.

    Technically D’Antoni wont have to be fired, they just wont re-sign him when the season ends. Though I assume that ends the Steve Nash to the Knicks dream lol

  30. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Technically D’Antoni wont have to be fired, they just wont re-sign him when the season ends. Though I assume that ends the Steve Nash to the Knicks dream lol

    If keeping D’Antoni guaranteed that the Knicks would have Nash next year, then yeah, I’d keep him for at least one more year. But I don’t know if keeping D’Antoni even definitively means Nash will take a pay cut to play for the Knicks. So that’s why I’d chuck D’Antoni and add Jackson.

  31. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Its still pathetic and a huge disappointment that it will probably come down to the Knicks sneaking into the playoffs as an under .500 8th seed but for me at least it will still be better than missing the playoffs and we could dream about 1999 until the Bulls sweep them lol

    I’d definitely take the playoffs no matter what. I don’t want the Houston Rockets getting a freakin’ lottery pick from the Knicks.

  32. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin): If keeping D’Antoni guaranteed that the Knicks would have Nash next year, then yeah, I’d keep him for at least one more year. But I don’t know if keeping D’Antoni even definitively means Nash will take a pay cut to play for the Knicks. So that’s why I’d chuck D’Antoni and add Jackson.

    W/o hesitation if Phil Jackson is willing to coach the Knicks next season hell yeah I would hire him. At the least it will certainly make them much more interesting next season lol

  33. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin): I’d definitely take the playoffs no matter what. I don’t want the Houston Rockets getting a freakin’ lottery pick from the Knicks.

    Isnt it Top 3 or 5 protected though?? Maybe they get lucky for once and win the lottery with horrible odds!!

  34. max fisher-cohen

    did anyone notice the Marc Stein thingy on the Knicks in his power rankings?

    As rough as things are with no real PG and Amare and Melo meshing worse than the loudest naysayers projected, I’d still have done the Melo deal. The Knicks clearly surrendered more than anyone thought at the time, but it’s still harder than anything to get players that good.

    Robert, I guess that means Marc won’t be your GM.

  35. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin): Yeah, Top 5 protected. That would be kind of funny.

    It would be freaking hilarious. Knicks wont be able to get the 4th or 5th pick since if they miss the playoffs I assume their pick will be in the 10-12 range so only way they move up will be to a Top 3 pick if they get lucky in the lottery.

    Id still rather make the playoffs than hope for lottery luck which this team has had absolutely none of since 1985.

  36. max fisher-cohen

    If you mean ping pong balls haven’t been favorable, then you’re right, but talent wise, we’ve made out pretty well. Redraft the 2002 draft, and Nene might be the number one pick. Gallo probably goes in the 3-5 range. In ’05 we drafted Lee, Robinson, and Frye. Lee would probably go around 6th right now, Frye in the top ten, Nate right around where we took him.

    then there are the players the picks we gave away became — Noah, Aldridge, and the picks we have already promised to Denver…

    Noah, Aldridge, Gallinari would be an amazing frontline.

    We’ve made our own luck in the lotto. We’ve thrown away our own luck on second rate stars.

  37. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    As bad as the Melo trade was, at least it was nowhere nearly as bad as the Curry trade. Then again, and this is a sad, sad reality – the only reason the Melo trade didn’t involve two first rounders is because the Knicks dealt their 2012 pick to the Rockets already. If they hadn’t, what are the chances that the Knicks would have traded the 2012 and the 2014 pick to Denver? I say roughly 90%.

  38. Z

    BigBlueAL: W/o hesitation if Phil Jackson is willing to coach the Knicks next season hell yeah I would hire him.

    Jackson apparently IS willing to coach the Knicks. (this comes from a source that’s not completely bad (KB scoop!)). BUT, the Knicks need to show that they have a roster that he can win with. (you know Phil– he doesn’t usually go to war without at least one, preferably two, of the best players in the league) so he probably won’t come out of retirement to coach a lottery team without any draft picks.

    So basically D’Antoni is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t: If the team loses, he’s gone, and if the team shows it can win, he’s gone.

  39. Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta) Post author

    Z: Jackson apparently IS willing to coach the Knicks. (this comes from a source that’s not completely bad (KB scoop!)). BUT, the Knicks need to show that they have a roster that he can win with. (you know Phil– he doesn’t usually go to war without at least one, preferably two, of the best players in the league) so he probably won’t come out of retirement to coach a lottery team without any draft picks.

    So basically D’Antoni is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t: If the team loses, he’s gone, and if the team shows it can win, he’s gone.

    Who’s your source?

  40. Z

    Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta): Who’s your source?

    C’mon, coach– you were a journalist before you turned to CEOing a 12 man rotation, right!?

    (I can only reveal my source to my editor, which to be honest, I really don’t know who it is when reporting in the comments section of a joke letter. Maybe I should have gone to journalism school myself, before trying to break a major story :)

  41. Owen

    (you know Phil– he doesn’t usually go to war without at least one, preferably two, of the best players in the league)

    That’s funny and true.

    Love the message board thunder here, whispers in the dark….

  42. Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta) Post author

    Z: C’mon, coach– you were a journalist before you turned to CEOing a 12 man rotation, right!?

    (I can only reveal my source to my editor, which to be honest, I really don’t know who it is when reporting in the comments section of a joke letter. Maybe I should have gone to journalism school myself, before trying to break a major story :)

    You scurvy dog!

  43. Z

    Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta): You scurvy dog!

    I get it, man, I get it… You’re feeling the warm breath of Phil Jackson all over your neck. Just like Mike D’Antoni, and a decade before him Jeff Van Gundy. Welcome to the Big Apple, Silverman! You asked for the job, now deal with it!

    (but if you want to tuck your tail between your legs and run from coaching back into journalism, send me an email (as an admin you should have access to my registration info, yes?) and I’ll reveal to you Deep Throat’s well of knowledge… (then you can decide if it was worth quitting coaching over or not :)

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