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.
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’.
Your Future Head Coach,