No one’s stopping these New Yorkers. A group who claims to be solid New York Knicks fans will be holding a protest rally mainly against the franchise’s moves—mostly, failures— and team owner James Dolan, the man blamed for the team’s demise the past few years.
The protest will move on despite the Knicks recent success (New York is on a season-high six game winning streak) and the hiring of a high-profile NBA personality in Phil Jackson, who will take over the front office as the team president.
“The rally is still on," Mark Griffin, one of the organizers of the protest, was quoted in an ESPNNewYork.com article.
“As a group, we all share the same promise and hope that other Knicks fans have at the hiring of Phil Jackson. This is a good step, but it does not change our skepticism that Dolan will allow Phil the autonomy to bring a real competitor to Madison Square Garden. We've been sold the same promise and hope time again by this owner.
The issue behind the protest is three-fold according to the KF4L statement released to the media and posted on their Facebook page as well:
“1) Dolan’s failure to allow knowledgeable basketball people the autonomy/power to make basketball related decisions. (Pat Riley, Jeff Van Gundy, Donnie Walsh) His insistence on overriding the opinions of his basketball people by bidding against himself in negotiations and overpaying in trades. The rehiring of Steve Mills who has never been in the GM role before and presided over one of the most embarrassing eras in Knick history.
2) The MSG Media Policy. Steve Mills has yet to speak to the media or fans about the state of the team since he came back. The fans deserve explanations and the media deserve to do their job in order to keep fans informed. The media policy creates an atmosphere in which competent GMs and coaches do not want to work in.
3) The infiltration of CAA (Creative Artists Agency). Fans are uneasy of the abnormal influence CAA wields in the Knick organization. From a coach switching agents in order to sign a deal, to the team dealing a first rd pick for an oft injured forward repped by that same agency, to seemingly shady back room deals that allow Chris Smith to get signed to a fully guaranteed NBA contract.
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 rally is set to take place in front of the Madison Square Garden at 9pm AEDT on March 19 when the Knicks host the Indiana Pacers.
The KF4L rally has good intentions but it won’t bring back the multiple first round picks the franchise has traded away in recent years nor would it clear their toxic cap situation.
Still, a good effort from a disgruntled and frustrated fan base since they could be doing nothing anyway when the NBA postseason starts.