Name two North American professional sports franchises more inept than the current New York Knicks and Cleveland Indians. Go ahead and think about it. I’ll wait.
The Toronto Maple Leafs? Los Angeles Clippers? Both are terrible organizations, equally as worthless as the Indians and Knicks. Neither the Leafs nor Clippers eclipse Cleveland or New York, however, in futility. Who do we have to thank for these two failing franchises?
James Dolan, owner of the Knicks, and Larry Dolan, owner of the Cleveland Indians.
The fact that one family has managed to cripple two teams that happen to have some of the most loyal, diehard fans in all of professional sports is astonishing. Even more amazing is the fact that both teams have been virtually destroyed at the exact same time. You can’t help but wonder if it’s a game for the Dolans.
James Dolan: “Maybe I’ll bring back Isiah Thomas.”
Larry Dolan: “Yeah? Well I’ll break up a team that was a game away from (inevitably) winning the World Series.”
What’s amazing is that the Dolans are on two opposite sides of the d-bag sports owner spectrum. Larry Dolan is so cheap, he became the first owner of a Major League Baseball team to trade away consecutive Cy Young Award winning pitchers (C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee). Dolan’s propensity for trading or refusing to sign All-Stars like Sabathia, Lee, Victor Martinez and any big name free agent resulted in a new sports term; the Larry Dolan Circle of Suck.
The Cleveland Indians, a team that probably should have won the 2007 World Series and were picked to win the 2008 World Series by many experts and journalists, may finish the 2010 Major League Baseball season last in the American League Central. A division that has the Kansas City Royals.
And this team isn’t going to be contending anytime soon. Five bucks says Shin-Soo Choo is traded for a Single-A prospect and a bucket of balls before the 2011 season.
James Dolan, however, has been more than happy to throw money at anybody who could catch it. Head coach Larry Brown received $28 million for coaching the New York Knicks for one season. Allan Houston (Allan freakin’ Houston) got a 6-year $100 million deal. I’m certain the Stephon Marbury era drove some Knicks fans clinically insane.
The Isiah Thomas debacle is one of the most embarrassing the sports world has seen in the past decade. Thomas, who became the team’s President of Basketball Operations in 2003, parted from the Knicks in 2008 after a sexual harassment lawsuit and years of running the Knicks head first into the ground. Dolan then announced the unthinkable in August of 2010.
He’s bringing Thomas back.
This move enraged Knicks fans around the country. The fact that Thomas rescinded the offer doesn’t matter one bit. For a buddy of mine, a Knicks fan since he could crawl, the fact that Thomas was even considered was the last straw. “I’m done with the Knicks until Dolan sells the team or dies,” he told me. And the man’s serious.
The Dolan’s are routinely at the top of “worst owners in sports” and “most hated sports owners” lists. When you Google either Larry Dolan or James Dolan, results such as “Larry Dolan cheap,” “James Dolan sucks” and “Dolan worst owner” appear inside Google’s “auto-fill” tool. Combined, the Dolan’s are an entity hated five times more than George Steinbrenner ever was.
So congratulations to you, James and Larry Dolan, for making my “biggest d-bags in sports” list. A special “bite me” goes to James Dolan for being the Chairman of Cablevision Systems Corporation. Thanks to your horrible television services that includes HD channels which constantly freeze up, Fox Soccer Channel that isn’t even available in HD and no NFL Network, I have failed to enjoy numerous sporting events. The day you both leave the sports world, there will be parades in Cleveland and Manhattan.
Why not? What else have Knicks and Indians fans had to celebrate in the past decade?
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