It was beautiful here once, for a New York minute, in the rare way sports can be truly beautiful. Jeremy Lin was nobody and then he was somebody, the biggest star in the beating heart of Manhattan. He was nobody and then he strafed the Lakers, beat Toronto at the buzzer, scaled the defending champs from Dallas. Madison Square Garden, so long a poisonous place for basketball, was roaring again, the way only it can. The Knicks were fun. How strange.
It feels like ages ago, now. MSG has returned to being a Michael Bay movie, and the New York press corps already has flecks of blood on its claws identifying the culprits. Head coach Mike D’Antoni resigned Wednesday; two of his assistants went with him. The Knicks pushed assistant coach Mike Woodson into the hot seat. Star forward Carmelo Anthony is the obvious villain of the piece; the owner, James Dolan, is another. The Knicks, in the traditional sense, are back.
“I want to be clear,” Dolan said Wednesday, in his first public comments in five years and two days. “I believe in our players. I believe in our talent. I believe in their commitment to get the team together and to get this right.”
The billionaire son of a billionaire father spoke for just under three minutes and walked out of the room without taking questions, with Knicks superfan Spike Lee slouching in the back row in his blue-and-orange mascot’s outfit, looking nonplussed. That Dolan actually had to speak aloud indicated just how quickly, and how thoroughly, the whole thing has come apart.