Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The George Bush of Sports

Before the basketball season starts, the New York Knicks have suffered a stunning defeat, reaffirming its status as the worst-managed professional sports team in the world.

A jury ruled today that coach Isiah Thomas sexually harassed a team executive, subjecting the married mother of three to unwanted advances and verbal insults, in a case that an organization with any brains at the top would have settled out of court to avoid the humiliation of an ugly trial.

But today’s result only extends the record of team owner James Dolan as the George Bush of the sports world, a second-generation perpetrator of monumental misjudgments that have left lifelong followers of the team of Bill Bradley, Walt Frazier and Willis Reed in a state of shock and rage. Running a baseball team, Bush traded away Sammy Sosa, but Dolan makes him look like a genius.

The Cablevision heir's devotion to Thomas, who assembled the highest-paid N.B.A. roster with the worst record, has prompted Madison Square Garden crowds to chant “Fire Dolan!” on a regular basis, an unprecedented response to a team owner.

Bush and Dolan raise questions about the wisdom of Warren Buffet, who once said, "I want to give my kids enough so that they feel that they can do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing."

In some cases, nothing would be a blessing for the world.

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