New York Knicks owner and Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan told a fan to "start rooting for the Nets because the Knicks don't want you" in a contentious email exchange.
In the email, Irving Bierman criticized Dolan over decisions made during his tenure as owner of the Knicks. Dolan responded by telling Bierman to root for the Nets and attacked him personally. An MSG representative confirmed to ESPN.com that the emailed response was written by Dolan.
"At one stage I thought that you did a wonderful thing when you acquired EVERYTHING from you dad. However, since then it has been ALL DOWN HILL. Your working with Isaiah Thomas & everything else regarding the Knicks. Brnging on Phil Jackson was a positive beginning, but lowballing Steve Kerr was a DISGRACE to the knicks. The bottom line is that you merely continued to interfere with the franchise," Irving Bierman wrote in an email addressed to Dolan.
"As a knicks fan for in excess of 60 years, I am utterly embarased by your dealings with the Knicks. Sell them so their fans can at least look forward to growing them in a positive direction Obviously, money IS NOT THE ONLY THING. You have done a lot of utterly STUPID business things with the franchise. Please NO MORE. Respectfully, Irving Bierman."
In his response, Dolan called Bierman "a sad person."
"Why would anybody write such a hateful letter. I am.just guessing but ill bet your life is a mess and you are a hateful mess," Dolan wrote. "What have you done that anyone would consider positive or nice. I am betting nothing. In fact ill bet you are negative force in everyone who comes in contact with you. You most likely have made your family miserable. Alcoholic maybe. I just celebrated my 21 year anniversary of sobriety. You should try it. Maybe it will help you become a person that folks would like to have around. In the mean while start rooting for the Nets because the Knicks dont want you. Respectfully James Dolan."
Bierman, for what it's worth, said he has no intentions of rooting for the Nets.
"Never," he said in a phone interview.
Bierman, 73, said he wanted to email Dolan because he was upset over his handling of the Knicks, whom he has rooted for since 1952.
"I just felt enough is enough is enough," Bierman said.
"We thought maybe [Dolan] would admit he made some mistakes," said Aaron Bierman, the son of Irving Bierman, in a phone interview. "Instead, he confirmed some of the worst things that fans think of him."
The Knicks have mostly struggled during Dolan's tenure as owner, which began in 1999. They have won just one playoff series in the past 14 years. This season, New York is 10-41.
Deadspin.com first reported the email exchange.