Brian Windhorst and a team of ESPN's insiders sort out life and the news from in and around the NBA world, including an under-the-radar James Dolan trend, an update to All-Star bonuses and a counterargument to veteran contract extensions.
New York Knicks owner James Dolan has changed for the better, he says.
Dolan gave his first interviews in nearly four years last week, touching on an array of topics, including escalating legal battles about using facial identification technology to enforce bans on lawyers and firms suing, which has drawn the attention of the state's attorney general and its liquor authority.
But one thing Dolan said stood out as particularly relevant to the current state of the Knicks. During an interview on WFAN, Dolan was asked whether he inserted himself into the trade discussions when the Knicks were looking at acquiring Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz last summer.
"I didn't," Dolan said.
Dolan notably took over trade discussions for the Knicks to acquire Carmelo Anthony in 2011 and forced through a framework of a deal over the protest of then-general manager Donnie Walsh. Dolan says now he has learned from this and other incursions. His meddlesome days, according to him, are long gone.
"Not [meddled in trade talks] in the last 10 years. My attitude has changed," Dolan explained.
"Every new owner comes in thinking they've got the answer to how to make the team successful. Not to disparage my fellow owners, but there are franchises out there with owners over the last few years, you can look at new owners who have come in and thrown a lot of money ... and are not doing as well as they thought. You really got to leave a lot of the strategy to the guys who have dedicated their lives and careers."
Dolan's commentary on new owners' overaggressive early choices has plenty of historical merit, even if saying so might have irritated some of his newer peers on the NBA's board of governors. (For the record, Dolan had already been the Knicks' chairman for 15 years when he adopted this alleged hands-off policy. But let's move on from this digression.)
Does the kinder, gentler and apparently more trusting version of Dolan suggest he has retired his three-year itch?