As boos rain down on the Knicks, owner James Dolan comes out for an encore

Knicks owner James Dolan can’t hear you. (AP)

Knicks president Phil Jackson spent his draft night setting a torch to what little he’d built in New York.

After spending an entire season berating Carmelo Anthony — the 10-time All-Star whom he gave a no-trade clause — for holding the ball too much, lacking the will to win and just plain being better off somewhere else, Jackson spent Thursday shopping Kristaps Porzingis — the budding superstar whom he drew heavy praise for selecting No. 4 overall in 2015 — because, well, he skipped an exit interview.

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Outside of Madison Square Garden, Knicks fans hung a “DON’T TRADE PORZINGIS” banner during the draft, which was taking place across town at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, home to their rival in misery.

Meanwhile, Knicks owner James Dolan spent his draft night ripping it up with his band JD and The Straight Shot at City Winery in New York’s West Village, within a few miles of MSG and Barclays.

Asked by SB Nation’s Charlotte Wilder if he was paying attention to the draft, he said, “Nope.” And when pressed on a potential Porzingis deal, Dolan reportedly gestured to a three-quarters-empty bar room and said, “If this tells you anything … it tells you how uninvolved I am with the basketball team.”


That is unfortunate news for any Knicks fans holding out hope Dolan would step between Jackson and what may be a move that sets the ever-rebuilding franchise back another decade. On the other hand, following a season in which Dolan alienated both beloved former players and season-ticket holders — again and again — holding out hope for Dolan is not something any Knicks fan is accustomed to.

All the while, as the Knicks were preparing to select French point guard Frank Ntilikina with the No. 8 overall pick, Dolan sang songs about Trayvon Martin, the polarizing nature of fake news and his 90-year-old parents — the last of which included a line about “running out of gas in the tank,” according to Wilder. (That’s quite an ode to his father Charles Dolan, the Cablevision founder who was reportedly in attendance and who gifted the Knicks and billions of dollars to the night’s lead singer.)

All in all, there was a 24-song setlist and one costume change:

If Dolan was trying to escape the resounding boos that so often come with a Knicks pick at the draft, he could not hide. Two members of the audience heckled him with a clarity that was pitch perfect:

“Boo! Boo! I want my money back. The leader singer’s terrible. Your singing voice leaves a lot to be desired. You’re a bad singer. Don’t quit your day job. You’re a bad singer. Terrible, terrible. I want my money back. I paid good money for this. I want a refund. That’s all I want. Who are you? How did you get a job singing for a band? You’re the worst. I paid $25 for this. I want it back. I want my money back. Just give me 25 bucks. His voice is terrible. I’m serious. His voice is so bad. His voice is bad.”

As our own Dan Devine said, “Getting the opportunity to share your displeasure with Knicks brass this clearly and at this distance is the best argument for why Kristaps should have attended his exit interview.”

Their voices trailed off, because security escorted them out of the bar, but you get their point: They think James Dolan is terrible, they don’t know why he has the job, and they want their money back.

New York music fans, meet New York basketball fans.

When the hecklers finally left, Dolan turned to the audience and said, “You guys like Johnny Cash?”

They did, almost as much as they like Kristaps Porzingis.

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Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don’t Lie and Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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