The New York Knicks is owned by the Madison Square Garden Company, which is in turn chaired by James Dolan. Max Rose, a Democratic congressman from Staten Island, called the Knicks and Dolan "an absolute disgrace."
Congressman Rose claimed to be a "Knicks fan to the day I die," but obviously isn't happy with how Dolan handles the Knicks. Despite being one of the oldest teams in the league, the Knicks only have two championships under their belt. In the past decades, they have become one of the weakest teams in the league. The last time they qualified for the playoffs was back in 2013, but lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Two years before that, they were eliminated in the first round.
This season, the Knicks have a 21-45 record, again one of the worst in the league. Last season, their 17-65 record was the lowest in all 30 NBA teams.
Congressman Rose's comment, as a Knicks fan, is not without merit. Politicians can be sports fans too.
According to NBC Sports, Dolan, a businessman, can also play with politics. Madison Square Garden cut a $50,000 (39,200 GBP) cheque to Congressman Rose's opponent, Nicole Malliotakis, for the upcoming U.S. general election this November.
He also wrote a letter to friends asking for funds to support the Republican candidate.
Dolan wrote in the email that he will not stand for Congressman Rose turning his team, and his management of it, as a tool to gain votes from current Knicks fans who are not happy with the basketball team.
The Knicks are in the middle of a serious rebuild. Team President Leon Rose is newly hired and is working with new Head Coach Tom Thibodeau to develop a young team (instead of the original plan of buying superstars).
Last year, the Knicks were banking on Head Coach David Fizdale to recruit two superstars in free agency, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Both players ended up with the Brooklyn Nets.
They led the Nets into the playoffs but opted out of the restart. The Nets lost in the first round of the playoffs. Because of the team's evident success with the two superstars and Fizdale's failure to sign them, Dolan fired Fizdale early this season.