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This entry was posted on Monday, January 7th, 2008 at 4:47 pm and is filed under Basketball, Knicks Rumors & News, Nets Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

kiki.jpgIf you are a Knicks apologist, you likely can’t stand Daily News columnist Mitch Lawrence, who has been bringing his peculiar brand of pessimism and rancor to his coverage of the Knickerbocker franchise for years.

However, if you happen to have a head on your shoulders, you probably love the guy, and appreciate his voice of reason during this darkest era of basketball that New York has ever endured.

In his Friday column, Lawrence revealed that newly appointed Nets’ special assistant Kiki Vandeweghe desperately wanted a shot at salvaging the Knicks if Jim Dolan would only let him get a foot in the door. Via Lawrence:

Right up until he accepted the Nets’ offer, Vandeweghe, an ex-Knick whose dad also played in New York, was still trying to figure out a way to have a sit-down with the Garden’s CEO and convince him that he could get this team righted.

“The job Kiki really wanted was the Knicks’ job,” said one of Vandeweghe’s friends in the league. “He was really hoping that Dolan would do something, and he had a lot of people talking on his behalf. But they didn’t even give him a whiff.”

dolan.jpgYou could approach this news from many different angles. On the one hand, this could be an indication that evaluating Isiah Thomas‘s job performance isn’t even on Dolan’s to-do list for 2008. After all, if any change was imminent, why let one of the most highly-regarded team executives out there sign with a cross-river rival that could finally begin to cast its own shadow when it relocates to Brooklyn? On the other hand, if Thomas is axed this month or soon thereafter, then it’s clearer than ever that the Garden CEO is a complete lunatic who would stubbornly rather pull Thomas’ replacement out of left-field than follow the advice of league officials and other team executives that have privately worked on behalf of Commissioner David Stern to convince Dolan to hand the reigns to a competent and respected basketball mind like Vandeweghe or former Suns owner Jerry Colangelo.

“When he finally figures out that Isiah is killing his team, all Jimmy is going to do is go out and hire another dunderhead,” said one league executive. “It’s maddening.”

When Ed Stefanski left his post as team president Rod Thorn‘s right-hand man, we lamented in this space that we had hoped Stefanski was being groomed to take over in New Jersey in the near future, perhaps opening the door for Thorn to step across the Hudson and untangle this mess at the Garden. Instead, not only is Stefanski now at work rebuilding another division rival in Philly, but the Nets’ management team is once again rock-solid, and a Knick fan is left with the incomprehensible feeling that things will only continue to get worse before they get better.

In truth, the best thing that Dolan’s Garden has going for it right now is the excruciating delays that Nets’ owner Bruce Ratner continues to suffer in his efforts to build a new arena in Brooklyn. Though the project is at last underway, a projected timeline that seems to constantly get pushed further and further back now calls for the team to relocate no sooner than 2010. Lucky break. For if the Nets were already playing their games just across the borough, as was originally planned, why would any New Yorker remain loyal to a Knicks franchise that insults and disgraces its fan base with each passing day.

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