The New York Knicks are a franchise is flux - a team rich with incredible history currently overshadowed by recent disappointments which have left fans questioning just what is being done to improve things.
The past six months or so however have offered some light at the end of the tunnel. First former playing legend, and coaching guru, Phil Jackson arrived as the Knicks' new president. And then their one true superstar Carmelo Anthony announced that he would remain with the team after much offseason speculation.
Taking a step back
And now James Dolan, the much maligned owner who brought in Jackson to run basketball operations after several years of unrest from supports concerning his ownership decisions, has promised that he is finished medling in matters that quite frankly go beyond his expertise.
"I am definitely spending less time with the Knicks," Dolan explained to the New York Times in an extensive profile by reporter Scott Cacciola.
Dolan said he told Jackson that he was always available to discuss all things Knicks over the phone, but according to the same report the former Lakers and Chicago Bulls coach has hardly taken him up on the offer - with the entirety of August passing without the two in communication.
The news that owner and president are not in regular contact may worry fans of some NBA franchises but not those who support the New York Knicks who are used to unwanted input from the man with the money.
The realisation that he had to employ someone to rectify things on the court came to Dolan last season and it seems that he truly is handing over the reins.
"I simply said, 'if you need me, call me," said Dolan."He did not call me."
Phil Jackson for his part seems content with the working relationship between himself and Dolan, confirming the latter's story that there has been very little contact, and next to no interference.
"“Jim’s told me he’s been really glad that he hasn’t had to delve into it,” Jackson told reports in a conference call last week.
Too good to be true?
Of course it's not like the New York Knicks faithful haven't heard this sort of stuff before.
James Dolan has, on more than one occasion, promised to keep out of basketball decisions only to reach for the trigger soon after results at MSG turned south.
“It was always my intention to have other people do it,” Dolan now insists.
“But it was also my intention that the other people would win. We didn’t always do that. A good executive, when things aren’t going well, gets down and finds out what’s going wrong and tries to fix it.”
Phil Jackson has only been in place for a matter of months, with the majority of those not offering any regular-season NBA action, and as such his role as overseer of new coach Derek Fisher is impossible to judge.
He has managed to convince Melo to stay which is perhaps why Dolan is so content to watch on from a far. But there will be those that worry that as soon as those Ls start to built up on the Knicks' 2014-15 schedule Dolan's sudden distance from the basketball side of things may shrink - and shrink quickly.