Mike Francesa destroys Knicks, James Dolan for latest debacle
Mike Francesa ripped the Knicks for their latest debacle regarding Steve Stoute, the team’s new branding consultant who got himself and the team in trouble for saying they would be moving on from interim coach Mike Miller in the offseason.
“How much more of a laughingstock can this franchise become?,” Francesa said on his half-hour WFAN radio show on Wednesday. “I mean, how can you have someone come out and act like he’s going to run the franchise? Who decided, who gave this guy in any way put a thought in his head that he could come out and make the kind of statements he made about the franchise.
“To the point, where he basically fired the head coach. On national television,” Francesa said with a sarcastic laugh.
In the Tuesday ESPN interview Stoute said “there had to be a change in [firing team president Steve Mills]. That change will bring a new coach and new coaches that are going to help develop these younger players.”
Stoute didn’t stop there, adding: “Having a coach like that who has the magnitude and gravitas so that the media would love to talk to him and believe him, I think that’s super important.”
Francesa, who complimented Miller for getting a Knicks team that is going nowhere to play better, said owner James Dolan should have fired his newly minted image consultant for those comments.
“If I was Dolan, I would have fired this guy,” a fired-up Francesa said. “I would have ripped his contract and told him to hit the street so fast he wouldn’t know what hit him. Where was the famous Dolan temper there? He should have been the first guy to go. You, let this guy [stay], this guy clearly speaking out of school.
“[Do] you want a guy around that’s going to make those kind of statements? Who thinks, he first of all tells you how important he is to the franchise?
“How much worse can it get? How much more dysfunctional can it get? How much more embarrassing can it get?”
Hours after the Stoute interview went viral, the Knicks released a statement saying that Stoute “does not speak on behalf of New York Knicks personnel and basketball operations.”
As for Miller, he took the high road on Wednesday when asked about Stoute’s comments, saying the two had a “private conversation” and that he didn’t need to be put at ease regarding his job status.
The Knicks hired Stoute soon after Dolan kicked out a teenaged fan, who was yelling for him to sell the team toward the end of their ugly, fight-filled home loss to the Grizzlies on Jan. 29. The next day the embattled owner called the fan’s mother, who said the two had a “pleasant and respectful conversation.”
Francesa also said Dolan should worry less about bullying young fans and that he should have given Stoute the boot, instead of a weak, team-issued statement.
“You can go bully some [young] kid because he says you should sell the team,” Francesa said. “But that’s your answer to this guy? When he embarrasses your organization from coast-to-coast on national television.”
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