There are a few things that come to mind when you think of Madison Square Garden, iconic images and unique characteristics; the roof, the blue seats, the organ, and of course, horrendous management. The Garden's decision to not keep Jeremy Lin (and let's call it The Garden's decision, i.e. Chairman James Dolan's, because it WAS his call) was met with disdain from a fan base who is tired of getting crapped on. New York Knicks fans have waited and waited and waited for a winning team. And if they can't have that, they've just wanted likable guys to root for. Most Knicks fans don't believe the team, as currently constructed, is going to win titles. Most didn't think Lin put them in that category either. But rooting for Lin was fun, and sometimes fun matters in sports.
A large part of the Madison Square Garden mismanagement is the company's hatred for the media and a total disregard for it in general. Late Tuesday night it became official that the Knicks weren't matching Lin's offer sheet and that one of the most popular and likable basketball players in the world was heading to Houston to become a Rocket. Every other organization in professional sports - no, seriously - would have addressed the major news in some way. Some teams may have opted for a conference call with media, others a full on press conference, or at the very least would have put out a boring, two-sentence statement written by the media relations department and signed off by the general manager. It isn't that hard, I could do it right now.
"We were left with a tough decision regarding Jeremy Lin's restricted free agency, and we have decided as an organization to let Jeremy go. The team feels this is in the best interest of both the New York Knicks and Jeremy Lin. We thank Jeremy for his contributions to the team and wish him the best of luck in the future."
That took approximately 28 seconds and is a load of crap, but it's SOMETHING. What we have from MSG right now? Crickets. As per usual with MSG.
It's not just the Knicks, of course. Glen Sather, the President and GM of the Rangers, has spoken to the media something like eight times in his 12 years with the team (this is an unofficial stat). The job is Sather's as long as he wants it, and he'll probably hand things off to Mark Messier, who will be just as tight-lipped as Sather given he's been in and around the Garden forever at this point.
Former GM Donnie Walsh did a heck of a job rebuilding the Knicks from the ground up, but was pushed aside when his contract was up. One of the main reasons was probably because Walsh was very available to the media, which is no good at MSG.
I don't know what Dolan's paranoia is all about, I'm not sure anyone does. What exactly is he scared of? The New York media can be ruthless, of course, but to not even give statements? Just another in the long line of utter crap coming from Madison Square Garden.
Hey, Pearl Jam. Please come back around and play a few dates at MSG just to restore my faith in the building. Thanks.