NBA News Wire

Knicks owner tells fan to root for Nets

We independently review everything we recommend based on our strict editorial guidelines. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn More

New York Knicks owner James Dolan, replying to an email from an angry fan of the team, hinted that the man is an alcoholic and suggested that the man root for the Brooklyn Nets instead of the Knicks.

In an exchange first reported by, Irving Bierman, 73, sent an email to Dolan with the header, “I have been a Knicks fan since 1952.” Bierman wrote: “At one stage I thought that you did a wonderful thing when you acquired EVERYTHING from your dad. However, since then it has been ALL DOWN HILL. Your working with Isaiah (sic) Thomas & everything else regarding the Knicks. Bringing on Phil Jackson was a positive beginning, but lowballing Steve Kerr was a DISGRACE to the Knicks. The bottom line is that you merely continued to interfere with the franchise.

“As a Knicks fan for in excess of 60 years, I am utterly embarrassed by your dealings with the Knicks. Sell them so their fans can at least look forward to growing them in a positive direction Obviously, money IS NOT THE ONLY THING. You have done a lot of utterly STUPID business things with the franchise. Please NO MORE.”


“Irving Bierman”

Thomas had an unsuccessful stint as the Knicks’ president, the role currently held by Jackson. Kerr turned down the Knicks’ coaching offer in the last offseason and instead took over the Golden State Warriors, who own the Western Conference’s best record.

At 10-41, the Knicks own the worst record in the NBA. Since 2000-01, New York made it to the second round of the playoffs just once, losing to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Dolan’s reply, as confirmed by the team: “Mr Bierman. You are a sad person. Why would anybody write such a hateful letter. I am just guessing but ill bet your life is a mess and you are a hateful mess. What have you done that anyone would consider positive or nice. I am betting nothing. In fact ill bet you are a negative force in everyone who comes in contact with you. You most likely have made your family miserable. Alcoholic maybe. I just celebrated my 21-year anniversary of sobriety. You should try it. Maybe it will help you become a person that folks would like to have around. In the mean while, start rooting for the Nets because the Knicks don’t want you.


“James Dolan”

Bierman told the Wall Street Journal that he didn’t know Dolan had a drinking problem, adding, “I didn’t care, and the fact that he’s been sober for 21 years, good for him. God bless him, … (The) last time I had a drink, I was 18. Now I am 73. I mean, how dare he?”

Bierman added that he sent back a “professional” reply, wishing Dolan good luck, the Journal reported.

“I’m not getting into a fighting war with the guy, although I’d love to get into a room with him one on one, nobody around, you know, let’s talk,” Bierman told the Journal. “But email is not the way to do it.”