James Dolan, the hothead owner of the New York Knicks, cussed out a season-ticket holder he claims was drunkenly heckling him before Tuesday night’s game.
The fan is worried he’ll lose his tickets for being the target of Dolan’s rage, but also grateful for the outpouring of love from other long-suffering Knicks fans.
“My comment is that is that the support from Knicks fan has been overwhelming and unanimously positive and I hope Mr. Dolan takes this opportunity to reassess how he treats passionate fans,” Mike Hamersky, a 35-year-old attorney, tells Amplify.
The whole thing went down minutes before the start of the Knicks matchup against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden. Hamersky said he was drinking a beer and waiting for his friend to finish a smoke when he was stunned to see Dolan walk by, headed for a limo.
“Sell the team, Jim!” Hamersky shouted, according to Deadspin.
Dolan, whose personality and temperament is well-documented, has been a source of ire for players, fans and media in New York. Hamersky told Deadspin he’s a lifelong superfan who has been upset about the direction the Knicks are heading.
Instead of getting into the limo, Dolan turned around, and got in Hamersky’s face. He allegedly started shouting, asked what Hamersky did for a living and called him an “asshole,” the fan said.
Dolan himself backed up the story.
“I did call him an asshole,” he told Deadspin, “because he is an asshole.”
Dolan said he went on with his tirade.
“What if I told you, ‘You suck at your job?’” he shouted at Hamersky. “Or, ‘How do you like losing that case?’” he asked the lawyer.
Dolan reportedly also accused Hamersky of being drunk and told him he would be barred from entering the game. Hamersky, who denied being intoxicated, told Deadspin he had been teaching a law class just before he arrived. Hamersky said he walked away because he didn’t want the situation to escalate further or miss the game.
Hamersky said someone from Dolan’s security detail followed him for several blocks. He eventually found his friend, and the two made their way into the Garden. They safely got to their seats, but Hamersky said they expected to be kicked out at any second during the game.
Amplify reached out Hamersky via Facebook, but he did not respond. A statement released by Dolan’s representatives did not deny the media accounts.
Hamersky told the Post he won’t be at Thursday’s home game against the Washington Wizards, but he plans to keep cheering on his team.
“I love the Knicks,” he told the newspaper. “I look forward to the games — the highlight of my week. I circle the games I have. I love the experience, as terrible as it’s been. I still want to support the team.”
In February, Dolan got into it with former Knicks forward Charles Oakley at a game against the Los Angeles Clippers. The two have had an ongoing ugly feud that intensified when Oakley reportedly made some comments that Dolan overheard. Oakley was arrested and banned from the Garden for life. The two later met with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and conferenced in Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan. A truce was later reached, althought Oakley still was angry about the event.
Oakley told Sports Illustrated he’d “rather go to jail” than act like the Knicks were doing him a favor.
As for Tuesday’s game? The Knicks claimed a victory over the Bulls, with a final score of 100 to 91, their first win since March 27. The team is 30-48 and ranked 12th in the Eastern Conference.