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James Dolan Wanted to Trade Iman Shumpert?

by Photo of Scott Davis

The president of Madison Square Garden considered trading a young talent over… Summer League?

James Dolan Wanted to Trade Iman Shumpert?

In this article…

A few things to know about James Dolan: he's the president of Madison Square Garden and all of its teams; his family (namely his father) started Cablevision; he likes to play the blues; he wants to ruin the New York Knicks, the team he owns.

James Dolan isn't a popular name amongst Knicks fans, or really, anyone. When he took over MSG in the 1990s, the Knicks were still a good team, but just after the new millennium rang in, things took a turn for the worse. He hired Isiah Thomas who mismanaged the team as general manager and head coach and mismanaged his own personal life. Dolan allowed profuse spending on unworthy players, gutting the Knicks financially, locking them in the Lottery cellar where they rarely drafted successfully. He forced the Carmelo Anthony trade, gutting a flexible franchise of money, picks, and prospects (it's a good trade now, but it took almost two seasons to recover). He pushed the young, popular, talented 23 year old who earned the Knicks a lot of money, Jeremy Lin, out the door, mainly for personal sentiments.

After a few dormant months, Dolan is at it again!

A video shot during Stephen A. Smith's ESPN interview with Dwight Howard (dug up by Azaz of KnicksFan.net) has surfaced in which Smith claims to have some scandalous insider information about Mr. Dolan. Evidently, Dolan was upset that Iman Shumpert (perhaps the Knicks most talented, young asset) didn't want to play in the Las Vegas Summer League, so he considered trading him. Watch:

The discussion obviously takes place off-air. It begins at about ten seconds in when Shumpert's name comes up and Smith claims to have heard that Dolan wanted to trade Shumpert for not wanting to play in Summer League. Shumpert is a third-year guard, which is typically when players stop going to Summer League to play against rookies and roster-hopefuls. However, Shumpert missed the previous two Summer Leagues because of the 2011 lockout and a torn ACL in 2012. Dolan's not wrong for wanting a young player to get some more reps, but trading him? A little harsh.

But to people familiar with the Knicks' happenings or just Dolan in general, this is nothing new. Dolan does seem to genuinely care about the Knicks; however, he's also driven by dollar signs, power and loyalty. The latter two seem to have come into play in this scenario. Now, it's entirely possible that Smith's sources could have been wrong, but there's evidence suggesting they're correct. Shumpert did show up in Vegas to play one Summer League game, then left to travel to China as part of the NBA's expansion programs. Seems like odd timing for someone to fly to Vegas, suit up for one game, all the while knowing that he'd have to go back home and get ready to fly to China.

But in the meantime, let's just let James Dolan fix the Knicks!

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