In The House of Dolan

A fictitious but not entirely unconvincing conjecture on the Knicks War Room, the night of the Carmelo Anthony deal.
Share |

DISCLAIMER: This piece was written for a Knick fiction contest a few years back. The publisher never ran it, because he values his reputation and access to the Knicks and such. I do not.

As you can probably imagine, this was prompted by reports floated earlier that James Dolan nearly traded Iman Shumpert after Shump expressed that he didn’t want to participate in Summer League.

If it even needs to be stated, none of these events are true. That we know of.

“Glen! Glen, come here a second. You haven’t seen this one yet. Wait’l you see these tits.”

James Dolan, his face five inches from a blue Apple laptop, is smiling. From across the room, Glen Grunwald, a Knickerbocker front office staple since 1996 – a full three years before the younger Dolan’s official ascendance – rises, gingerly.

“You sure?” Grunwald inquires half into standing, hoping – against all reason and history – that a second thought might save him the trip.

“Naw, you weren’t there for this one. You woulda’ remembered the tits on this backup singer. Epic. Fucking epic tits.”

Emptying a sigh, Grunwald quickens the five paces to his boss’s heirloom desk. Even in the evening half-light he can make out the knife holes and sepia stains – old booze, dried deep down in the oak – that peppered its surface. Normally, Glen would crouch down beside him, maybe rest an arm over the leather chair’s vaguely sweat-darkened headrest. Instead, he thrusts both hands in his pant pockets and guides his eyes at the screen, where he sees a years-old YouTube clip of JD & The Straight Shot performing a song at the Midtown Hard Rock Café, somewhere around 6:45pm.

“Which one?” Glen tries to sound interested.

“The blond right there, Judy. You ever meet Judy?”

“The one with the nipple rings?”

“You’re thinkin’ of Monica. Monica’s the one Zeke banged at the Christmas party. You remember that party.” Glen remembered it. He closed his eyes and fought the memory. “Judy’s the one with the tits,” Dolan said. “Epic tits.”

Dolan raises both hands to his face, as if to grab at a pair of suspended cantaloupes, shaking his head side to side rapidly and making an indiscernible guttural noise. “Bbblbbblpppppfffftttt! You know what I’m talking about!” Glen smiled, hated it. “Judy was fun, man. I should give her a job here some day.”

And now Grunwald stares back at the screen, doing his best to force a chuckle. “She looks like fun,” he quips. “What’s the song, is that ‘Slow Motion in Reverse’?”

Dolan’s laugh dies. He shoots Grunwald a bewildered gaze before turning back to the screen and the song. “No no, that’s ‘Shoot That Dog’.”

“Shit, you’re right. Has the same rhythm though. Same, uh… tempo.”

“It’s a blues song, Glen. The tempos are going to be similar.” The air was heavy for a moment; there was a chance that this would soon get louder, angrier. “Anyway,” Dolan shrugged, “what a fun show. We closed with ‘Beyond the Horizon’ – just killed it. Here, I think there’s link down here near the bottom somewhere…”

“Hey,” Grunwald interjected, rapidly and with what he hoped seemed like real concern. “What time are Donnie and Allan supposed to be here? Five-thirty?”

“Yeah. Donnie’s probably out there plowing a butt.”

Grunwald walks back to the sofa, pulling out his iPhone en route. “I’m gonna’ call him,” he says, in a brisk pitch to match his gait. “I can’t be late for dinner tonight. Wife will kill me.”

Just as he begins feigning “call” on the screen, fully prepared to sit through 40 fake rings, the double-doors open to reveal the tardy tandem. Allan Houston, former Knick All-Star, enters first, exchanging the doorknob with his slower-moving mentor.

“Well, look who decides to show up!” barks Dolan, playful save the unmistakable pitch. “You out there plowin’ a butt Donnie?”

Walsh, weary just from the short jaunt down the hall, approaches with head hung low. “Well, you know it helps me relax the half a tongue I still have left, Jimmy” he says. There’s exhaustion in the quip.

Dolan pauses for a second before howling back, “Bet his wife loves that, right Allan? The old half-tongue? The old Dirty Donnie?”

“Haha,” Houston chuckles, guardedly. A prayer of repentance unfurls silently above his head, near-visible to Grunwald. He doesn’t like this kind of talk. “Well, I think Mrs. Walsh is just happy Donnie’s walkin’ around and raising hell like he used to.”

“Isn’t that the truth, Allan. Isn’t that the truth. Alright, everyone sit down.”

The Knick brain trust each take their separate seat; Dolan in his requisite cowhide throne; the other three in polyester rolling chairs at the opposite end of the desk. Walsh, still wobbling under the residual gimpiness of his hip surgery, leans back crookedly. His peers sit rigid, hands intertwined in front of them. “Awright,” Dolan begins, following Grunwald and Houston’s suit with a forward-leaning handclasp. “We’re almost home with this. I talked to Ujiri and Kroenke, and we’re gonna’ get Melo.”

The three opposite glance briefly at one another in succession. Cautious smiles escaping along with light sighs from both Houston and Grunwald, Walsh simply stares back, laser-eyed and knowing. “Wow, that’s great, Jimmy, really great,” Grunwald bellows. “So beyond the Minnesota thing, we’re lookin’ at Wilson, Ray, Gallo, and the pick, right?”

“And Moz,” Dolan shoots back quickly, as if the statement’s brevity might somehow carry it unheard.

Walsh, who until that moment had approached the forgone subject matter with nothing short of clammy disinterest, uses his left hand to push himself forward and upward. “What?”

“We’re throwin’ in Moz,” Dolan insists, half-smile now tempered by his Walsh-ward glower. “He’s the final piece.”

Walsh erupts. “The fuck do you mean ‘final piece’, Jim? We’ve had fucking four ‘final pieces.’ Remember when they were insisting on Gallo and Fields? You wanted to do it, and the only thing that stopped you from doing it was when I showed you that Stephen A. Smith piece where he says you had to do it. Remember that?”

“Fuckin’ hate that guy,” Dolan grunts, hoping the conciliatory remark might help temper his subordinate’s rising rage. He’d seen Walsh go completely sideways before – probably more times than either would admit – and had the window bills to prove it.

But Walsh is going, forward and sideways, pressing on. “Well, I guarantee that clown is out there right now quite-franklying a little screed about how you better include Mozgov in the deal. This is nuts, Jimmy. You know where these clowns have you? Right where you had that Hard Rock Café waitress. You’re the Hard Rock Café waitress.”

“Pam,” Grunwald adds, cautiously.

“Not Pam,” Walsh was tart. “The other time. The...”

Dolan pauses, looking briefly down at the standard rule legal pad – its blue ink triangles and oblong dinosaurs a calming respite – stroking his goatee. In an instant, his head snaps back up. “What, over a rail?”

“That’s right, Jimmy. They got you over a fucking rail, and they’re fucking you. How many times did I tell you I had this? I had it! These clowns had no leverage. We stand pat with what we had three weeks ago and he’d be here. Maybe a week late, but he’d be here. I told you to stay out of this. There was no…”

“Cut the shit, Donnie!” Dolan yawps, legs rocketing to a full stance. “I gave you three fucking million to go out and grab a big, and you come back with that stone-handed Eurasian stiff? He’s played one good game all season! You’re telling me Mozgov was gonna’ hold this deal up? No way. No fuckin’ way.”

“Jimmy, we don’t have a center now. Do you understand that? Ronny’s a sweetheart, but the guy is a walking sprain. And you know Amare’s a liability down there. Moz wasn’t no Willis. Shit, he wasn’t even Eddie Lee Wilkins. But there was a player there. You know that.”

“What about Williams?” Dolan retorts easing back into his seat, a slight smile curling in the wake of an imagined discursive trump.

“Who, Shelden Williams? Shelden Williams as our starting center? Or are you talking about Shawne? Please tell me, because they make about the same amount of fucking sense.”

“Shelden’s no worse than Mozgov!” Dolan barks. “Look at the resumé. Besides, it’s not like we were gonna’ win a title this year. We needed to make the move for our future.”

“Jimmy, we sold our future. Sold it. Our roster just doubled in age. And we have no cap room, unless some crazy shit happens this summer. We do this, we have a three-year window to win. That’s it. You better MySpace or Twitter Chris Paul, because….”

“What that’s Allan?”

“Tweet. Not Twitter. Twitter’s the thing, Tweet is what you do on it. Also no one really uses MySpace anymore.”

“Thank you, Allan. Jimmy, get these guys on the phone and tell them we’re not including Mozgov. In fact, tell them you’re thinking of pulling the pick. I’ll bet you a vintage Fender those fuckers fold like cheap lawn chairs.”

“It’s done, Donnie. The deal’s done. They weren’t going to budge. Ask Warkentein.”

“Bullshit,” Walsh chortles, a slight wheeze trailing. “You haven’t talked to Warkentein since he got here. You don’t even know what he looks like.”

“He looks like Jeff Goldblum, Donnie!” Dolan barked.

“He doesn’t,” Grunwald said.

“He’s the... Warkentien’s the fucking nerd from Independence Day. That’s true?”

“Not true.”

“Who’d I fucking hire, then? Glen, come on.”

“Jim.” Walsh was even, now, not quite wheedling. “Even Mark knows they were pushing their luck. That’s why you fuckin’ hired him, isn’t it? If you weren’t going to listen to the guy who just came from Denver in a trade with Denver, who were you going to listen to, Jimmy? Isiah? Everything that guy touches turns to weeping cancer, you…”

“Fuck you,” Dolan barks, nerve clearly breached. “You watch your mouth. Isiah Thomas is an NBA Great. How many titles you got?”

“Actual cancer that cries tears that also have cancer.”

“He’s an unofficial consultant, Donnie, and he’s going to stay that way. I value his advice. Maybe you should learn to value it, too.”

Walsh thought better of it. Of a response, of any of it. He was too old, this wall was too hard and too thick to throw himself against. Dolan had taken to gently rocking in his chair, elbows on armrests and fingers interlaced at his mouth, satisfied.

“Come on, Allan,” Walsh says, will visibly sapped and voice a full octave lower.

Walsh and Houston both rising, Grunwald remains seated. Dolan and Walsh shake hands, before the former turns towards the door, moving at a clip both faster and more purposeful than any present had seen in months.

Walsh invites Houston through. Before he crosses the threshold, the one-time pro turns once more to his CEO, who can only stare past him and at his elder’s exit. Slamming the door behind him, Walsh stops. Houston, who’d begun to approach the elevator, turns back.

“Hold on a second, Allan,” Walsh implores as he reaches into his pant pocket, unearthing an unopened pack of Camels. “You remember I said ‘only on special occasions,’ right?”

“This qualifies?” Houston walks back towards Walsh, hands in pockets and head down. “Hey, we all knew this was coming down to the wire. I don’t want to see these guys go any more than you do. God’s got a plan for this, man.”

“I hate to break it to you, Allan,” Walsh grumbles, voice muffled slightly by the warming filter, “but God didn’t plan that guy. His daddy didn’t even plan that. He happened. God is not here with us right now.”

Camel dented, Walsh taps his index finger, sending a small flurry of gray ash raining as he moves past Houston and towards the elevator. Neither speaks. He disappears into the door, a cloud of smoke trailing behind him. Houston, having given his boss the proper space, moves towards the nearby stairwell. Just then, the office door behind him opens, revealing Dolan.

“What the fuck was that all about?” Dolan inquires, face noticeably red.

“I just think Donnie needs to blow off some steam.”

“Fuckin’ A. Forget him. Come inside, you gotta’ see this video. You like tits?”

Jim is a regular contributor to Knickerblogger, the True Hoop Network's Knicks affiliate blog. His work also appears regularly at the New York Times' Off the Dribble NBA blog and ESPN. A lifelong hoops lover, Jim has always insisted on wearing glasses during games, a life choice that has earned him the occasional chant of Ram-bis and cost him hundreds of dollars in repairs. He currently leads his old man league in techs and three pointers attempted. Follow him on Twitter @JPCavan.

Share |


Your way to enlighten everything on this blog is actually pleasant, everyone manage to efficiently be familiar with it, Thanks a great deal.

Bipolar counselling centers

Pretty! It was really a wonderful blog. Thanks for the provided information.
opulence for life bonus

Why do only so much written on this subject? Here you see more. sistemas de vigilancia

The quality of your blogs and conjointly the articles and price appreciating.

opulence for life

Hey to everyone, it’s my first visit of the blog site; this blog includes awesome and actually best i
opulence for life review

It is extremely nice to see the greatest details presented in an easy and understanding manner. push button influence bonuses

I don’t suppose many of websites give

I enjoy each of the subject matter, I've got to suggest as i enjoyed, As i would love additional information involving it, for the reason that extremely very good., Thanks for your time in regard to enlightening. renta de oficinas en bosques de las lomas

I never ever imagined that I will admit this opinion, but you may actually know… you have defined such facts that I am totally agreed to this thing …

The blog is good enough I again n again read this.
passive restraint discount

Pretty phenomenal post.Any way I'll be subscribing to your sustenance and I believe you post again soon. prom dresses

I will prefer this blog because it has much more informative stuff.Virtual CEO lifestyle bonus

Good blog along with the excellent quality stuff and I’m sure this will be greatly

Your articles make whole sense of every day loan

I truly welcome the sort of themes you post here. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing us an extraordinary data that is really useful. Great day!

It is very good, but look at the information at this address. The Psystrology Method Review

This is very useful, although it will be important to help simply click that web page link: How to Turn a Guy On

I invite you to the page where you can read with interesting information on similar topics. How To Give A Hand Job

I obviously getting a charge out of every last bit of it. It is a sublime site and stunning offer. how long does acid reflux last

The next guide continues to be prepared to make sure that you are able to reach the right standards of the preferred features. Hyperlinks are provided along with each function to arrive at number of models provided by that function. banners nyc

Such sites are important because they provide a large dose of useful information ... How to Turn a Guy On Without Touching Him

For many people this is important, so check out my profile: Survive In Bed Review

Allan Houston, former Knick All-Star, enters first, exchanging the doorknob with his slower-moving mentor.Nude women

The blog is good enough I again n again read this.

We closed with ‘Beyond the Horizon’ – just killed it. Here, I think there’s link down here near the bottom somewhere…”castle clash hack download |
clash of clans hacks

This is very useful, although it will be important to help simply click that web page link: How To Get Your Ex Back

I am interested in such topics so I will address page where it is cool described. The Amazing You Review

Whatever you have provided for us in these posts really appreciative. club flyer

Whatever you have provided for us in these posts really appreciative.timothy marcus trade fusion

I sent your articles links to all my contacts and they all adore it including me.
home and car insurance bundles

This is very useful, although it will be important to help simply click that web page link: save the marriage system Review

Such sites are important because they provide a large dose of useful information ... Capture His Heart Review

You woulda’ remembered the tits on this backup singer. Epic. Fucking epic tits.”Porn Photo

I personally use them exclusively high-quality elements : you will notice these folks during: Capture His Heart

I personally use them exclusively high-quality elements : you will notice these folks during: language of lust download

This post is really valuable that designed for the new visitors. Pleasing work, keep on writing. affordable whole life insurance

From the borders concerning smartphone's with references to over all size and so functionality, portable computers looks the best choice regarding mobile computing in your new. spartagen xt

It’s really such nice information to get advantage from. Tampa Roofing Companies

It feels awe-inspiring to read such informative and distinctive articles on your websites. los angeles emergency plumber

It is rather very good, nevertheless glance at the data with this handle. Red Smoothie Detox Factor Review

This article is actually remarkable one it helps many new users that desire to read always the best stuff. gerber end of life insurance rates

I went over this website and I conceive you've got a large number of splendid information, virginia payday loans

I recommend only good and reliable information, so see it: Magnetic Messaging Review

This blog post is really great; the standard stuff of the post is genuinely amazing
discount car insurance

I'm glad I found this web site, I couldn't find any knowledge on this matter prior to.Also operate a site and if you are ever interested in doing some visitor writing for me if possible feel free to let me know, im always look for people to check out my web site. iphone repair san diego

This is very significant, and yet necessary towards just click this unique backlink: How to turn a Guy on with words

The most interesting text on this interesting topic that can be found on the net ... Forever Yours

This post is really valuable that designed for the new visitors. Pleasing work, keep on writing. online payday loans

Here at this site really the fastidious material collection so that everybody can enjoy a lot.
call center