Controversial New York Knicks owner James Dolan reached new lows with his outrageously offensive reply to a letter from a concerned Knickerbocker fan. That fan, 73-year-old Irving Bierman, has now become a symbol of the backlash against Dolan’s troubled ownership of the franchise.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Iriving Bierman Has Been a New York Knicks Fan Since 1952
In the letter, which was first posted by Deadspin, Bierman put in the subject line “I have been a knicks fan since 1952.” The 73-year-old goes on to write about the issues regarding Isaiah Thomas’ stewardship of the club as well “lowballing” of coach Steve Kerr. The letter in full read:
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 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.
2. James Dolan Accused Bierman of Being an Alcoholic
The letter might seem pretty tams in its criticism, I mean it doesn’t even mention Dolan’s appearance on a New York morning show to promote his God-awful blues band. The Knicks owner though did not hold back to Bierman or even thank him for caring enough about the team to write the owner. Instead Dolan wrote:
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 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 dont want you.
Deadspin gave Dolan’s email address as JDOLAN@Cablevision.com.
3. Irving, 72, Says He Hasn’t Had a Drink Since He Was 18
In an interview with the New York Daily News, Bierman says that he hasn’t had a drink since he was 18 years old. The veteran fan adds that he’s now retired and living down in South Carolina. Of the email he received in response, Bierman says “I felt insulted. I felt sighted.” In the Daily News piece it adds that Bierman hung a photo of Knick great Clyde Frazier in his son, filmmaker Aaron Bierman’s, room. Bierman doesn’t hold back when talking about Dolan saying, “He has the audacity to tell me to become a Nets fan – you got to be kidding me. He gets belligerent because I expressed an opinion. It’s a valid opinion.”
4. His Wife Called James Dolan a ‘Sick Puppy’
According to his Facebook page, Bierman is a native of Brooklyn and has retired to Myrtle Beach with his wife, Joan. Judging by both of their social media pages, the couple are animal lovers. Commenting about her husband’s spat with James Dolan, Joan Bierman called the Knicks owner a “sick puppy.” On his LinkedIn page, Bierman says he attended the State University of New York at New Paltz. He describes his career as a “Computer & Network Security Professional.”
5. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Won’t Be Punishing Dolan
The New York Post reports that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said that Dolan will face no punishment for his tirade against Bierman. Silver told the Post, “Jim is a consummate New Yorker. Jim got an unkind email and responded with an unkind email.” The Knicks play the Miami Heat in Florida on February 9 with the team on course for their worst season in history.