James Dolan's Involvement in Carmelo Anthony Talks Isn't Necessarily a Bad Thing

Even reviled owners can sometimes do the right thing

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    There are easier things to do than give James Dolan the benefit of the doubt.

    You could try to take a charge from Amar'e Stoudemire, for example, or attempt to explain the career choices of Nicolas Cage.

    Heck, figuring out the best way to move forward in Egypt could even prove easer than convincing a soul that Dolan might actually be acting in the best interests of the Knicks, but we'll give it a shot.

    Tuesday's report from the Daily News that has Dolan speaking to Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke directly as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade talks can be spun in a negative way. Just for starters, there's the fact that he has no real basketball acumen. Then there's the uncertainty surrounding Donnie Walsh's future (especially as the Anthony chase plays into the decision) and, of course, the Isiah Thomas as secret organizational puppeteer angle that Frank Isola pushes hard in the News.

    Those latter two things are basically just blank canvases for speculation, though, because no one knows what Dolan is actually thinking on those fronts. For all we know, he might be thinking that Walsh has done plenty of good things since coming to New York but that those things aren't enough to outweigh the fact that the team is nothing better than average right now.

    Average is good enough to make the playoffs and finish with a winning record, which is obviously a huge leap up from where they were before. It isn't enough to make you sit back and feel like the work's been done, however.

    That's where Anthony comes in. Getting him is the most obvious way to take the next step forward right now, even if the deal winds up being something more than the sweetheart one that was being thrown around over the weekend. Walsh knows this and there isn't a soul who doesn't believe he's working to make a trade happen, but what's the harm in working things from multiple angles? 

    Everyone cheered the addition of Mark Warkentien to the front office because of his ties to Anthony personally and to his agents, so it would seem the more the merrier when it comes to getting the deal done.

    We're not denying that Dolan's presence, and the spectre of Isiah that comes with it, does create fears about giving away the store. But the fact that he wants Anthony and is playing a part in getting him does not, in and of itself, constitute a negative turn of events. It's just part of the dance that the Knicks have to do to get where everybody wants them to go right now.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.