What if Spike Lee and Leon Rose Are Part of a Larger Conspiracy to Get James Dolan to Sell the Knicks?

Stephen Douglas
Spike Lee and LeBron James.
Spike Lee and LeBron James. / Elsa/Getty Images
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Almost everyone wants James Dolan to sell the New York Knicks. This is no secret. Fans chant it. People write it and go on TV, look into the camera and say it out loud. One of the NBA's marquee franchises, a laughing stock. What if everyone who wanted Dolan gone decided to work together to make it happen?

Like everything in the NBA, it starts with LeBron James. Remember that after LeBron's final game against Dwyane Wade, he was heard saying, "It was either here or The Garden." At the time this killed Knicks fans, who realized they had almost had a chance of landing LeBron. This shows that LeBron has some reverence for the Knicks franchise.

But what was the real reason for this exchange? Most times when LeBron James speaks to someone after a game, his mouth is covered, like it was when he spoke with Zion Williamson last week. Why say this out loud in front of the cameras if you didn't want people to hear it? And why would Wade set him up with, "I appreciate you letting it end here,"? Isn't this a conversation they had probably already had in private? Unless they wanted the world to know that the Knicks had a chance.

But LeBron can't buy the Knicks. While he is a likely billionaire, alone he doesn't have the money. Plus, he's nowhere near the end of his career. You can't own a team and play. Just like you can't play while you're running an agency.

So LeBron would need a team. People with power who know people with money. People like new Knicks president Leon Rose, his former agent. People like new Knicks branding consultant, Steve Stout, a man LeBron has known since 2003. And a man like William Wesley, who has known King James since he was playing high school basketball.

Wesley, a.k.a., World Wide Wes, arguably the NBA's biggest powerbroker, is a longtime friend of Rose's. Wesley did not join the Knicks in any official capacity, but he will be "intimately" involved with the franchise going forward.

Now there are three LeBron James guys with a foot in the door of Madison Square Garden. So it's time to make their move. Enter Spike Lee, a frustrated Knicks fan who has been a season ticket holder since the team was good and Dolan wasn't in charge.

Could it really be a coincidence that Lee had a public confrontation on the day that Leon Rose officially became president of the New York Knicks? Remember that Rose did not get a press conference like, say, Phil Jackson did. What if it was Rose who suggested that they skip the pageantry of a press conference in the midst of another lost season because of optics, knowing full well that there not being a press conference would be a story? The Lee story overshadowed the new president on a day when people could have been talking about all the great plans Rose had to turn the Knicks around.

And where Lee turn for air time? First Take, the same place where Steve Stoute made his first public appearance on behalf of the Knicks. The ESPN show hosted by disgruntled Knicks fan Max Kellerman and native New Yorker, Stephen A. Smith.

Until Dolan does something horrible, the only course of action is to shame him until he sells, a tactic that hasn't worked out thus far. The team has been horrible while he has been the owner. They are very publicly missing out on stars like Kevin Durant, who chose the Brooklyn Nets, who are owned by LeBron James' good friend Jay Z. A man who grew up a Knicks fan and then helped move another team into town to more directly compete with the Knicks.

How long until Dolan very publicly insults another prominent Knicks fan? Not all of this is part of the conspiracy. Dolan does plenty on his own. Like in January when he tattled on a teenager and had him removed from his seats. Eventually, ticket sales will drop and the NBA can point their finger at Dolan and blame him for the fallen ratings. Then the league can start to pressure Dolan to sell. Plus, with men on the inside, they can start looking for where the bodies are (hopefully only metaphorically) buried.

And when they find them or when Dolan is finally broken? Who will be waiting but a cadre of powerful celebrities, led by LeBron James and Klutch Sports. Who can take back Madison Square Garden right as LeBron hits free agency and his son declares for the NBA Draft. This is the future the NBA wants. This is the future Knicks fans have been dreaming of. This is the ending James Dolan deserves.

LeBron James, Steve Stoute, Kevin Hart and Rich Paul at a Klutch Sports Group event.
LeBron James, Steve Stoute, Kevin Hart and Rich Paul at a Klutch Sports Group event. / Jerritt Clark/Getty Images
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