The owner of the New York Knicks said he “shouldn’t have responded” to criticism by a 73-year-old Jewish fan — but stopped way short of apologizing to Irving Bierman.
James Dolan doubled down on his attack on Bierman — he earlier branded the lifelong fan “sad” and an “alcoholic” — by calling his email complaining about the woeful state of the team “a personal, hateful attack.”
“It just caught me at the wrong moment and I responded. Sort of tit for tat,” Dolan said on Friday, according to ESPN. “And I knew I shouldn’t have done that and I did it anyway because it made me angry.”
Dolan also called Bierman’s email “bad” and asserted that he doesn’t usually respond to critical emails from fans.
The Knicks boss, who has presided over a long decline in the fortunes of the once proud franchise, claimed that he has been deluged by supportive emails from fans. But he failed to provide any evidence of that supposed support.
Dolan said he hoped to put the controversy behind him as the league’s stars gather in New York this weekend for the annual All-Star Game.
“It’s over and we got All-Star Weekend. I’d love to just focus on that,” Dolan said Friday.
The email feud started when Bierman, a retiree who now lives in South Carolina, wrote Dolan to complain about the sorry state of his beloved team, which has stumbled to an abysmal 10-43 record this season.
Dolan shot back that Bierman is an “alcoholic” who “makes his family miserable.” Bierman’s wife countered that Dolan is “one sick puppy.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league wouldn’t discipline Dolan, calling him the “consummate New Yorker.”