Knicks owner James Dolan reportedly accused an upset fan of being an alcoholic and told him to “start rooting for the Nets because the Knicks don’t want you,” according to an email exchange published by the sports blog Deadspin.
The heated back-and-forth started when the fan sent Dolan an email in the midst of one of the worst seasons in the team’s history and asked the longtime owner to sell the team.
“As a knicks fan for in excess of 60 years, I am utterly embarrassed by your dealings with the Knicks,” the fan wrote, according to Deadspin. “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.”
In a responding email that other media outlets also confirmed was penned by the Knicks’ owner, Dolan criticized the fan, calling him “a sad person” who is a “negative force in everyone” with whom he comes into contact.
“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.”
The email then ends with the signature, “Respectfully, James Dolan.”
The fan was identified by ESPN New York as 73-year-old Irving Bierman. He said he has no plans to root for the Nets.
Bierman's son, Aaron Bierman, told the outlet that Dolan's email "confirmed some of the worst things that fans think of him."