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Reactions to the news that
2003-01-22 10:42
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Reactions to the news that Dave Checketts, former impresario of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and Madison Square Garden, is going to try to buy the Dodgers:

1) I don't know much about Checketts, but I do know that he presided over most of a most chaotic decade for the Knicks, a decade that has been about as unrewarding to them as it has been for the Dodgers. The Knicks have made it to the NBA Finals twice in the time since the Dodgers made it to the World Series.

Checketts did hire Pat Riley when Riley still made a difference as a coach, but later clashed with him. Checketts then hired Don Nelson, then fired him in midseason and gave the job to assistant Jeff Van Gundy. Checketts also clumsily contacted Phil Jackson about coaching the Knicks during 1999, the one season that Van Gundy was leading them to the Finals.

2) One of the Dodgers' strengths right now is that they seem to have refound some stability and sanity in management. To upset that now would be devastating, unless Checketts is like a Jerry West - which I have no reason to believe that he is.

3) Am I in love with News Corp./Fox owning the Dodgers? Of course not. But I think the most painful part of the Fox era has passed. Whatever the next era is, I pray that it begins less painfully.

I asked New York sports sufferer James Gray to comment on Checketts. Here's his e-mail:

checketts was a disappointment to me when he ran the knicks. he seemed to
show an amazing capacity to build a contender, but that's about all.
consistently, he put together squads that were one or two pieces short and
made a few AWFUL moves as knicks' gm that kept them from winning it all. he
did the same thing in utah, assembling a squad that would win 55 games every
year but never had a decent center or two-guard. it should be said in his
defense that he clearly cares about winning--and the rangers did win the
stanley cup during his tenure--but something tells me he'd give you a team
in l.a. that comes up a hair short. he is the man, after all, who got the
knicks charles smith and thought john starks was a championship-quality
shooting guard (2 for 18, game 7, finals).

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