But Knicks owner James Dolan was staying out of it. So much so that he was playing a gig with his blues-rock band, JD and the Straight Shot, at the same time as and a mere 3 1/2 miles away from the draft, which took place Thursday evening at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
SB Nation’s Charlotte Wilder attended Dolan’s show and asked the billionaire beforehand if he was at least following the draft.
“Nope,” he said.
She then asked if the Knicks were going to trade Porzingis.
“Nope. I don’t know, you know what, if this tells you anything,” Dolan said, gesturing to the room inside the City Winery in the West Village. “Right? Right. It tells you how uninvolved I am with the basketball team.”
He later told the crowd, which Wilder said eventually filled, about the venue: “We didn't plan to have this concert on the same night as the NBA draft, for those of you wondering.”
The Knicks wound up keeping Porzingis and drafting French point guard Frank Ntilikina with the eighth overall pick. But by then Dolan had his hands full.
Dolan, 62, has taken his band on the road, opening for the likes of the Doobie Brothers and Don Henley. So he was not about to let a couple of hecklers ruin his night.
"OK,” he said to the crowd at the end of the disruption. “Let's just keep going. You guys like Johnny Cash?"
Sounds like Dolan enjoyed himself. And Knicks fans seem good with what happened (and didn’t happen) concerning the team that night. So, at least for now, everybody’s relatively happy. And that’s about all the Knicks could hope for at this point.