The Bernstein Brief: Adam Silve Is Watching James Dolan

By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist

(CBS) It was less than an ideal outcome, perhaps, with Knicks owner James Dolan and former player Charles Oakley emerging from the commissioner’s office Monday with only a kind of nebulous detente after an ugly incident last week in which Oakley was removed by security from Madison Square Garden and temporarily banned from the facility by Dolan.

But the fact that the meeting occurred as it did tells us about Adam Silver and that he knows both bad optics for the league and bad owners when he sees them. Consider this a note in Dolan’s file.

Silver led the swift removal of Clippers owner Donald Silver after his racist comments surfaced in 2014, setting a precedent early in his tenure that still resonates. Though he works for the owners, Silver also has proved he will act conscientiously in the best interests of the NBA itself, and this kind of public action involving Dolan indicates that he’s paying attention to another possibly bad apple.

We are a long way from Dolan ever being similarly banned, but it’s clear there’s an understanding that this latest incident is just a symptom of what ails the team in the league’s biggest market, and that Dolan himself is the likely problem.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s “Bernstein and Goff Show” in afternoon drive. You can follow him on Twitter  @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.

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