October 13, 2013 by NowhereButPop
I became a Guns N’ Roses fan when I was 13; it was the first piece of the puzzle in defining myself, so much so that my fandom of GNR has become one of the noble truths of Andrew Doscas. I became a Knicks fan when I was 19, because there was nothing good on TV on a Tuesday in January in Syracuse. Despite, or quite possible because of their disastrous history, I’ve come to love both way more than I should. GNR is the thing; it was the first time I discovered something that I felt was mine and not anyone else’s. I felt as though out of all the kids in Junior High, Guns N Roses belonged to me and only me. Even though my intensity isn’t what it used to be, it’s still there, they’re still my favorite band. The Knicks, on the other hand, are the new thing. I haven’t yet gotten bored with my own obsession with them, and they haven’t yet presently disappointed me enough for me to grow fed up with them.
Today, on my way home from work, I realized a horrifying fact between the men in charge of the two. Even though Axl Rose, the head honcho of GNR is the complete opposite of James Dolan, owner of the Knicks (and the only person on the planet who could be described as being pro-Isiah Thomas), they occupy the exact same role in their respective field. If Axl Rose was the owner of a sports franchise he would literally be James Dolan, and if James Dolan were the lead singer in a band (that mattered) he would literally be Axl Rose. Both men are narrow-minded emotional wrecks who constantly seek to antagonize an already disenfranchised fan base.
I’ll given Axl some points over Dolan, because Axl can at the very least create something successful, while Dolan just destroys everything in his path, like Godzilla does to the Tokyo skyline. Axl fucks up his own handy work. James Dolan fucks up the hard work of other people. Whereas Axl Rose singlehandedly broke up Guns N Roses, after making the band a success, Dolan fired successful GMs Ernie Grunfeld, and Glen Grunwald and forced Donnie Walsh to retire…for pretty much no reason in each scenario.
What it comes down to for both men is that James Dolan is too stupid for his place in life, and Axl Rose is too self-aware for his own benefit. Even though these are two vastly different traits, they have led the two down similar avenues. Dolan is the least qualified person in the tri-state area to run the largest franchise in the NBA because he doesn’t even realize that he should have nothing to do with running the team. In fact it’s pretty safe to say that Dolan has the reverse effect of the Midas Touch. Instead of things turning to gold around him, they turn to shit. As soon as he came to power in 2000, both the Knicks and the Rangers simultaneously went on massive spending sprees and losing streaks. On top of that Cablevision had a lower approval rating than George W. Bush did for his last three years in office. But, the root of all of these problems isn’t that Dolan is fucking things up, no, it’s that he’s too stupid to even understand that things could be falling apart due to him.
Unlike James Dolan, Axl Rose is not an idiot; of this I am 100% sure of. He’s just a guy who lets his insecurities rule his entire existence. As Chuck Klosterman essentially said, it’s because Axl Rose grew up moderately intelligent in bumblefuck Indiana, surrounded by morons that led to two revelations that would irrevocably affected the rest of his life: 1) That he is smarter than the people around him and 2) Therefore he must be the most self-aware and realest person on the planet. The former is true, while the latter is false to everyone except Axl Rose. He took a small sample size of people and than projected the results of his observations of them unto the entire world. He’s more self-aware than he should be, because he knows that he is self-aware but not to the point where he can limit himself. He sees his own understanding of himself in relation to everybody else, instead of with himself. Rose is self aware enough to describe himself as “A screaming two year old”, but isn’t self aware enough to realize that by knowing this about himself, he is then obligated to somehow remedy that.
Everything both men do is reflective of this one crucial truth about them. The reason why James Dolan hired Isiah Thomas, and then gave him a raise after he turned the Knicks into the laughing stock of the NBA is because Dolan can’t see that he it is his actions that are somehow making the team worse. This past summer when he fired Glen Grunwald because the Knicks couldn’t get past the second round of the playoffs, it was because he saw this as a failure on Grunwald’s part. To fix this perceived failure Dolan fired Grunwald and hired Steve Mills, someone with no experience as a GM, and someone who helped Thomas ruin the Knicks for about 10 years. Basically Dolan made the wrong move. But, the fact remains that James Dolan, whole heartedly believes that anything he does will somehow automatically help the Knicks. What’s frustrating for us fans is that EVERY single time he has interfered, the team has been worse off for it.
Conversely speaking, George Steinbrenner made horrible decisions as an owner in the 80s and the Yankees suffered for it, but still some of those deals made sense at the time like signing Steve Sax and Ricky Henderson. With Dolan, nothing he does makes sense, that’s why every Knick fan spends half the season worrying how Dolan will find a way to fuck the team up even more. Why would anyone ever trade for Eddy Curry or Antonio McDyess after his knee exploded? And why would anyone trade for Steve Francis, when you’re point guard is Stephon Marbury? These are deals enacted by someone who has no idea what they’re doing, and have no idea that they have no idea. The icing on the cake comes when he fires employees who don’t know who he is and when he, and for firing Anucha Browne Sanders after Isiah Thomas had in fact sexually harassed her. Not only is the owner of the second most beloved team in the largest city in the country a moron when it comes to day to day operations, he’s a short-tempered child who flies off the handle with a questionable sense of morality.
Axl on the other hand, knows that he isn’t an idiot, which in some cases is just as bad as not knowing that you’re an idiot. In his case, he thinks that his modicum of self awareness is both the maximum amount of self awareness possible, and that it warrants him to be as domineering and controlling as he is. If James Dolan does things because he doesn’t know any better, than Axl Rose does things because he thinks he does in fact know better. The fact that Chinese Democracy came out in 2008 instead of in 1996 is a perfect example of it. The album had to be done Axl’s way regardless of if it was objectively good or not. If Chinese Democracy came out in 1996 it would have been one of the best albums of the 90s, but since it took 15 years to make, no one really cared once it came out. He wasn’t trying to fuck with us by holding out, it’s just that Axl wouldn’t release it until he thought it was perfect. As a result Chinese Democracy failed because he recorded and re-recorded it for his own standards not to ours, because to Axl his standards are all that matters. That’s why he thinks it’s ok that the original GNR dissipated over 15 years ago, because as long as Axl still has a vision, that’s all GNR needs to keep going. For Axl Rose, Guns N Roses, was never about coming together as a group, it was all about doing what Axl wanted to do. This is why he feels justified enough to fire anyone at the first sound of dissidence.
James Dolan is a three year old who doesn’t realize that they are a three year old even though their dad’s suit doesn’t fit them. Axl Rose is a three year old who thinks it’s ok to still act like a three year old so long as he knows that he’s acting like a three year old. Because of their shared mentally they’ve taken something that I and millions of others adore and shit all over it. No matter how much GNR and the Knicks mean to me one thing remains abundantly clear to me regarding the two. The Knicks will always falter so long as James Dolan has anything to do with them, and Guns N Roses stopped being Guns N Roses a long time ago.
 Now, when I mean literally, I mean as in actually. Not the Stephen A. Smith way where he described someone as being literally a brick wall.
 Examples include: Hiring Isiah Thomas as GM for no reason, competing against himself to resign Allan Houston, giving Thomas a raise and an extension, allowing Isiah Thomas to have seven guards on the roster at once, signing Eddy Curry, firing three good GMs, trying to trade Iman Shumpert for no reason, not knowing what the NBA draft is, throwing in additional draft picks and players to get Carmelo Anthony after a deal had already been in place.