James Dolan has always been a bizarre guy, but what he did this past Friday night is creepy even for him. As his New York Knicks were taking on the Chicago Bulls, Dolan reportedly had two employees spy on Carmelo Anthony. Yes, you read that correctly. The Knicks owner asked two of his employees to eavesdrop and keep track of a third employee.
As reported by David D’Alessandro of The Star-Ledger:
Two audio technicians were stationed at two corners of the court — one a few feet just behind the Knicks bench, the other diagonally opposite — and they were holding those umbrella-shaped contraptions known as parabola microphones, which fed the audio into a DAT recorder on the truck on the loading dock.
These guys had one directive from Dolan: Record every syllable Carmelo Anthony utters and absorbs while he’s on the court and on the bench, the Madison Square Garden CEO ordered them, and send the tape directly to me.
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While the act probably doesn’t constitute a workplace violation per se, even George W. Bush’s most ardent supporters must see the weirdness at work here. Whatever his motivation for this may have been, no matter how noble, listening in on someone’s conversations is extremely shady. Even if you are doing it just to prove to the NBA that the taunts being directed at Anthony in the post-Kevin Garnett Era (as D’Alessandro suspects might the case) are over the line, the good natured motivation behind the idea doesn’t justify it.
The NBA mics players up on a regular basis for TV purposes, but that is with the players knowing that they are being listened in on. This is completely different.
Obviously nobody will investigate this matter because it is a player whose rights are getting messed with and not anyone important, but in a just world, somebody would look into what Dolan purportedly did this past Friday.