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Thursday, June 17, 2004

Marv Albert, journalist

NYT: Forget Salary, Albert's Honesty Cost Him the Job:
Dolan embraced the belief that MSG announcers should call games with a more positive, upbeat approach than those who have national assignments. In this case, two industry executives said, Albert angered Dolan by providing the same type of objective, somewhat critical call on MSG that he did for his National Basketball Association assignments on TNT and used to do on NBC.

"Jim felt all broadcasters had to be cheerleaders and sell tickets," said one of the executives, who also said that Dolan was also unhappy with Walt Frazier, Albert's former MSG partner, and John Davidson, the Rangers' longtime MSG analyst.

Last season, according to a confidant of Albert's, his superiors conveyed their belief that he was too negative and sought to have him minimize remarks about the Knicks' losses, turnovers and subpar shooting. He was told not to build up opponents and to refrain from speaking extensively about the firings of Don Chaney as coach and Scott Layden as general manager. There was even joking by the Knicks' production crew about not giving the final score if the team lost, the confidant said.

The confidant also said that Dolan reprimanded Albert for saying that management had "tortured and embarrassed" Chaney by dragging out his dismissal.

Albert was also reprimanded for suggesting during a game that a bad call ended up giving Stephon Marbury an extra free throw, the confidant said.

Albert, who declined to discuss the specifics yesterday from Los Angeles, said: "I felt at times like I was in the theater of the absurd, not the MSG Network. I felt like, what's going on here? This is a chapter in journalism about how a broadcast should not be handled."

James Dolan, what a schmegma.


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