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DeBusschere Lashes Out at Owners of Knicks

January 08, 1986

Dave DeBusschere, fired last Friday as the New York Knicks' executive vice president and director of basketball operations, Tuesday blasted the owners of the NBA team for preventing him from performing his duties.

In an emotional one-hour news conference in a midtown Manhattan restaurant, DeBusschere claimed he was the scapegoat for Gulf & Western, the owners of Madison Square Garden.

"I feel maligned, not by the tough luck of physical injuries on our ballclub or at times those most personal comments about my alleged inaction," he said. "I feel maligned rather by the big business structure of those who restricted my way, or any other general manager's way, of intelligently and instinctively creating a great basketball organization and championship team.

"I contend and insist that running a big business and running a professional basketball team, although both rely on business acumen, truly have nothing to do with each other. I was never given the opportunity to truly exercise my good judgment on basketball matters in the present organization run by a big business machine, and I stand here today feeling maligned and terribly disappointed that I was prevented from performing my duties."

DeBusschere denied responsibility for moves made by the team this season that have been heavily criticized by the media.

"Ever since big business became involved with the Knickerbockers we have never had a truly championship cast and it is not coincidental," DeBusschere said.

"I was not the person responsible for signing Bill Cartwright to a six-year contract. I was not the person responsible for Patrick Ewing's contract. I was not the person responsible for the delay in signing Albert King. And I was not the person responsible for the delay in signing Louis Orr. I participated in all of those decisions, but I tell you today that if I could have operated under a normal structure, different results would have occurred."

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