Why Do Top Free Agents View Rangers, Knicks So Differently?

Why is it that top NBA free agents refuse to sign with the Knicks but top NHL free agents flock to the Rangers?

That was the hot topic at the start of Tuesday's "Boomer and Gio" show the morning after the Blueshirts signed former Columbus Blue Jackets star winger Artemi Panarin.

Both the Rangers and Knicks are owned by James Dolan, but one team is widely considered a first-class organization while the other has a reputation with many as being dysfunctional.

"Because it's the front offices of these teams," said Boomer Esiason, a Rangers fan. "The front offices of the Rangers have been under (former president) Glen Sather. You can say whatever you want. He didn't win a Cup here. OK, I get it. But they have always made moves that ... for the most part have made the Ranger fan exceptionally happy."

Esiason added that the "smartest thing" the Rangers did was bring John Davidson, a former Ranger with a track record of success as an executive in the NBA, in to replace Sather.

On WFAN on Monday, former Knick Charles Oakley, who was arrested following an altercation with security at Madison Square Garden in 2017 after Dolan ordered him to be removed from the arena, said that incident has had at least some impact on the way NBA players view the Knicks.

Gregg Giannotti, Esiason's co-host, said he doesn't believe Dolan is directly to blame for the Knicks wiffing on signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency this week.

"If you swapped the Knicks' and Nets' basketball situations, if the Nets had had the 17-win season, the Knicks had gone to the playoffs with guys like Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, Caris LeVert and so on, these guys (Durant and Irving) would've gone to the Knicks," Giannotti said. "They would have. Jim Dolan's presence wouldn't have changed that. So I don't think it's Jim Dolan that is giving the proverbial stiff-arm to these guys in free agency."