Alan Hahn and his defense of Rachel Nichols

Guest post by JB from The Knicks Finest Podcast

I love Love LOVE Alan Hahn. He’s been my #1 media personality for at least 10yrs+. At least. I can’t tell you how many times I hear a take of his and I’m like “dammit man, I just said that yesterday” or “the day before” or whatever. For example, the first time I heard him use the word “unlocks” referring to a point guard creating opportunities for another player, I had recently used that word in my podcast “The Knicks Finest Podcast” (shameless plug) just a few days earlier. I am usually on the same page with my Knicks media hero but unfortunately, I just can’t rock with him on this one.

Alan Hahn and Rachel Nichols

This passed Tuesday , March 9th (RIP Biggie), Hahn went live on his Facebook page, “The Knicks Fix”, as he often does to chop it up with his followers, known as ‘the fixers’, of which I am proudly one. He had a “family meeting”, a conversation where he proceeded to try to get Knicks fans to take it easy on Rachel Nichols of ESPN, a friend and colleague of his. Now Rachel Nichols is notoriously known in the Knicks fanbase as a high-profile troll with a national, if not international, platform. She seemingly never lets an opportunity go by where she can jab and poke fun of the Knicks’ struggles as we suffer through year after year of dysfunction in our front office. Now I don’t know how hard on Rachel the people were but let me say first and foremost that this is basketball. It’s entertainment. It’s for fun. I do not condone any personal disrespect, misogyny or any form of hate at all. Rachel Nichols did not just fill out an application online and get the job. She is where she is because of hard work, persistence, sacrifice and fearless risk. She has worked her way to the top in a “mans” business and overcame the odds, obstacles and opposition to be where she is today. I respect that immensely. With that said, Alan, please spare me the straw man fallacy in the video and allow me to explain my position as a Knicks fan for over 35years.

Rachel Nichols has trolled the Knicks and kicked us when we were down for too long. There’s a difference between calling it like you see it and flat out trolling. Were the Knicks horribly mismanaged over the years? Absolutely. Were they a losing franchise because of it? Yes. Did Dolan and management care? You would be a liar to say no. The Knicks have taken risks and made decisions over the years that didn’t work out. Fine. The Knicks missed on some draft picks. So did everyone else. We deserve our fair share of clowning but to initiate it and ke-ke it up with rivals like Paul Pierce, Scottie Pippen and Richard Jefferson among others? Come on. You must know the losing won’t last forever but you bet against everything the Knicks do.  So, finally, it looks like Dolan did something right and hired the right people. It shows on the court and the city is getting hopeful and excited again and now you’re telling us she liked us all along and her husband is a NYK fan? Now? We’re hearing of this now? If I knew that when she was crapping on us, that would’ve helped me know where it was coming from. I’ve heard Stephen A Smith criticize the Knicks too. It even became a thing on ESPN to get his take on whatever the Knicks’ transaction was. I don’t remember the last draft pick (other than RJ Barrett) SAS liked, but we always knew where his frustrations came from. I’ve heard Kenny Smith criticize but he always keeps it professional. He beat us in the finals and yet you can tell he wants his hometown Knicks to do well still. As you referenced, he said his son hasn’t seen the Knicks be good. It’s true and we accept it and know it’s not an insult or a joke because we know Kenny. Alan Hahn, you yourself criticized the Knicks over the years but your fandom will never be in question. You are one of our own. We always knew what it was with those guys and others but now Rachel gets a pass because she was a low-key fan all along? Did you say she had passion?  Nah brother, miss me with that one. Truthfully, looking at the 2nd half of the schedule, barring a significant roster addition, odds are against the Knicks doing well and getting in the playoffs. If they fall, let’s see if that passion is still there.

Trust me, it’s not that I’m being sensitive, it’s just that the trolling was so unsolicited. She made fun of Knick fans for being Knick fans and encouraged others to do the same when her focus should’ve been to attack the front office and show empathy once in a while, you know, if she had passion for the team. She and Max Kellerman are on their own, and trust we see the whole “I was just talking about Dolan” explanation on the horizon with Kellerman with every Knicks’ win. He does the same thing. Make fun of fans because of management. Michael Rappaport will be welcomed back because we understand why he left. When the Knicks get good, he can come home. He’s a lifer. We’ll bust his balls a little but he’s family. We get it. See, Rappaport crapped on the Knicks too, but we knew what it was.

 Before anyone gets excited, I don’t speak for every Knicks fan, I’m just telling you how it is. Do I want the media to talk positively about us, of course I do. I’ve been waiting for that for years, but honestly, I want to leave media no choice other than to speak positively about us. I want to make Rachel have to do it because of our success because when we’re good, she’ll need us more than we need her, and honestly this looks like preemptive positioning for that time. Knicks fans have been waiting a long time to be talked about positively by media, not just Rachel Nichols or the trolls who made fun of us fans. We’re not looking to be accepted by the dumb jocks and cheerleaders at the cool table. We’re trying to make our table the cool table again.

Listen, I’ll never question Hahn’s credibility, validity etc. and I’ll always be a fixer, but this just looks like Hahn looking out for his friend and she’s going to have to lay in the bed she made. I don’t think you’ll ever endear the fans towards Rachel Nichols. I can’t lie, you do hold a lot of weight. Let’s see what happens.


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