New Knicks or Nah?
Being a Knicks fan is not easy. There have been plenty of times where owner James Dolan has made moves that make you scratch your head. Do you remember when Isaiah Thomas was general manager? How about the time when he rehired Thomas to take charge of the New York Liberty after allegations that Thomas sexually harassed an employee. Basically, it seems like James Dolan has a group of people that he trusts and wants to give those people jobs. That is not necessarily a bad way to run a business; it just may not be the right way to run a basketball team. Of course there have been outliers along the way. Donnie Walsh was brought in as outsider to make the team into a contender. It ended up working out pretty well, until Mr. Dolan started meddling with the front office. The next ray of hope was a former championship winning coach named Phil Jackson. He was the man that had the pedigree to stop James Dolan from interfering with front office activities. The problem was Jackson did not know how to run a front office either. That leads us to the current state of the New York Knicks. They have “new” regime in and are looking to go get back to contending for a championship.
President – Steve Mills
This is the part of the front office that is not new at all. Mills has been with the New York Knicks since 2013, but also worked for Madison Square Garden from 2003-2009. Basically for the better part of the last 15 years Mills has been a part of the Knicks organization. The most important thing to know about Mills is that he has the trust of owner James Dolan. This means that anything the Mills does, as president will be directly from Dolan.
According to CBS New York, this is what James Dolan had to say about Mills “Today marks a culture change for our organization where we re-establish the pride, work ethic and responsibility that comes with playing for the Knicks and representing New York,” Knicks owner James Dolan said in a news release. “I’m confident Steve is the right person to take on this role, and ensure that we return to one of the elite teams in the NBA. He’s got an ambitious plan that centers on building a young team focused on player development, communication and teamwork.”
When we look at what Mills has accomplished since taking over control of the Knicks front office a few weeks ago. He is recklessly spending money on players that are not worth it. Just look at the contract for Tim Hardaway Jr., he was a solid player for the Knicks and had a breakout season last year in Atlanta. Was he really worth $71 million over 4 years? Right now it is too early to judge that, but that is a hefty price tag for a player that the Knicks traded for the draft rights to Jerian Grant.
The Mills hire is a way for owner James Dolan to have complete control over the franchise. All he has to do is tell Steve Mills that he wants a player and Mills will try his best to do it. Basically the puppet master is back at the helm and nothing could be more concerning than that. Knicks fans want something to cheer about, but James Dolan finds a way to squash any hope. This team has one of the most exciting players in basketball in Kristaps Porzingis, they need a front office willing to build around him.
General Manager – Scott Perry
Scott Perry brings a slight ray of hope for Knicks fans. That ray of hope is darkened when fans look at the last team that employed him. The Knicks may be the biggest joke in the NBA, but Perry’s former employer the Sacramento Kings come in a close second. The saving grace for Perry is that he was not in the Kings organization for too long. Scott Perry was hired on April 21, 2017 and became the Knicks General Manager on July 13, 2017. That is not a lot of time with an organization. During that time with the Kings, Perry seemed to be helping change the culture of the organization. He brought in players like Zach Randolph, Vince Carter, George Hill, De'Aaron Fox, and Justin Jackson. These are big moves for the Kings that were trying to find an identity after trading away DeMarcus Cousins.
Perry also has experience in building the Detroit Pistons roster that won a championship in 2004. That was the team with Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince. They took care of the Lakers in 5 games in the NBA Finals that year, in an unlikely feat. Perry also spent time with the Seattle SuperSonics and Orlando Magic as well. These are all good signs for Knicks fans. Maybe this is the voice that needs to be in the room to change the culture in New York. The other option is that he is the man that fills out the paperwork for Steve Mills.
According to CBS New York, this is what Steve Mills had to say about Scott Perry, “decision to bring Scott on as general manager is a critical first step in transforming this franchise,” Dolan said. “Scott brings tremendous skill and experience in helping to build winning basketball teams. He’ll immediately get to work adjusting our basketball operations department to make sure we have one of the most effective front office staffs in the NBA.”
The Knicks are at an interesting point in their transition away from Phil Jackson. The team is looking to trade Carmelo Anthony. Kyrie Irving seems interested in leaving Cleveland with New York as a destination. Mills and Perry need to find a way to start making changes for the better. If they could flip Anthony and a pick to get Irving, the Knicks would have a nice core of Porzingis, Irving and Tim Hardaway Jr. to build around. Championships are not built in a day, but they start somewhere. The new regime is put in place and beginning to work towards making the Knicks a formidable team again.