• Victor Sabatel

OTG Series: Hire or Fire - New York Knicks Edition


Sports Illustrated

For the first time ever, Off the Glass writers will be making some executive decisions regarding their favorite (or least favorite) teams, in the form of one suggested team hiring and a single team firing.

While all basketball fans can complain about the players on the court, we here at OTG are turning the blame game into an off-the-court naming exercise, where we can share our gripes with non-player personnel and offer meaningful suggestions for improvement.

Every organizational position is available here, aside from the players. Coaches, assistants, executives, video coordinators, scouts, even the mascots; everyone's resumes are on the table.

Without further ado, here is today's Hire or Fire piece on the New York Knicks.

Hire: Jonathan Givony (Assistant Director of Scouting)

Givony is a sentimental pick for me even though his resume speaks for itself. For the uninitiated Givony is the founder and former president of Draftexpress.com, the NBA’s preeminent draft blog. Givony started Draftexpress back in 2004 as a freshman in college.

Fast forward 15 years later, Givony’s site is now providing a private scouting and analytics service used by professional and collegiate coaches across the globe, Givony has recently become an NBA Draft analyst for ESPN. I’m old enough to remember a time before smartphones and tablets; I can’t tell how much time I spent glued to my home computer combing through sites like draftexpress.com, hoopshype.com, and NBADraft.net trying to keep up with the latest news.

Watching Givony transition from an “armchair” prognosticator to trusted draft authority has been equal parts encouraging and liberating. Sentimentality aside, Givony is well equipped to jump into a leadership position within an organization’s scouting department. One of the benefits of Givony’s time at Draftexpress was accessibility and networking; every high school tournament, every college combine, every international playoff, Givony’s has seen them all. These unique relationships with coaches,scouts, and trainers across the high school, college, and professional landscape will only serve to inform his decision making.

Givony is also well versed in sports analytics, Draftexpress was one of the first basketball sites to include advanced analytics in their player evaluations. Givony isn’t your typical scouting hire, but that might be just what the Knicks need.

Fire: James Dolan (Owner)

I hate to beat a dead horse, but James Dolan is the obvious choice, even though the recent hirings of Scott Perry, Steve Mills, and David Fizdale have me cautiously optimistic about the direction of the franchise. Optimism is not a term Knicks fans throw around lightly.

Knicks fandom can be broken down into two periods; B.D. stands for “before Dolan” and A.D. stands for “after Dolan.” B.D.Knicks failed to make the playoffs a total of six times in the 20 years before Dolan took over. The A.D. Knicks have made the playoffs a total of seven times in Dolan’s first 21 years in office. Knicks fans have been living with this shame since the 2000 season, for younger fans, the dysfunction and losing are all they know. Each season seemingly worse than the next with seeds of hope scattered in between the chaos.

The front office, coaches, and the players have all changed throughout the seasons; the common denominator in all of this is Dolan. I don’t think I’ve seen a more vilified NY sports figure, the Knicks are the laughing stock of the NBA and have been so for quite some time.

The worst part of it all is that in the midst of all of this carnage, Forbes had the Knicks as the NBA’s highest valued team in 2019 at $4 billion. The reality for Knick fans is James Dolan isn’t going anywhere. Dolan also owns the hockey franchise the New York Rangers who have had success after a rocky start under his tenure. New York loves a redemption story; maybe Dolan has learned his lesson and starts leaving the basketball decisions to basketball people.

#VictorSabatel #NBA #NewYorkKnicks #JamesDolan #JonathanGivony #Knicks #HireorFire