Storyline: Knicks Front Office

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The feud between James Dolan and Charles Oakley continues into the courtroom. After Oakley was forcibly removed from Madison Square Garden last February, the Knicks owner responded by briefly banning him from Madison Square Garden, and mentioning Oakley has a drinking problem. Oakley responded to Dolan by bringing him to court for a defamation suit. He says what took place at the Knicks game in February was an unnecessary use of force on the part of Dolan, and MSG, along with calling him an alcoholic. Dolan’s attorneys are now filing a request to have the suit dismissed.

Dolan’s defense is that Oakley’s behavior at MSG that night required removal. He claims that Oakley took his seat and began insulting security. Amy Dash, a CBS Sports Legal Analyst, broke down the suit in detail on her website. In the three page letter to the court, Dolan’s attorneys accuse Oakley of having, “a long, documented history of altercations with law enforcement and security personnel” and called the February 8, 2017 incident at MSG, where Oakley clashed with MSG guards and was hauled out of the Garden screaming during a Clippers game, just the latest example of his “recidivist behavior.” Comparing him to a repeat offender, Dolan’s attorneys directed the court to another lawsuit filed in 2011 between Oakley and the Aria Resort and Casino which details, “prior incidents in which Oakley cursed, punched, kicked, and bit security guards trying to restrain him and threw a bystander’s camera into a hotel pool; punched a guard in the face; and sent a hotel employee to the hospital by throwing dice at his face.”

Knicks general manager Scott Perry wouldn’t address Kristaps Porzingis’ brother/agent’s comments to a Latvian magazine about Porzingis’ future with the team. Janis Porzingis made it seem that it was no slam dunk that Kristaps would sign an extension next summer. “I don’t really want to talk about that right now,” Perry said Wednesday night. “We’re looking forward and ahead. The time to talk about contract extensions, that’s far. We’re living in today. KP is playing some very good basketball right now. He’s playing well and he’s happy with this team. We’ll deal with all that stuff later. But no comment in terms of what was said because I really don’t know.”

Janis seemed to find it contradictory that Kristaps was labeled unprofessional while Anthony was lauded for the way he handled last season. “It’s interesting how many people who are even somehow involved in all of this, have criticized it afterward as something so unprofessional!! Just look at Melo, how he is handling things,” Janis said. “And I’m thinking, ‘wait a minute.’ In reality, if he for once decided to fight for something, we wouldn’t be in this situation and Kristaps wouldn’t be forced to take all the damage on himself. It wasn’t done for some personal interest or ambitions or dislike for someone, it was for the sake of overall peace. It should have been a task for the team’s leaders, but Melo and people around him never tried to change anything.”

Regarding his recent conversations with Hornacek, Mills said: “We told him to focus on getting the team better and finding ways to reduce the turnovers and make sure we’re improving defensively. That’s what our goal was. We didn’t focus on the record. Our focus is how we’re improving over the course of the season. If we do all the things from a defensive standpoint, wins will come out of that. I do believe it’s getting better.” And improvement is what Mills wants to see.

Shane Larkin is now in the Celtics’ rotation, playing 8 minutes per game, averaging five points and two assists. “He’s a great coach — obviously a great basketball mind,’’ Larkin told The Post of Jackson, who was fired after the draft. “Coach or GM, you have to have a great basketball mind. How many rings does he have? He could’ve been a great GM. Maybe he just had a few bad acquisitions. He had great ideas on what he wanted to do with the team. It didn’t work out, but that doesn’t change what he did — still a great coach. If he wants to come back and do it again, I’m sure someone would give him another opportunity and it might work somewhere else.’’

Larkin is now in the Celtics’ rotation, playing 8 minutes per game, averaging five points and two assists. He’s become a quick study under Kyrie Irving and faces the Knicks on Tuesday at TD Garden. “He’s a great coach — obviously a great basketball mind,’’ Larkin told The Post of Jackson, who was fired after the draft. “Coach or GM, you have to have a great basketball mind. How many rings does he have? He could’ve been a great GM. Maybe he just had a few bad acquisitions. He had great ideas on what he wanted to do with the team. It didn’t work out, but that doesn’t change what he did — still a great coach. “If he wants to come back and do it again, I’m sure someone would give him another opportunity and it might work somewhere else.’’
1 month ago via ESPN

Ian Begley: ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy was asked on a conference call about the Knicks this season and if he thought Kristaps Porzingis was ready to take the next step forward in his career: “I think the Knicks obviously have declared what they want to do, which is rebuild, and so much is going to be — this season is going to be about Porzingis and Hernangomez, their development, and Frank’s ability to learn the NBA quickly at a difficult position and get him significant minutes to grow. This is a great opportunity for Porzingis. Hopefully he can remain healthy. I did not think he made the jump that everyone expected last year. There was a lot of commotion and noise last year that surrounded the Knicks that didn’t have anything to do with winning or development, so this year hopefully it’s a calmer environment, but he’s got to take responsibility and accountability for doing what great players do, which is produce every night and unite your team through your effort and unselfishness.”

Adrian Wojnarowski: Jim Dolan made the decision to hire him, and Phil (Jackson) told him what it was going to be, which was, and I don’t think Dolan understood what he meant, which was ‘I’m bringing a system and a philosophy, this core of belief about how’re going to play. We’re gonna play with the triangle, and that’s gonna be an organizational mandate.” And in Phil’s mind, you talk with people around him, Phil somehow believed that the triangle would survive him in New York, that he would leave someday but they would continuing running the triangle, that the Knicks would be a triangle organization.

“I truly believe that teams that I’ve been a part of throughout my career,” Perry said, “I’ve just seen how important veteran players can be to younger players just from a mentoring standpoint, for setting the right example on and off the court for guys, being a sounding board for young guys because this is going to be a first for many young people on our team playing 82 games, what’s that like. It’s going to challenge their confidence, it’s going to challenge their physical bodies. To have enough guys in the locker room that had that experience before is very helpful for them to help them grow and help them push through adversity and obstacles.

New Knicks general manager Scott Perry said he believes the team’s fans will be satisfied with any result this season if they witness a franchise “establishing a direction” and fighting every game. “Fans in general respect teams who compete and fight hard every night,’’ Perry said in a pregame meeting with the traveling beat writers before the Knicks faced the Wizards in their second preseason game. “I think fans will respect that. We’ll see where that takes us. Nobody has a crystal ball, what that’s going to mean for results this year. Let that play out.

But while Ntilikina, this year’s lottery pick, was rehabilitating a contused knee and Porzingis was getting a rest day, Knicks general manager Scott Perry, entrusted with overseeing this rebuild, was here, getting a close-up at his arduous task. While the Wizards, bound for the playoffs were starting John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Marcin Gortat and Jason Smith as if they were in a playoff game, Perry was left with a glimpse of what life could be like this season. “We want to build the right way,” Perry said. “It’s like building a home. It takes time to establish that foundation. I’ve been around the league long enough and have enough experience that I’m comfortable and confident in that approach. “So I’m not going to waver on that. We’ll be opportunistic as we would along the way and just focusing on development and working hard and live with the results as we move forward.”

While general manager Scott Perry said the starting center job will be one of the most important battles of camp, he admitted something could happen in terms of a trade. Who knows if Kanter, 25, becomes more of a two-way player after his 33-pound weight loss and renders Hernangomez a trade chip down the road. Or if Kanter is flipped for draft picks at the trade deadline to a team desperate for inside scoring? “Part of my job is to daily assess our roster, take phone calls and figure out ways to keep getting this basketball team better,’’ Perry said during media day Monday. “So I will continue to do that.’’

There is also the matter of reports, including several from the Daily News that Porzingis’ relationship with Jeff Hornacek is on thin ice. Porzingis, who spoke to The News after he was spotted at a midtown eatery Sunday afternoon, declined to address the circumstances behind blowing off his end of the season meeting with Jackson, Hornacek and Steve Mills. The 22-year-old forward would only say, “Honestly, I would love for this year to be a new start. All I’m looking for is a fresh start and not to talk about that anymore.”

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim says Phil Jackson “chased” Carmelo Anthony out of New York and that the forward’s addition automatically makes the Oklahoma City Thunder a threat to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA’s Western Conference. “They’ve got two top-10 players [in Russell Westbrook and Paul George] and Carmelo, who’s No. 60 or whatever they got him rated,” Boeheim, who coached Anthony to the 2003 NCAA championship, told SNY.tv by phone on Saturday. “I think he’s still a top player, and I think Russell and Paul George make it easier for him to be able to do what he does.”

Asked if he thinks Anthony regrets not making the Knicks a championship contender after arriving in 2011, Boeheim said he did. “Yeah, he loved New York,” he said. “He wanted to come to New York, he wanted to get it done in New York. And he did everything he could to do it, and I don’t think he ever wanted to leave New York. “I think Phil Jackson chased him out, and didn’t leave him a good alternative. But I think both organizations came out of this good.”
2 months ago via ESPN

Thunder general manager Sam Presti and Knicks GM Scott Perry had been talking on and off about a possible deal for weeks. Talks intensified in the 24 hours before Saturday’s agreement, league sources said. As training camp loomed next week, Perry increasingly wanted no part of the circus that awaited his franchise with media day and Anthony’s arrival both on Monday. Around the organization and Anthony, there was a belief that the unresolved saga would become a suffocating daily issue. Perry started to feel the urgency of making a deal on Friday, and engaged Oklahoma City in more serious dialogue, league sources said.
2 months ago via ESPN

Once Anthony expanded his list of teams to include Cleveland and Oklahoma City within the past 10 days, Perry had more flexibility to move Anthony. Perry remained in contact with Portland Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey, who had the most versatile array of assets for New York and motivation to make the deal — but, ultimately, Anthony would not accept a trade to the Pacific Northwest. Anthony was intrigued with a potential partnership with Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, and the stability and track record of the front office and coaching staff in Portland, but did not want to make such a dramatic geographic shift, league sources said.

Perry, 53, is grateful for the opportunity after 17 years in NBA front offices. “You never know when your opportunity will come, if it will ever come, quite frankly,” he said. “Fortunately it did come in the form of New York, a historical franchise like the Knicks. I feel well-prepared for the opportunity and the job. Thirty years in the business, 13 years as a college coach, 17 years in the NBA, and not having skipped any steps as it relates to this business. It’s an exciting time, an exciting opportunity, one that I worked very hard for over the years.”

Perry had actually completed the move from Orlando to Sacramento when he got a call from the Knicks. “It has been very tough logistically, to put it mildly,” said Perry, who worked for more than a decade as Joe Dumars’s assistant with the Pistons. “When you consider moving cross country twice within a 3½-4-month period, that’s very difficult. Living in and out of hotels, packing, unpacking, selling a home, purchasing a home in Sacramento that I never moved into and have to sell now. It’s been very challenging, but I always take a step back and say it’s very well worth it because I’ve been blessed to get this opportunity. That quickly erases that angst over moving twice.”
2 months ago via ESPN

Ian Begley: In a blog written on a company website, Knicks GM Scott Perry described how his background as an athlete, coach and executive shapes his views and approach as general manager. He offers some insight into his thoughts on the future of the Knicks. “There are no shortcuts,” he writes. “Reshaping the Knicks as a championship contender will be a step-by-step process, and along the way, the plan will demand patience, as our young core of Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Willy Hernangómez, Frank Ntilikina and Ron Baker mature. But allow me to add a twist. I don’t view my job as an either-or proposition. A general manager — especially in today’s world of free agency and player movement — must always have his antenna up for all possibilities.” Perry didn’t mention any other Knicks in his blog, including Carmelo Anthony, whom the Knicks have hoped to trade.
2 months ago via ESPN

Jeff Hornacek isn’t the only member of the Knicks’ hierarchy to attend one of Carmelo Anthony’s New York City pickup games. Knicks president Steve Mills also attended a pickup game earlier this month featuring Anthony and other players at the Lifetime Athletic gym in Manhattan, league sources told ESPN. Mills’ and Hornacek’s attendance at these games is noteworthy because the Knicks have been looking to trade Anthony for months and Anthony, who has a no-trade clause, is open to being moved. New York has been unable to find a suitable deal with Anthony’s preferred destination, the Houston Rockets. It is unknown if Hornacek or Mills had any substantive discussions with Anthony on the day(s) they attended games. For what it’s worth, Mills last month wrote a long blog on a company website about his vision for the future of the club and didn’t mention Anthony.

For Scott Perry, the chance to help resurrect the Knicks is a long-awaited opportunity. While analytic-centric general managers with just a fraction of the front office experience were getting GM jobs, Perry was waiting patiently for his chance. Perry, 53, is grateful for the opportunity after 17 years in NBA front offices. “You never know when your opportunity will come, if it will ever come, quite frankly,” he said. “Fortunately it did come in the form of New York, a historical franchise like the Knicks. I feel well-prepared for the opportunity and the job. Thirty years in the business, 13 years as a college coach, 17 years in the NBA, and not having skipped any steps as it relates to this business. It’s an exciting time, an exciting opportunity, one that I worked very hard for over the years.”

Thomas was asked if he still gives Dolan advice on the Knicks. Though Mills and Thomas famously worked together once, their relationship deteriorated in the wake of the Anucha Browne Sanders sexual harassment suit. “I’m involved with the Liberty,’’ said Thomas, in Vegas promoting his new champagne. “I talk to him about the Liberty. I don’t talk to him about the Knicks. I respect authority and lines of authority. It would be inappropriate of me and not respectful of me to whoever’s in that job to voice my opinion about the Knicks – froma personnel or strategic standing. That’s’s not my place. I have to respect those lines of authority.’’

Thomas, also a former Knicks president who had a similarly inept stint, has resurfaced as Liberty president. The Garden’s WNBA tenant clinched their third straight playoff berth this week under Thomas. “There’ve been a lot of us who have come through New York that want to do well,’’ Thomas said in Las Vegas for the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor bout and appearing on The MMA Hour radio show. “For whatever reason we didn’t do well. I look at Phil before he got to New York – how he was respected in the game. And that’s the Phil Jackson I choose to remember. That’s on the real.”

Phil Jackson to Peter Vecsey: Peter, I heard your message via voice mail. I’m glad you’re going to get back in the mix and begin writing again. It’s a new world out there, but I don’t consider it journalism. However, sports writing has always been a mix of opinionating and you were one of the best. For my own part, I’m not able, yet, to begin opining. However, I’m still on hold about WTF just went down the past 3 years of Knick basketball. In that regard, I’m not angry, but disappointed I couldn’t fulfill the mission. Winning is a priority in NY and I couldn’t get those guys into at least a 500% season so we could get some free space to rebuild.

New York Knickerbockers announced today the hiring of the following front office personnel: Gerald Madkins has been named assistant general manager, Craig Robinson as vice president, player development and G League operations, Harold Ellis as director, player personnel, Michael Arcieri as director, basketball strategy and Fred Cofield as scout. “Last month, the day after I was hired, I started a full evaluation of the entire basketball operations staff,” Knicks General Manager Scott Perry said. “My first goal was to build-up the highest level front office in the NBA. We are adding a host of highly-regarded and respected basketball people to work with the Knicks to fortify the franchise for years to come.”

Williams, the Magic’s co-founder and senior VP, couldn’t imagine Perry’s captivating ride since his Magic departure that followed the franchise’s worst five-season stint in history. “He’s here for five years, working as a right-hand man to [former GM] Rob Hennigan,’’ Williams told The Post. “He was very behind the scenes, the invisible guy. Don’t think he was ever quoted. Suddenly he’s extremely visible. Quoted more in the last two weeks than his entire career.

Three months ago, the Orlando Magic relieved the then-executive vice president of his duties. Shortly afterward, the Sacramento Kings hired Perry as their executive vice president of basketball operations. And after sparking the long-rebuilding Kings to their best offseason in years, Perry on Monday will be introduced as Knicks GM, his dream job that he worked 30 years to land. “To have this opportunity to come to New York in the role of general manager, personally, it’s a very humbling time too,” Perry told The Undefeated in an exclusive interview. “I have been grinding in the game for 30 years. I spent 13 years as a college coach. I have had the peaks and valleys and all in-between.

The Kings have struggled to land quality free agents for years. But sources said Perry, who has a strong relationship with agents and players, played a pivotal role in the signing of veteran forward Vince Carter, veteran forward-center Zach Randolph and point guard George Hill, who started for the Utah Jazz last season. Suddenly, the Kings aren’t a laughingstock anymore and appear to be finally in the right direction, with Perry getting much of the credit nationally.

“Scott is a great guy and he will be very approachable and talkative for you guys [in the media],” one NBA front-office type told The Post. “He has great contacts around the league and is tremendous relating to players. “The question after Orlando is his judgment in putting teams together. He’s a very nice guy, a big résumé, but you can argue Orlando is coming off its worst five-year stretch in their history. So you can view the move as questionable.”

The Knicks will hold a news conference Monday to introduce Perry and perhaps provide a plan for the franchise moving forward. “I will work tirelessly to develop a culture that demands results, commitment and pride from everyone fortunate enough to be associated with our team — from our staff to our players,” Perry said in a statement after the Knicks hired him. “Nothing comes close to Madison Square Garden for basketball and it is our right and responsibility to showcase that tradition of excellence, day and night. I can’t wait to get started.”

A league source said Perry would let Hornacek run whatever offense he wants, and he wouldn’t meddle. In many of the interviews Perry has given recently, he speaks about having no agendas and the importance of having good relationships with people. “You chuck all individual agendas and leave them at the door when you come into the office,” Perry said in an interview with the Kings.com, the Sacramento Kings website, in May. “Once you come into this office, we’re working together, it’s always fun.

“His decision to bring Scott on as general manager is a critical first step in transforming this franchise. 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,” Dolan added. “As Steve and Scott move forward, I will continue to not be involved in the operations of the team.”

The New York Knicks are in advanced talks with Sacramento Kings executive vice president of basketball operations Scott Perry about making him their general manager, four people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because a deal had not been finalized. The Kings are seeking cash compensation for Perry, the longtime executive who had made a significant impact in his short time in Sacramento. Perry, who was fired by the Orlando Magic in mid-April as part of a front office overhaul that included then-general manager Rob Hennigan, joined the Kings on April 21 and played a pivotal part in their successful summer.
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Lillard says the two never had a problem, and that Aldridge has already heard everything he says in this article. Lillard’s point in bringing up his experience with Aldridge is that it helped shape his approach in how to mentor Nurkic. “Me and LaMarcus had a good relationship. We never had a single argument. We really got along,’’ Lillard said. “I’m just saying the stuff I want to go out of my way to do for (Nurkic), is the stuff I wish I got from LaMarcus.’’