Storyline: Knicks Front Office

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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.

“It’s tough to see anybody go, but I knew a change was going to be made,’’ O’Quinn said after dropping in on the Knicks summer-league team Wednesday to take photos. “We didn’t know what. We knew something had to be done. That’s what they chose to do. I wish Phil the best, of course. In any organization, no matter who it is, you hate to see somebody go. “[But] you could just sense it. We had a great team last year and things — the media, you blew things up a bit. I think the only way to get that negative stuff out is something had to be done. Not saying Phil was negative, but something had to be done to let the situation be at ease.’’

Clarence Gaines Jr., former Knicks president Phil Jackson’s top adviser, reacted angrily when asked about an NBA TV video that some allege shows him and GM Steve Mills laughing at Carmelo Anthony’s workout tape. The tape showed Anthony doing running drills on a soccer field in Chelsea at 1:45 a.m. Sunday, taken by former Knicks developmental coach Chris Brickley and posted on his Twitter account. “I’m not commenting on that — get the f–k out of here with that,” Gaines said when surrounded by reporters.
3 weeks ago via ESPN

New York Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek doesn’t believe the franchise will trade young star Kristaps Porzingis. Ex-team president Phil Jackson had discussed the possibility of trading Porzingis with several teams prior to the draft, but no deal materialized. “I think it was out there that Phil was listening but he wasn’t out shopping KP. We love KP and what he does so I don’t see him going anywhere,” Hornacek said on Sunday afternoon following the Knicks’ Summer League game.

Do you worry about Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri departing for the New York Knicks? DeRozan: I don’t worry about that. I think [he stays]. I look at it like, if I’m New York who is the next best guy you could go after? It’s Masai. Why wouldn’t they want to target him? I don’t look at it like it’s a bad thing. Masai has that reputation because he is great at what he does. That organization wants to be great so they can feel like they can compete. So, what is the first thing you do? You go look for the next great person.
4 weeks ago via ESPN

Ian Begley: Kentucky head coach John Calipari reached out to knicks through intermediaries to express interest in the Knicks presidency, per ESPN league sources. The Knicks do not have interest in Calipari at the moment, per league sources. Presumably, Calipari would want to coach as well if he took over as president. The Knicks parted ways with president Phil Jackson earlier this week. Current GM Steve Mills is handling the club’s day-to-day operations and is expected to lead them through free agency.
4 weeks ago via ESPN

Ian Begley: Jeff Hornacek was asked if the Knicks would still be looking for players to fit a specific system, as they had at times under Phil Jackson. “I think we’re all on the same page. (GM) Steve (Mills) and I talked. I talked with (owner) Jim (Dolan). We’re all on the same page. When you move forward and you look at your team, maybe you’re looking at guys the same, maybe you’re looking at them differently. I don’t think you necessarily need to look at ‘Does a guy fit this system or that system?’ It’s: ‘Can this guy play ball, can we mold him into what we want to do?'”
4 weeks ago via ESPN

Jackson was supposed to recruit free agents, and instead he chased them away. One longtime league official said the other day that while he agreed with Jackson’s desire to trade Anthony to start a true makeover, he couldn’t understand why the Knicks president went out of his way to trash the forward at every turn. “Doesn’t he understand that Carmelo still has a really big voice amongst the players in this league?” the official asked. “No, Carmelo isn’t the same player he once was, but LeBron and Chris Paul and a lot of very important stars really like and respect him. So what do you think those guys are going to say when Phil tries to recruit them to New York?”

A somber and shaken-looking Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek thanked Phil Jackson for hiring him 13 months ago and called it “a tough day for us.’’ Speaking at the end of the Knicks’ first summer-league practice in Orlando, Hornacek would not take questions from the media, only willing to make a quick statement about Jackson’s sudden firing Wednesday morning. Hornacek, hired last May, stays in his position as general manager Steve Mills takes over day-to-day operations for the franchise.

Dolan’s interest in Toronto executive Masai Ujiri is real, not to mention the preferred choice of the folks inside the NBA’s league offices who want nothing more than this Knicks machine to run smoothly one day. There’s already a built-in connection as well: Tim Leiweke, the former CEO of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment group who hired Ujiri as Toronto’s general manager in 2013, is serving as a Knicks consultant. He’s the CEO of the sports and entertainment consulting firm, the Oak View Group, as well as a partner of Irving Azoff, the longtime friend of Dolan’s who played a significant role in bringing Jackson to the Knicks.

Mr. Jackson is leaving his post as President of Basketball Operations, effective immediately. “After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction,” said Mr. Dolan. “Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive.
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