James L. Dolan, executive chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company, announced today that Steve Mills has been named president of the New York Knickerbockers. Mr. Mills announced that Scott Perry has been named the team’s general manager.
“Today marks a culture change for our organization where we reestablish the pride, work ethic and responsibility that comes with playing for the Knicks and representing New York,” Mr. Dolan said. “I’m confident that Steve is the right person to take on this role, and ensure that we return to one of the elite teams of the NBA. He’s got an ambitious plan that centers on building a young team focused on player development, communication and teamwork.
“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.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Scott Perry has agreed to a five-year contract to become New York's general manager, league sources tell ESPN.
Tommy Beer: The Knicks now have the rights to just one second-round pick over the next four years (thru the 2021 NBA draft). twitter.com/TommyBeer/stat…
Jeff Zillgitt: This is the kind of job Scott Perry has sought for some time now. Helped Kings in short time and will try to do same with the Knicks. twitter.com/sam_amick/stat…
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Sacramento, New York still working out terms of financial compensation to clear way for Perry to take Knicks' GM job. twitter.com/wojespn/status…
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.
David Aldridge: Deal between Kings VP Scott Perry & Knicks for vacant NY GM gig is not done but heading that way. Perry one of most respected execs in game.
Sam Amick: Kings are waiting on word of Scott Perry's future after granting him permission to speak with Knicks. Unclear if they'd seek compensation.
The Sacramento Kings granted the Knicks permission to meet with Perry, and the two sides sat down in New York on Thursday, league sources said. There is no agreement yet in place, according to league sources.
The Knicks are recruiting Perry with a promotion to the GM title, and Kings ownership has shown a willingness to allow Perry to leave for a more prominent title and dream job in New York, league sources said. Perry would report to Steve Mills, who will elevate to Knicks president, according to sources.
A Knicks official would not comment on it, but two people who have been in talks with the team said that they were told that Steve Mills will make the official move up to team president and that a general manager to fill the role he held the last three years has been selected. But there was no word on exactly who the pick is.
If the Knicks move internally the most logical name would be Allan Houston, a favorite of Garden Chairman James Dolan, who has served as assistant general manager and then added the role of general manager of the team’s developmental league team, the Westchester Knicks.
As the David Griffin flirtation demonstrated, the Knicks already have their successor to former president Phil Jackson. According to sources debriefed on their front-office search, owner James Dolan is moving forward with a plan that has Steve Mills remaining as the permanent president. No negotiations have taken place yet between the Knicks and Mills.
In a move that was as baffling as it was predictable, the Knicks reportedly refused to grant autonomy over basketball decisions to David Griffin, who, as a result, took his name out of the running for the GM job, a source confirmed.
A source told the Daily News that one of Griffin’s requests was to remove Allan Houston, who has been with the Knicks as a player or an executive for the majority of the last 20 years. With Dolan’s support as one of the owner’s all-time favorite players (remember that $100 million contract extension), Houston rapidly ascended in New York’s front office and many believe he’s being groomed as the next GM under Mills.
Further, multiple sources close with Griffin said he’d require hiring his own front-office staff from Cleveland, including Trent Redden, the Cavs former VP of Basketball Operations. But apparently Mills’ power is not only persisting, it’s growing. He already left a lasting imprint on this team by signing Tim Hardaway Jr. to a four-year, $71 million deal.
Al Iannazzone: League source confirms that David Griffin has removed his name consideration from a position in the Knicks front office.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin has pulled his name out of the New York Knicks' front office search, a source told The Undefeated's Marc Spears.
Sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that Griffin and the Knicks were at odds over Griffin not having full authority on basketball decisions and Griffin preferring to bring in his own staff.
Jeff Zillgitt: Working for Dolan wouldn't have been an issue for David Griffin, who worked for Robert Sarver & Dan Gilbert. He wants front-office autonomy.
Griffin is expected to do television basketball analysis next season and has no other possible NBA job opportunities at the moment.
Marc J. Spears: Ex-Cavs GM David Griffin has pulled his name out of the Knicks' GM and president search after he couldn't come to agreement on the right role with the franchise, a source told The Undefeated.
After several conversations and a dinner meeting with franchise executive Steve Mills on Friday, the New York Knicks are progressing toward opening contract negotiations with David Griffin to become the team's next general manager, league sources told ESPN. Griffin, the ex-Cleveland Cavaliers GM, traveled to New York this weekend to meet with Mills, with whom Griffin has continued to discuss the shaping of a potential Knicks partnership.
Griffin is also expected to meet with owner James Dolan in the near future, league sources said. In the wake of Phil Jackson's departure as president of basketball operations, Mills is expected to move into the president's title -- with Griffin, if he becomes GM, taking over the primary responsibilities of running basketball operations, league sources said.
The Knicks’ free-agency plan changed when Phil Jackson was removed as team president. General manager Steve Mills is running the basketball department now. Instead of looking for players who fit the triangle, Mills is said to be seeking young, athletic players, and his first big move in free agency was to try to bring back someone Jackson traded two years ago.
“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.’’
Knicks are reluctant to pull the trigger on an Anthony blockbuster until a new president is hired. The Houston Chronicle reported no “active talks’’ between the Knicks and Rockets are taking place.
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.
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.
Jackson didn’t text a lot of players after he was dismissed, but he texted Ndour, whom the Knicks cut hours before free agency Friday after their second summer-league practice. Had Ndour, 25, lasted until midnight, his $1.3M pact would have been guaranteed. “Basically they needed some space in the salary cap,’’ Ndour said after the Knicks explained the decision. “That’s what they say. It had nothing to do with basketball. Just business.’’
“All I can say is Phil is the main reason I was here with the Knicks,’’ Ndour said when asked if this would’ve happened had Jackson not been canned. “Whether I’d stay with the Knicks or not, I have no idea. Ndour said he was surprised at the firing. “But it’s the nature of the business. He texted me and wished me good luck. I got caught in the NBA budget zone.’’
Marc Berman: Knicks acting president Steve Mills declined comment. "Not talking." Hasn't spoken since arriving in Orlando three days ago.
Ramona Shelburne: Also this weekend, Knicks had initial phone interview w/ former Cavs GM David Griffin. He's expected to interview in person w/in a few weeks
Steve Mills, a survivor of several regimes because of his closeness with James Dolan, has been trying to convince the owner that he should be elevated to team president. In other words, the Knicks search for their next executive would only be for a GM to serve under Mills, rather than replacements for Jackson and Mills.
Mills has worked at the Garden under multiple job titles since 1999 – not counting a four-year hiatus – and has survived lots of losing and an $11.6 million lawsuit levied against MSG by Anucha Browne Sanders. But most importantly, he has Dolan’s ear. Mills is part of a trusted small circle.
However, according to ESPN, Griffin’s hiring “likely” means he is moved to GM and Mills ascends to team president. A source said such a partnership could only work if Mills was tasked with the business, budget and politics of the team, thus leaving Griffin alone to build a roster. “A buffer between Dolan and the GM,” the source said.
Steve Kyler: Summer League buzz... Knicks have explored options to open cap space. They are a team to watch. Steve Mills is running things his way.
As the ashes from Phil Jackson’s tenure blow away, GM Steve Mills is making a bold power play to run the Knicks, a source told the Daily News.
Mills, a survivor of several regimes because of his closeness with James Dolan, has been trying to convince the owner that he should be elevated to team president. In other words, the Knicks search for their next executive would only be for a GM to serve under Mills, rather than replacements for Jackson and Mills.
A source said such a partnership could only work if Mills was tasked with the business, budget and politics of the team, thus leaving Griffin alone to build a roster. “A buffer between Dolan and the GM,” the source said.
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.
According to an NBA source, the Knicks will make no move on Carmelo Anthony until a new president is in place to succeed Phil Jackson. As a result, an interested team such as the Rockets, who just acquired Anthony’s buddy Chris Paul, are on hold. Knicks GM Steve Mills is running the front office as the club enters free agency with a murky future.
Steve Kyler: Was told Knicks have cast a very wide net on possible new leadership, but nothing expected to happen quickly. Steve Mills running things
Steve Kyler: Was also told talk of Masai Ujiri and Sam Presti was more "pie in the sky" than substantive. There is a reason ($) those names got mentioned
David Griffin, who parted ways with the Cleveland Cavaliers as general manager last week, is a candidate to join the New York Knicks' front office, sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. The Knicks are assembling a list of candidates they'll speak to. That process is ongoing, but Griffin has had an initial conversation with the Knicks and is expected to have more talks when the team moves to the next level of the process, sources said.
In addition, the team is not expected to ask for permission to speak with Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri, sources told Shelburne.
Kentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari has reached out to the New York Knicks through intermediaries to express interest in the team's vacant president of operations role, sources said Thursday. The Knicks, who parted ways with Phil Jackson on Wednesday, do not have interest in Calipari at the moment, sources said.
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.
Isiah Thomas: I'm not interested in joining @nyknicks. I'm happy with the @nyliberty & NBATV. I wish the best for the Knicks and @PhilJackson11
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?'"
Another name that has been mentioned internally as a candidate is Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti, sources told ESPN. The Knicks would likely need to offer compensation to OKC for Presti, who is currently under contract.
Frank Isola: One person close to the Knicks described Isiah Thomas as a "dark horse candidate" to become Knicks president.
Frank Isola: Charley Rosen also wrote that a big reason for Phil's firing "was the furious bias against him on the part of the New York media." Classic.
And for the first time since he assumed control of the Raptors, Ujiri’s future is actually a question. The organization is quietly projecting confidence that Ujiri won’t leave, but that’s either overconfidence or naiveté. Last year, Brooklyn inquired through intermediary parties about Ujiri, but it never reached any formal stages, bottomless resources be damned. A second team called last year and was politely rebuffed. Those weren’t serious.
Ryan Wolstat: Good reporting. Also heard today Knicks think they have him and one source from another team thinks it will happen for a first.
The New York Knicks' focus over the next few weeks will be on free agency, and not on a replacement for departed team president Phil Jackson, league sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. General manager Steve Mills was leading the front office in talks with other teams on Wednesday, sources said.
Any discussion with Ujiri -- who is facing a potential rebuild of his own should the Raptors lose free agents Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, PJ Tucker and Patrick Patterson -- would first require permission and then steep compensation (such as draft picks), which league sources said was unlikely for the Knicks, given their current roster construction.
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.
There were the familiar Knicks faces who will always have a voice, too, no one moreso than Isiah Thomas. In the wake of the Jackson departure, the rumblings grew quickly that the former Knicks executive who has always been so close with Dolan could have a chance of returning here. It would be a predictable about-face for Dolan, whose five-year, $60 million hiring of Jackson in March of 2014 was widely seen as a change from his dysfunctional ways.
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.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Knicks owner James Dolan is targeting Toronto's Masai Ujiri to replace Phil Jackson as N.Y.'s President, league sources tell @TheVertical.
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.
Marc Stein: In Knicks news: League sources say former Raptors exec Tim Leiweke is poised to help them as an advisor in wake of Phil Jackson's exit.
The New York Knicks and team president Phil Jackson will announce that they're parting ways early Wednesday morning, sources told ESPN. Conversations about what was best for the team's future between Jackson and Knicks owner James Dolan accelerated this week when the franchise decided it would not buy out embattled forward Carmelo Anthony, sources said.
It had become clear, sources said, that Jackson had no plans to remain beyond the two years left on the five-year contract he initially signed in 2014. So with no clear path forward from the toxic situation with Anthony, a constant public relations war over Jackson's preferred triangle offense, and new concerns about the organization's relationship with Latvian phenom and 2015 No. 4 overall pick Kristaps Porzingis, sources said it was clear things had reached a breaking point by the eve of free agency.
Ramona Shelburne: Knicks and President Phil Jackson are expected to announce that they're parting ways early Wednesday morning, sources told ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Update: Knicks, Phil Jackson partnership could end as soon as Wednesday, league sources tell @The Vertical.
Jackson had no plans to work beyond the two years remaining on his contract, and with no clear end to the stalemate with Anthony in sight, discussions with Dolan accelerated late Tuesday night.
Ramona Shelburne: Phil had obviously made it known he thought it was time for the organization to move on from Carmelo, but with no way of doing that, and no plans to lead the organization beyond the remaining two years on his contract, Jackson and Dolan had to decide how to proceed
Adrian Wojnarowski: Owner James Dolan is weighing the future of Phil Jackson as New York Knicks President, league sources tell @The Vertical. Story online soon.
No final decision had been made on Jackson’s future late Tuesday night, but Dolan is harboring uncertainties about how much longer to commit to Jackson as the organization’s top basketball decision-maker, league sources told The Vertical.
Dolan has become increasingly concerned about Jackson’s fitness for the job and the long-term prospects of success for the franchise, especially in the aftermath of Jackson entertaining trades for Kristaps Porzingis, the franchise’s 21-year-old burgeoning star, league sources told The Vertical.
Ramona Shelburne: Following up on @WojVerticalNBA report re: Phil Jackson. Knicks sources indicate to ESPN clarity on his future expected in the morning.
Phil Jackson's too damn old to lead an NBA franchise and it's high time the Knicks kicked his geriatric ass to the curb ... so says ex-NBA baller Kenyon Martin, who just LIT UP the Zen master. We caught up with K-Mart hangin' with BIG3 teammate Al Harrington in NYC ... and when we asked the former Knick what he thought about the state of the current team ... he went nuclear.
“A top-15 draft pick told me the other day, because we were involved in this conversation about Phil Jackson and the Knicks, and he said, ‘Phil Jackson was falling in and out of sleep during my workout.'” You know Williams just dropped an outrageous nugget when even Bob Ley, who has seen just about every sports story possible as host of ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” since 1990, exclaims, “What?!?!”
"Nobody wants to go there and play in the triangle," one Western Conference scout told Bleacher Report. "Some free agents, I think the triangle is an issue," another Western Conference scout added. "But before you even get to the system, I think there are several other factors that are much more of a priority or influence in terms of desire to play there."
Ian Begley: Knicks owner James Dolan maintains that he's not involved in basketball decisions. "No, no," Dolan said when asked during an appearance on Fox 5 if he's engaged in basketball decisions surrounding the Knicks. "It's all Phil (Jackson, Knicks team president). It's all Steve (Mills, Knicks general manager).... I'm working on my music, they're working on the basketball team," Dolan, who in the past has been hands-on in Knicks basketball decisions, said on Fox 5 that people ask him all the time about the Knicks. His response? "Ask Phil." The Knicks have missed the playoffs in each of Jackson's three full seasons as team president and have made the playoffs just four times in the last 16 years under Dolan.
September 26, 2021 | 6:15 am EDT Update
“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tells Rolling Stone. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”
Irving, who serves as a vice president on the executive committee of the players’ union, recently started following and liking Instagram posts from a conspiracy theorist who claims that “secret societies” are implanting vaccines in a plot to connect Black people to a master computer for “a plan of Satan.” This Moderna microchip misinformation campaign has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group chats, according to several of the dozen-plus current players, Hall-of-Famers, league executives, arena workers and virologists interviewed for this story over the past week.
When asked directly about Irving’s vaccination status — or his plans to change it — multiple people familiar with his thinking declined to answer directly. But one confidant and family member floated to Rolling Stone the idea of anti-vaxx players skipping home games to dodge the New York City ordinance… or at least threatening to protest them, until the NBA changes its ways.
“There are so many other players outside of him who are opting out, I would like to think they would make a way,” says Kyrie’s aunt, Tyki Irving, who runs the seven-time All-Star’s family foundation and is one of the few people in his regular circle of advisors. “It could be like every third game. So it still gives you a full season of being interactive and being on the court, but with the limitations that they’re, of course, oppressing upon you. There can be some sort of formula where the NBA and the players can come to some sort of agreement.”
A spokeswoman for Irving declined to respond to a list of questions regarding his vaccination and playing status, and Irving did not immediately respond to a message from Rolling Stone. But as teams return to pre-season training camps next week, fifty to sixty NBA players have yet to receive a single vaccine dose, league sources tell RS. Most are considered merely reluctant skeptics. Some of the holdouts, however, amount to their own shadow roster of anti-vaxxers mounting a behind-the-scenes resistance to Covid protocols — and the truth.
Isaac considers un-vaxxed players to be vilified and bullied, and he thinks “it’s an injustice” to automatically make heroes out of vaccinated celebrities. He rejects the NBA’s proposal for a vaccine mandate and social distancing for players like him during team travel: “You can play on the same court. We can touch the same ball. We can bump chests. We can do all those things on the court. And then when it comes to being on the bus, we have to be in different parts of the bus? To me, it doesn’t seem logically consistent. “If you are vaccinated, in other places you still have to wear the mask regardless. It’s like, ‘OK, then what is the mask necessarily for?’” Isaac continues. “And if Kyrie says that from his position of his executive power in the NBPA, then kudos to him.”
Enes Kanter — the veteran center, devout Muslim and outspoken liberal — senses a creep of the religious right upon his workplace, which just happens to involve players like Isaac sweating all over him and yelling in his face: “If a guy’s not getting vaccinated because of his religion, I feel like we are in a time where the religion and science has to go to together,” he tells RS. “I’ve talked to a lot of religious guys — I’m like: ‘It saves people’s lives, so what is more important than that?’”
In their sit-down interview back in August, Durant and Green rehashed the incident and how it ultimately affected KD’s decision to leave the Warriors. Surprisingly, KD claimed it wasn’t the beef itself that pushed him away, but the way Steve Kerr, Bob Myers and the front office handled things. “It wasn’t the argument,” the former Warriors star said. “It was the way that everybody … Steve Kerr acted like it didn’t happen. Bob Myers tried to just discipline you and think that would put a mask over everything. I really felt that was such a big situation for us as a group, the first time we went through something like that. We had to get that s— all out.”