This week, in true Knicks fashion, we just can't stay out of the news. This time however, it is due to something we are not accustomed to seeing. Competency.
Leon Rose has been doing some serious work to shape his Front Office. Brock Adler, the Cleveland Cavs capologist was a surprising and exciting hire. Having someone who understands the subtle nuances of the CBA, Player contracts and the Luxury Tax is going to make our financial flexibility even more dangerous (given the cap will likely be reduced with the current landscape of sports so fluid due to Covid-19) for the seasons to come.
Now Rose has hired Walt Perrin and Frank Zanin to assist GM Scott Perry. Admittedly not having intimate knowledge of either of these men and their careers, I did some research on both and two tweets are *almost* enough for me to be totally on board:
Honestly, if Kobe likes him... That is all I need.
Walt has been in Utah for the last 19 years and even has experience working with Scott Perry! They only worked together for a year in Detroit in 2000-01 but still, any relationship is better than none. It is noteworthy that Perrin vouched for Donovan Mitchell so much the Jazz traded up to select him. You can also thank Perrin for Rudy Gobert, Mo Williams, Paul Millsap, Deron Williams and Gordon Hayward during his tenure.
Zanin has been in OKC with Sam Presti for the last handful of years- another great front office- and before that cut his teeth as Billy King's assistant* in Brooklyn (*promoted to "acting" GM after King was dismissed), so we know he can handle the bright lights of the Mecca.
This is relatively uncharted territory for the Knickerbockers for a few reasons.
1. James Dolan seems to be giving the keys to Rose to construct this team as he sees fit, which if nothing else is an admission of the knowledge that letting Steve Mills do this job for 20 years was probably not a great idea.
2. We are hiring people with actual experience and not only experience but expertise in their positions. We are identifying other organizations key pieces and opening the checkbook to get qualified personnel here rather than old players to use their name recognition.
3. This will have a ripple effect.
-If we draft well, we perform well.
-If we perform well, we win more games.
-If we win more games, more players will want to come here.
-If we get Superstar players to come here in free agency we can make the playoffs.
-If we make the playoffs, we could win a championship.
-If we win a championship we won't be the laughing stock and picture of dysfunction of the NBA.
If I learned something from watching The Last Dance it was that I thought that Jerry Krause was a maniac for saying that "player's don't win championships, organizations do."
Where, on the surface, this is an asinine thought to have when you have the greatest basketball player to ever touch earth playing on your team... he is not wrong. If you have the right pieces up top to make the moves to get the right players you are looking at continued success. I mean, look at the handling of Dennis Rodman if you need ANY proof. Do you think any coach in the NBA could have given him that freedom and gotten the same production out of him?
That is all thanks to Jerry Krause knowing that Phil Jackson could manage that relationship.
This is a small sign of hope, Knicks fans. It still may take some time but we are on the right path.
Now, lets get this season back on track, pick up a good draft pick and make some moves during the official off season!