Knicks President Steve Mills Is Leaving the Team

Written by on February 4, 2020

Steve Mills, the president of the Knicks, has departed the franchise two days earlier than the N.B.A.’s buying and selling deadline, the group introduced on Tuesday, including one other twist to yet one more tumultuous season for the group.

“Steve and I’ve come to the choice that it could be greatest for him to go away his position as president of the New York Knicks,” James L. Dolan, the group’s proprietor, stated in a press release. “We thank Steve for his a few years of service to our group and look ahead to persevering with our relationship with him as a part of our board.”

The transfer comes because the Knicks, as soon as once more one of many worst groups within the N.B.A., are on observe to overlook the playoffs for the seventh straight season — the franchise’s longest such streak since the 1960s. Scott Perry, the group’s common supervisor, will take over basketball operations. Mills is anticipated to affix the board of a brand new sports activities firm beneath the Madison Sq. Backyard Firm umbrella.

“It has been an ideal honor to characterize the Knicks,” Mills stated in a press release. “I’ll all the time be grateful to Jim for giving me the possibility to characterize this franchise and I’m upset we have been unable to realize success for New York.” He added: “I’ll all the time be a Knicks fan.”

Mills’s departure comes lower than two months after the Knicks fired Coach David Fizdale and an assistant, Keith Sensible. Mills lasted two and a half years as group president, however in that point, the Knicks have been spurned by each A-list free agent regardless of taking part in within the league’s greatest market. The group’s failure to signal a celebrity was compounded by final season’s trade of Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks, which netted the Knicks little or no in return for a participant who had been the franchise cornerstone. About six weeks later, Dolan told ESPN Radio, “I can inform you from what we’ve heard, we’re going to have a really profitable low season relating to free brokers.”

As an alternative, the Knicks signed a number of ill-fitting forwards within the low season and needed to watch as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, two of the summer time’s marquee free brokers, signed with their crosstown rivals, the Nets. Durant and Irving additionally introduced alongside DeAndre Jordan, whom the Knicks had acquired final yr as a part of the Porzingis commerce.

Durant informed Yahoo throughout the summer time that he had by no means considered signing with the Knicks, a as soon as unthinkable admission for a celebrity free agent in his prime. In October, Durant stated in a radio interview, “The cool factor now could be not the Knicks.” Current draft picks, like Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina and Mitchell Robinson, haven’t but proven that they will have lengthy careers within the N.B.A. Since Mills turned president in June 2017, the Knicks have gone 61-154.

This season took a very unusual flip in early November after a blowout loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Mills and Perry held a shock information convention to precise dissatisfaction with how the season was going. The group was 2-Eight on the time and has gone simply 13-28 since.

Mills’s time as president was his newest chapter in an extended historical past with the group, together with as a former government with the Madison Sq. Backyard Firm, the group’s dad or mum firm. Mills was president of Madison Square Garden Sports from 2003 to 2008, one other harrowing interval for the Knicks, throughout which Mills instructed that the Knicks rent Isiah Thomas, the previous Detroit Pistons guard, as president. This precipitated points on and off the courtroom, notably when one other group government employed by Mills, Anucha Browne Sanders, accused Thomas of sexual harassment and filed a lawsuit in 2006 towards Madison Sq. Backyard and Thomas. The case was settled the following yr for $11.5 million.

Mills was unexpectedly named common supervisor of the Knicks in 2013, regardless of having no expertise within the position. The subsequent yr, Phil Jackson took over basketball operations from Mills as group president, just for Mills to take control back in 2017, this time as group president himself.

Whoever replaces Mills has one other key low season approaching. Among the many essential selections awaiting the group are the hiring of a brand new coach, what to do with the group’s cap house and whom to draft with none consensus No. 1 picks like Zion Williamson rising but. Masai Ujiri, the Toronto Raptors group president, has lengthy been rumored to be a goal for Dolan to meet the identical position for the Knicks. On a talk show in 2014, Ujiri stated, “Please clap after this: I hate the Knicks and don’t care.”


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