In a move that surprises no one, the Knicks have fired Steve Mills as team president.
Rumblings of Mills’s departure began last Sunday after reports surfaced of him leaving Madison Square Garden upset, presumably following a meeting with team owner Jim Dolan.
Mills previously had several stints with the Knicks, first working with the organization from 2003 through 2009, and working with then-president Phil Jackson in 2014. Mills was elevated to president of basketball operations following Jackson’s firing in 2017.
“Steve and I have come to the decision that it would be best for him to leave his role as president of the New York Knicks,” said Dolan. “We thank Steve for his many years of service to our organization and look forward to continuing our relationship with him as part of our board.”
Current general manager Scott Perry, who worked closely with Mills, will lead basketball operations in an interim role.
Per ESPN, Dolan has already spoken with an unnamed candidate. The Knicks are also rumored to be targeting current Raptors president Masai Ujiri.
“I will always be grateful to Jim for giving me the chance to represent this franchise and I’m disappointed we were unable to achieve success for New York. I would like to thank the staff and players for their hard work during my tenure. I will always be a Knicks fan.”
While I prefer this was a package deal with Perry (they both put this clunky roster of ill-fitting parts together), I have a feeling more hammers will drop.
Still, I’m not exactly optimistic with Thursday’s trade deadline looming. Was Mills ousted for pushing a bad deal (like trading for Andre Drummond or giving up Mitchell Robinson and picks to the Warriors for D’Angelo Russell?) or was he fired for not going along with one?
We have about 48 hours to find out. Meanwhile, we might as well call this season the Knicks 2019-2020 Fire Sale.
24 hours removed from the last game of the season, the Knicks are back on the head coach market. The team announced this morning that head coach Jeff Hornacek and associate coach Kurt Rambis have been fired.
Knicks President Steve Mills confirmed the news in a statement to media this morning.
“Jeff is a true professional who has worked tirelessly for this organization the last two seasons,” said Mills. “We sincerely appreciate his efforts and considerable contributions to the team and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
The Knicks also confirmed the release of associate head coach Kurt Rambis, marking the departure of the last remnants of Phil Jackson’s tenure as Knicks president.
“Kurt has been a big part of the Knicks over these last four seasons, as both associate head coach and interim head coach,” added Mills and General Manager Scott Perry. “We thank him for his dedication to New York and wish him the best moving forward.”
Hornacek posted a record of 60-104 over his two seasons in New York.
I’m not one of those people who blames all of the Knicks’s woes at Hornacek’s feet. However, back to back 50+ loss seasons and the lack of respect he’s garnered in the locker room make this a necessary move.
The public spats with Noah, Porzingis and O’Quinn, not to mention his previous contentious player history in Phoenix, reveals a guy who struggles with leading players. And more troubling was a shaky offense predicated on long two-pointers, weak three-point shooting, and even worse three-point defense (dead last in the league).
Now comes the more scary proposition — can the Knicks nail their next head coach pick? Can we finally get someone that not only preaches sound defense, but also has a modern offense that emphasizes ball movement and three-point shooting? We’ll soon find out if Mills and Perry can break the cycle of futility we’ve had since the 50+ season in 2012. This is without question our most important offseason since the Amar’e signing in 2010.