Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
There's so much we don't know about the Leon Rose era at Madison Square Garden. We don't know who the general manager is going to be. We don't know who the head coach is going to be. We don't know who is going to stay from the previous regime and who isn't.
So it's too early to analyze how things will look under Rose, who is expected to complete a deal with the Knicks and be named president in the near future.
But at least one exec who has worked at the Garden and who knows Rose well believes the CAA player agent will be successful in New York.
"He's sharp, he knows the landscape and he's well connected. I'm sure he has a vision for how to build the organization," the former Knicks exec said. "He's going to need great people under him - talent evaluators, analytics, salary cap. If he gets those hires right, there's no reason to think he can't thrive there."
Said another exec who hasn't worked for the Knicks but knows Rose: "Leon knows what he's doing, but that place is different. It can be tough to navigate."
One question for Rose - and every other recent Knicks exec - is how much autonomy they'll have to make personnel decisions. Since hiring Phil Jackson, it seems that Knicks owner James Dolan has been mostly hands off when it comes to basketball decisions.
But Jackson didn't have full autonomy. He wanted to bring in at least one training staff person but wasn't able to do so. Will Rose have autonomy in the truest sense? That remains to be seen. Though some with the Knicks - past and present - believe that blaming Dolan for everything that goes wrong with the team is just a way to cover for the basketball decision makers.
"He wasn't the problem when I was there," one member of a recent Knicks regime said this week.
It's unclear when Rose will start as Knicks president. The official announcement has been delayed as Rose sorts out a separation from CAA. But once he hits the ground, Rose will have to fill out his front office, scouting and coaching staffs (William 'World Wide Wes' Wesley is expected to have role in Rose's organization, as SNY reported).
Someone else to keep an eye out for as an addition to Rose's Knicks? Rod Strickland.
Strickland, one of New York City's top point guards and a 17-year NBA veteran, coached under John Calipari at Memphis and Kentucky. Calipari is close with Rose. Strickland, who also has a relationship with Wesley, currently is an executive with the NBA's G League
As far coaches go, we know that Rose has relationships with Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Tom Thibodeau, Calipari and Mike Woodson. Calipari said on Friday that he wouldn't coach in New York, while praising Rose.
Surely, Rose has strong relationships with several other coaches.
On Van Gundy, it's worth noting that, as we reported at the time, he was open to discussing the opening with the Knicks during their last coaching search. But the organization, under then team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry, never gave Van Gundy strong consideration before hiring David Fizdale.