Last month, the Knicks had hired Steve Stoute and his company, Translation, to help redefine the team's brand and their ties to the fan base. Stoute had an endorsement by NBA superstar LeBron James, but no one really knew who he was and what exactly he was going to be doing for the Knicks.
Well, he got a chance to explain all of that on ESPN's First Take on Tuesday. And in doing so, Stoute may have confirmed what many have been thinking when Steve Mills was gone: a new head coach would be coming into New York.
The only problem here, though, is that Stoute doesn't speak on behalf of Knicks basketball operations, something that the team made abundantly clear when they issued a statement just hours after Stoute's TV appearance.
"While Steve Stoute is a valued contributor to the Knicks' marketing and branding efforts, he does not speak on behalf of the New York Knicks personnel and basketball operations. Any decisions regarding the operations of the team will be made by the new President of the New York Knicks," the team statement read.
Stoute issued his own statement as well, saying "In my excitement to defend the Knicks on live TV today, I inadvertently insinuated about Knicks personnel. I look forward to working with Knicks management to elevate the great Knicks brand moving forward."
Interim head coach Mike Miller has been doing a fine job since taking over for David Fizdale, and there was a slim chance that he might be able to stay on. But, when answering a question about Mills, Stoute seems to reference a total shift in the coaching staff.
"I had nothing to do with Steve Mills' departure. I want to clean that up. I want to be accountable for getting people more jobs, specifically women and African-Americans, not necessarily getting rid of folks. But there had to be a change. So there is a change," Stoute explained.
"That change will bring a new coach and new coaches that are going to help develop these younger players."
Next team president Leon Rose is well connected with coaches around the league, including the likes of Jeff Van Gundy, Tom Thibodeau, and Mark Jackson to name a few. There is also the prospect that Kentucky's John Calipari, a very close friend of Rose, could want the job, but he declined that notion.
Stoute would go on to talk about his exact role with the Knicks, and though it came off as scattered, he did make it seem like he would be involved heavily in many aspects of the organization, though the Knicks statement seemed to clearly limit him to marketing and branding.
In the end, Stoute wants the Knicks to get the lore they once had back because Madison Square Garden is still a place where players want to play each night. If the Knicks can return to their winning ways, Stoute believes the NBA's best will come to play.
"Madison Square Garden is the greatest place to play on Earth, greatest arena in a world, it's why athletes want to go there."