A new era begins for the New York Knicks on Monday. Leon Rose will have his chance to fix the Knicks and build a sustainable contender.
Initial reports of Rose’s hiring surfaced on Feb. 6, but due to the CAA agent’s extensive business ties and Dwyane Wade’s jersey retirement, the Knicks and Rose have held off on making his hiring officially official.
“We are pleased to welcome Leon to the New York Knicks as team president, and believe he is the right leader to build a winning organization for our fans,” said Knicks owner James Dolan. “Leon is one of the most respected executives in professional basketball, with decades of experience successfully working with NBA players and team management in all facets of the game. We are confident he brings the right combination of expertise and relationships to ensure the long-term success of our franchise.”
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Rose will not speak with the media on Monday before the Knicks’ game against the Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden. Wojnarowski notes that Rose’s plan initially is to lay low and observe things before speaking publicly.
The last time anyone from the front office spoke with the media was on Sunday, Nov. 10 after a blowout loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at home. Since then, a head coach was fired, a team president was reassigned, and his replacement was hired.
“New York is the epicenter of basketball and Madison Square Garden has always been very special to me. To be a part of the Knicks revitalization and basketball at The Garden is a challenge and a rare opportunity, one to be cherished, and I will do my utmost to make the fans, the City and ownership proud,” said Rose. “I want to thank Jim Dolan for this opportunity.”
Although nothing is set in stone in terms of personnel, former Knicks assistant Tom Thibodeau is said to be a leading candidate to take over as head coach next season. Additionally, there are rumblings that Rose’s hiring could preclude a Knicks reunion with Carmelo Anthony.
Rose is taking over a team that is going to finish with a losing record for the seventh-straight season. The last time the Knicks made the playoffs came in 2013 when they lost to the Indiana Pacers in the second round.