Leon Rose gave New York Knicks fans a glimpse into his thinking process during his interview with MSG’s Mike Breen.
Earlier in the day, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Knicks were hiring William “World Wide Wes” Wesley as their executive vice president/senior basketball adviser.
The New York Knicks are hiring CAA’s William Wesley as Executive Vice President/Senior Advisor, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/nFXDYVhv0d
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 24, 2020
Rose made it a point to call Wes both “respected” and “connected.” He believes that he will be a great mentor to players and a great asset to the organization moving forward.
During the interview, Rose discussed numerous topics including hardships faced due to COVID-19, social unrest, current players on the roster, along with his philosophy in selecting a coach and building the team.
Right off the bat, the president of basketball operations stressed that both he and general manager Scott Perry support the players and their platforms regarding social justice. Rose also mentioned the Knicks’ history with hiring African-American executives and stated he hopes to continue that trend.
In regards to the draft, Rose stated that once he was hired in March, the front office prepared as if the draft was scheduled for June 25. He also acknowledged that this year’s pool of prospects has varying opinions across the board, but still believes that there are impact players who aren’t at the top of the class.
On the current roster, Rose referred to RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson as “core pieces.” He also mentioned Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, and Dennis Smith Jr. by name.
Central to the future of Rose’s young roster, he also described his player development philosophy as a concept that includes a balance between letting players play through their mistakes and being held accountable. He also didn’t mince words when he proclaimed that the Knicks will be “in-play” in every aspect of team-building from the draft to trades and free agency.
In the later stages of the interview, Rose credited interim coach Mike Miller’s leadership after being thrown into a “difficult situation.” He also stated that each coaching candidate will have two interviews and a final decision will most likely occur in mid-to-late July.
Overall, fans can’t put too much stock in Rose’s first interview. He was careful with his words (as he should be) and he still hasn’t been around the team long enough to make any significant decisions. Nonetheless, Rose has been shrewd in putting together his front office. Odds are that he will lean heavily on this collective going forward, and only time will tell whether they’re successful or not.