Will Hiring a Player Agent Solve Knicks’ Problems?by Patrick Champion February 10, 2020 0 comments
The Knicks are finally making a change.
Less than a day after firing former president Steve Mills, ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Knicks owner James Dolan was “considering” remodeling the front office and hiring a player agent to be the president of basketball operations. Another day passed, and it was reported that New York was close to a deal with CAA player agent Leon Rose, who represents star players such as 76ers center Joel Embiid and Suns guard Devin Booker.
ESPN Sources with @ramonashelburne: Knicks owner Jim Dolan is already considering a front office model that is working with Golden State (Bob Myers) and the Lakers (Rob Pelinka): Hiring a top basketball executive out of the player agent ranks.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 4, 2020
Rose is also close to former NBA coaches Jeff Van Gundy and Tom Thibodeau, as well as current Kentucky coach John Calipari. These connections could come in handy if the Knicks decide to move on from interim coach Mike Miller.
But will he be good at his job? Hiring a player agent to be an executive is not unheard of. The Warriors’ Bob Myers is an example of an agent that is a president of basketball operations, and he has won two NBA Executive of the Year awards, in 2015 and 2017. Rob Pelinka is another example of a player agent as an executive, as he is the vice president of basketball operations, as well as the general manager.
But every executive is different, and it is unclear exactly how Rose will do. To get a sense of that, it has to be known what exactly a president of basketball operations does, and how Rose’s background aligns with that.
So, what exactly does a PBO do? They are a high-ranking member of the executive staff, answering only to the governor of the team. He or she usually handles administrative and legal issues, public relations, and gameday logistic arrangements. Meanwhile, Rose has a career in line with a few of these areas of of expertise. Born in 1961, he got his law degree at Temple, and then moved on to his career as an agent representing NBA players.
One of his talents that will come in handy for the Knicks is work ethic. He started as a lowly agent with only one client in Rick Brunson, a backup point guard who was mostly a permanent resident of the bench. However, he formed a strong relationship with consultant William Wesley and together, the two formed a star-studded cast that for various amounts of time included Allen Iverson, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony, to name a few. In 2007, Rose’s practice was sold to Creative Artists Agency in 2007, and under the CAA name, Rose continued to grow. This desire to improve should both inspire Knicks fans, as their team is in desperate need of improvement, and Knicks ownership, as owner James Dolan is in need of something to change so the Knicks can get out of this era of poor play.
Of course, New York hired Rose with the idea that he would be able to help the team. The Knicks had some unfortunate decisions that led to the firing of former president Steve Mills, including the Kristaps Porzingis trade, the disappointing free agent signings, and hiring David Fizdale, who was hired over 10 other candidates, just to get fired in the middle of his second season with the Knicks after going 21-83.
Overall, this could be a very good hire for the Knicks. The firing of Mills and the hiring of Rose shows a commitment to change for owner Dolan, and Rose is someone with a good reputation and a desire for success. Additionally, in the past, player agents have done very well as high ranking executives. For the Lakers, although general manager Rob Pelinka is not without his share of mistakes, the Lakers are currently 38-12 and title contenders. While there is no guarantee that Rose will be able to replicate that success, the potential that he has is certainly heavy, and the future for the Knicks looks bright.