Leon Rose spent the quarantine blocking a number of well-regarded front office staff, and the sensible hires that have been made so far indicate that the new team president actually has the option to straighten out the sinking ship that is the New York Knicks.
Rose was officially hired in early March, bringing with her the specter of relationships as a former basketball co-manager at the Creative Arts Agency. He has strong relationships with tons of players, many of whom worked as an agent, so the thought was that he could eventually convince a superstar or two to bring their talents to Madison Square Garden, the arena that every player seems to see as the their favorite place to play, but not as part of the home team.
In terms of communication with the masses, Rose has been relatively mom, minus a letter to season ticket holders and an interview with Mike Breen at the end of June on MSG.
It may sound pretty quiet, but internally Rose wasted no time reshaping the organization. Since his ability to take stock of the list was limited because the season had been interrupted shortly after starting the job formally, Rose started hiring a number of highly respected basketball minds to work in the front office.
One of his first moves was to pick up Scott Perry’s option for next season, which on the one hand is unacceptable since Perry was involved in Kristaps Porzingis’ trade for the chump change, but on the other hand it is acceptable because Perry ran the show so maybe Rose wanted some continuity.
He also brought on board the vice president of basketball operations and strategic planning Brock Aller, who has been described as a “team leader”; Walt Perrin, deputy general manager of College Scouting, who has ties to Perry, has been with Utah Jazz for 19 years and has been called a “road warrior” by John Hollinger of The Athletic; and deputy general manager for professional scoutist Frank Zanin, who played against Kobe Bryant in high school and once got a shoutout from the late Los Angeles Lakers legend on Twitter. More recently, Rose has ventured into her friend William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley as a senior basketball advisor. We have already been conditioned to know that Worldwide Wes, like Rose, is incredibly well connected.
Rose has also hired some new scouts, including Frank Zanin’s brother, TJ Zanin, and 26-year-old wunderkind Alex Kline.
The only one of the aforementioned assumptions that was not met with widespread praise was Worldwide Wes, and it is not as if it had not also received its positive press share. All in all, tinkering with the basketball operations department was incredibly necessary and bringing in people who are highly valued by peers across the league certainly looks smart.