Nearly a month after deciding to hire Leon Rose, the Knicks have finally made it official.


The Madison Square Garden Company Executive Chairman and CEO James L. Dolan announced today that Leon Rose has been named President of the New York Knicks, effective immediately. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Mr. Rose joins the organization from CAA Sports, where he was co-head of the basketball division and represented some of the NBA’s biggest stars.

“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 Mr. 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.”

In his role as President, Mr. Rose will oversee all basketball operations and personnel for the team.

“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 Mr. Rose. “I want to thank Jim Dolan for this opportunity.”

A Cherry Hill, New Jersey native, Mr. Rose became one of basketball’s most powerful agents, with a 25-year career that saw him manage the careers of some of the game’s greatest stars. Mr. Rose graduated from Dickinson College, where he was a member of the basketball team. He earned his J.D. degree from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law and before joining CAA Sports, was a partner at the law firm of Sherman, Silverstein, Kohl, Rose & Podolsky. In addition, Mr. Rose coached basketball for five years, three at the high school level and two at the college level.

A message to our fans from Team President Leon Rose (1/3):

— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) March 2, 2020


— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) March 2, 2020


— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) March 2, 2020

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

No news conference for new Knicks president Leon Rose, per source. He will attend the Rockets-Knicks game tonight at MSG. His plan is to stay behind-the-scenes initially, observe/listen and stay away from big public proclamations.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 2, 2020

Ultimately, what matters most is whether Rose will turn the Knicks into a winner. Will his front office scout well? Will it shrewdly negotiate with free agents and other teams? Will it attract top talent? Will it identify players who fit together? Will it implement a sound player-development program? Will it hire a coach who pushes forward all these objectives?

But it’s pretty weak for Rose not to address the public now.

New York fans want to hear from the man in charge. They want to know his vision and plan to execute it. This statement is better than nothing, but it’s so vague. I’d rather hear how Rose stands up to questioning. At minimum, we’d get a better sense of his operational style. For someone who spent 25 years as an agent, Rose isn’t a familiar figure to NBA fans.

Most troublingly, this continues a pattern of Knicks executives shirking accountability. This is how James Dolan’s team operates – except when he belligerently orders his front-office leaders to address the media at a time that only undercuts the coach. The Knicks are probably scarred from Steve Stoute’s loud TV appearance. The franchise is still worth a ton of money. It’s easy to retreat into comfortable habits.

The Knicks need a savvy lead executive to overcome Dolan. Maybe that’s Rose. But I was always skeptical someone will both be good enough at the job and be someone Dolan would hire. Rose not facing the public only (slightly) heightens those concerns.

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