Report: James Dolan Interfering with Phil Jackson's Personnel Decisions
Once New York Knicks’ team president Phil Jackson got started making personnel moves on Monday, by firing Mike Woodson and the entire coaching staff, you had to wonder how long it would be before James Dolan tried to interfere.
If you had two days in the poll, you’re a winner.
According to a report from Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, Jackson has already hit a roadblock in trying to rebuild the Knicks into a winning franchise in the form of Dolan.
Just one month into his role as Knicks president, Jackson has already clashed with Dolan, the chairman of Madison Square Garden, over personnel decisions, the Daily News has learned. According to a team source, Jackson is looking to remove several staff members, which is commonplace when a new administration takes over, but Dolan opposes removing certain employees.
According to the source, Dolan’s reaction to Jackson’s request was to tell the 11-time NBA championship coach to simply focus his attention on building a winning team. To say that “minor friction,” as one Garden source called it, can be classified as Jackson’s honeymoon with Dolan being over may be stretching it a bit.
Anytime a new guy comes into run an organization, it is common that he gets rid of the old tenure and brings his people in, both on the court and in the front office.
After getting rid of the entire coaching staff on Monday, including Herb Williams, it really appeared that Jackson was the guy calling all the shots.
You knew that wouldn’t last as it only took a couple of days for Dolan to interfere.
You also knew that Dolan wasn’t being anywhere near close to being truthful when he said last month that he was “willingly and gratefully” giving up control of the basketball decisions to Jackson.
It was reported on Tuesday that Steve Mills, Allan Houston and Mark Warkentien could all be reassigned or possibly dismissed.
You knew that Dolan couldn’t allow his puppet Mills to go anywhere.
Dolan’s interference also could impact the hiring of a new coach as pretty much everyone in the league is aware of his inner workings and very few people will willingly sign up to be a part of his circus.
It is already being reported that Steve Kerr, the frontrunner for the Knicks coaching job, has concerns over the inner workings of the organization.
Re the Medical Staff and Steve Mills...
not only does this article address Dolan and the Knicks' medical staff, but now it looks like Mills may be on the way out! PJ cleaning howwwwse!!
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Knicks GM Steve Mills may be in running to head NBAPA
Mills is once again surfacing as a strong candidate to replace Billy Hunter as executive director of the NBA players’ union, the Daily News has learned.
Steve Mills' status with the Knicks is unclear at the moment.
With his future in New York uncertain under new Knicks president Phil Jackson, Steve Mills is once again surfacing as a strong candidate to replace Billy Hunter as executive director of the NBA players’ union, the Daily News has learned.
Mills was in the running to replace Hunter last summer before James Dolan rehired Mills on the eve of training camp after the Garden Chairman abruptly fired general manager Glen Grunwald. Mills was named president, and his plan was to hire a GM with a background in analytics, but that plan was altered dramatically when Dolan began to pursue Jackson in December.
The Knicks originally offered Jackson the head coaching position, but he turned it down before agreeing to a five-year, $60 million contract to run the franchise. After 5½ months as president, Mills was reassigned to general manager and has been working under Jackson since mid-March amid speculation that Jackson will bring in his own GM.
There are conflicting theories on what Mills’ role with the Knicks will be if he happens to remain with the organization. Bleacher Report reported that Mills, assistant GM Allan Houston and director of player personnel Mark Warkentien will either be reassigned or fired. All three have close personal ties to Dolan, who has already clashed with Jackson over potential staff firings.
The Daily News reported on Wednesday that Dolan has gone against his promise to Jackson and isn’t giving him the autonomy to make changes throughout the organization. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reported that Jackson and Dolan disagree over making changes to the club’s medical department, which is headed by Dr. Lisa Callahan.
According to a source, Jackson also wants to make changes in the scouting department. The News reported two weeks ago that former Bulls scout Clarence Gaines Jr. has joined Jackson in New York. Jackson also wants to eliminate some staff members simply based on the Knicks having too many employees holding similar jobs. Jackson revealed that he will work with the Knicks’ next head coach on assembling a coaching staff as well as a support staff, which includes trainers, strength and conditioning personal and media relations employees.
Mills’ status is unclear. He never got the opportunity to put his stamp on the Knicks. Mills didn’t pull off a major signing or trade during his nearly six months as team president. He did, however, consider firing Mike Woodson on several occasions, according to a source, but in the end Woodson survived all 82 games before being dismissed, along with the entire coaching staff, on Monday.
The Princeton-educated Mills, who played for legendary coach Pete Carril, could have an inside track on the union job. He is well-respected among players as well as league and team executives.
“It would be great for the union’s future if Steve is the guy,” said one player representative, who did not want to be identified.
Mills joined the Knicks in 1999 and was with the club for 10 years before leaving. He was the CEO of Athletes & Entertainers Wealth Management Group before rejoining the Knicks. Mills also worked 16 years at the league office where he eventually served as the Senior Vice President of Basketball and Player Development.
Former NBA All-Star point guard and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson will lead a search committee to select a new executive director for the NBA Players Association. Mills sat with Johnson during the Knicks-Kings game last month in Sacramento.
Hunter was ousted as executive director of the NBAPA on Feb. 16, 2013 by a vote of 24-0 by the union’s board of player representatives. The decision followed a nine-month investigation by the firm of Paul Weiss into the union’s finances and business practices during Hunter’s 17-year tenure.
Union attorney Ron Klempner is currently serving as the acting executive director of the NBAPA.