Mark Warkentien Named Director of Pro Player Personnel, Timofey Mozgov Named Starting Center

PHOENIX - JANUARY 07: Timofey Mozgov #25 of the New York Knicks walks off the court after being ejected from the NBA game for an elbow against Robin Lopez #15 of the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 7 2011 in Phoenix Arizona. The Knicks defeated the Suns 121-96. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Wait, or was it the other way around? Are we sure Warkentien's not starting at center? No? Okay.

Two bits of news at this hour. First of all, Mark Warkentien, long rumored to be joining the Knicks, has officially been given the title of "Director of Player Personnel". Note that it's not "General Manager", nor is it "Assistant to the President". I don't know what the qualitative differences between any of those positions are, but mazel tov to Marky Wark. For what it's worth, Marc Berman is under the impression that the whole thing was Scott O'Neill's idea:

Warkentien has told confidants he considers Walsh his mentor and it is a dream to work for him. But the source said O'Neil's influence on the Warkentien hire suggests the Garden power structure is cockeyed, since O'Neil is not supposed to influence basketball operations.

Oh.

Meanwhile, Mike D'Antoni was as impressed as we were with Timofey Mozgov's performance last night. Steve Adamek hath twat:

After playing well last 2 of 3 games and defending Elton Brand well Friday, Timofey Mozgov back in NYK starting lineup Sunday vs. 76ers.

He did, indeed, defend Brand with much more success than Shawne Williams or Ronny Turiaf did. That's not to say that the other guys didn't make a good effort; it's more that Timo's a rather big fellow. Mozgov also looked sharp running the floor and crashing the offensive glass, so I'm fully in favor of this decision. As with all of D'Antoni's rotational alchemy, I wouldn't get married to this lineup as any sort of fixture. Let's just hope Timo shines with the first unit and helps the Knick avoid another big early deficit.

Good job, everybody!

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