Marc Berman tends to be apprised of the Knicks' thinking, and he just came out with a big ol' report explaining James Dolan's baffling decision to dump Glen Grunwald in favor of our old friend Steve Mills. Some supposed details of Dolan's thinking and the plan moving forward:
Knicks owner James Dolan realizes the club may be in store for a major shakeup in 2015, when the team again may have a ton of salary cap space, and appears to want a heavy hitter such as Mills to oversee the process.
Mills-- who was a favorite for the open NBPA leadership position-- is apparently regarded as very well-connected. I've no way of knowing how legitimate Mills's heavy-hittin' reputation is relative to Daddy Grun's, or whether something like that would, say, mean anything to future free agents assessing a team notorious for cutting ties in a heartbeat, but okay, whatever.
2. Berman and others paint this as bad news for Mike Woodson, who had close ties to Grunwald (but who is also a CAA guy now, so...?) and good news for Allan Houston, who is still assistant GM. Houston, Mark Warkentien, and John Gabriel may wield more power because Mills has relatively little background, you know, managing the players on a basketball team. Grunwald's out, but this was always a deep regime, and most of it remains. We'll see how the approach changes with someone new and ostensibly more Dolan-friendly (and well-connected!!!!) as its leader. I share some of y'all's worry about the future of Iman Shumpert, but those worries are based totally on conjecture.
The Grunwald demotion is not expected to be a precursor to the return of Thomas, who also has his eyes on the union job. Mills testified in the Anucha Browne Sanders sexual harassment suit on Thomas’ behalf, but they have not remained close. Mills left the Garden in 2008 after Donnie Walsh came aboard and his role was shifted to solely marketing and business.
So, there's all that. Grunwald did something to convince Dolan that a guy who did mostly business things, got demoted, then bailed four years ago would make a better EVP/GM was the better man for the job AND that that switcharoo should take place days before the start of training camp. Sounds pretty dumb to me, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Training camp still begins next week, the team still looks great to me, and that's still very exciting. These are also still the Knicks, but you knew that.