On Thursday, the Knicks fired Glen Grunwald and hired Steve Mills to replace him as executive vice president and general manager. It is now Saturday, and several important and/or anonymous people have weighed in on the significance and merit of the moves. Links and quotes 4 u:
- Marcus Camby's agent, Rick Kaplan, gave Ian Begley some nasty lines about the Knicks organization and their treatment of Grunwald:
"Glen's firing is absurd and the timing is cruel. Here is a guy that remarkably created a winning atmosphere in one of the most toxic NBA environments today," Kaplan said in an email to ESPNNewYork.com. "He did everything he was asked to do by his owner, and did it with a smile on his face. The only good news is that some lucky team will have Glen fall in its lap and he can finally work for a team that appreciates his enormous talent and class."
Of course, Kaplan is coming from the perspective of having his client marginalized in, then banished from New York, but the fact that he's taking his bitterness out on the organization-- not the guy nominally in charge of managing personnel-- says something.
- Marc Berman got in touch with Donnie Walsh, whose Knicks departure had some qualities in common with Grunwald's and who worked with both Daddy Grun and Mills in New York. Walsh, ever the gentleman, spoke highly of Mills and downplayed his lack of a basketball-focused background:
However, Walsh disputes Mills had nothing to do with basketball decisions when Walsh ran the show.
"I didn’t view it that way,’’ Walsh told The Post on Friday via phone from the Pacers’ offices in Indianapolis. "I felt at least with me, we talked basketball with Steve a lot. I don’t know what relationship he had with Isiah [Thomas] but we talked a lot about what I was looking at.’’
(Click through for several more quotes).
- Jared Zwerling talked to a buuuuunch of anonymous sources, most of whom agreed that the Knicks' plan is to groom Allan Houston for a greater management role. We've heard that along, but replacing Grunwald with Mills is evidently a step in that direction.
- Howard Beck plays up the influence of Carmelo Anthony and CAA/William Wesley on this decision (which--by the way--makes me wonder if this change truly imperils Mike Woodson. He's CAA now, no?). Although, if Melo's one of the driving forces behind this decision...
-...he's certainly not owning up to it:
Melo, on Grunwald's ouster: "I was shocked. I never heard about it and nobody knew it was coming." Was playing pickup game when he was told.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) September 27, 2013
- And in closing, here's what David Stern told Berman about Steve Mills:
"Over the years, he has developed an enormous network of friends and colleagues of various teams,’’ Stern told The Post. "He’s dealt with a lot of players, a lot of agents. He’s a superior administrator whose going to help the team with its team business operations and I don’t mean just business.’’
"The Knicks are doing something specific and Steve fits the bill."
That's what they're all saying. There is subtext-- calculated agenda, even-- to everyone of these comments, but there they are for you to consider.
Training camp! Mere days away! Actual basketball! (Of course, because of the Knicks' impeccable timing, we'll all have to slog through a day or three of dodged questions about this front office shake-up...but still! Basketball!).
Have a pleasant Saturday. I COMMAND YOU.