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Steve Mills preaches patience while discussing the Knicks’ future in interview

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Patience, I say!

NBA: New York Knicks-Media Day Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks president Steve Mills took some time out of his busy schedule to speak with Newsday’s Steve Popper this weekend, and he offered some illuminating quotes on the franchise’s direction.

First and foremost, the front office is still dedicated to a patient rebuilding, according to Mills, who noted the shoot-from-the-hip approach of several past Knicks regimes.

“I’ve been around, I’ve seen a lot here at the Garden, and what I try to do is learn from what I’ve seen and what I’ve experienced. I know those short-term quick fixes, you’re planning one way and then all of a sudden you’re making a shift. It’s one thing if you’re right on the cusp of competing for a championship, but when you’re where we are to all of a sudden pivot and go in a different direction, I’ve just seen it go wrong too many times. I’m not going to be part of doing it that way.”

Of course, Mills was a part of those regimes — albeit with much less control — so it’s not as if he should be completely absolved of blame. But says he has learned from the failures of the past, and he has acted that way for the most part since taking the top job.

Mills doesn’t make any direct jabs at Phil Jackson, his predecessor, but you can tell he has a different philosophy. He talked about smoothing things over with some players after he took over. He also mentioned sitting on the bus following a loss to the Lakers last season, reflecting on just how much more athletic the opponent had been, and how that athleticism gap needed to be closed quickly. We all know Jackson was less concerned with athleticism than he was in Triangle knowledge (remember Sasha Vujacic?).

If you’d like to hear more from Mills — and Scott Perry and David Fizdale — will host a town hall Monday night on YouTube and Facebook.