GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The Knicks introduced their new management team Monday, with Steve Mills as president and Scott Perry as general manager.
But after a 45-minute news conference, the answer to who will be making final decisions remained a little unclear.
“I’m going to give Scott the room to make basketball decisions and make recommendations to me,” Mills said. “He’s going to have a chance to manage the coaching staff, manage the scouting staff and make recommendations as to where we should go as a basketball organization. I think we’ll be partners in the sense that he’ll come to me with his recommendation and we’ll debate it back and forth. But at the end of the day, I’m giving him the room to make those decisions.”
What’s clear is that Mills, who had been the Knicks’ general manager since March 18, 2014, in his second stint with the team, and Perry will work in tandem.
According to several reports, former Cavaliers GM David Griffin took himself out of the running for the Knicks’ job because he wanted more autonomy than the team was willing to give.
Larry Brown, who coached the Pistons when Perry was in the team’s front office and worked with Mills when he coached the Knicks, believes the two have personalities that will collaborate well.
“Sure, Steve might have one idea about a player and Scott might have another idea about a player,” Brown said in a phone interview Monday. “But I think they are the type of people who can work together and do what’s best for the franchise.”
Perry said he doesn’t think it will be hard for him and Mills to be on the same page.
“In meeting with Steve, I quickly could tell just how much aligned we were, and we’re going to be doing a lot of this together,” Perry said Monday. “One of my first tasks is going to be to come in and evaluate the entire operations department. I’m going to start doing that ASAP and meeting with everybody and getting an opportunity to hear everyone’s story and learn about their roles and contributions, and then I’ll be in a position to make strong suggestions to Steve that maybe we need to add some more to our group.”
Perry has served in the front offices of the Sacramento Kings, the Orlando Magic, the Seattle SuperSonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder) and the Pistons. He was part of Detroit’s run of six straight trips to the Eastern Conference finals and an NBA championship in 2004. That’s where he said he learned the lessons about culture that the Knicks might need as they try to put the Phil Jackson era behind them.
“I think we have to make sure everybody checks their egos and agendas at the door, and when we come in this building, we’re going to be united as one,” Perry said. “We can agree to disagree internally, but when we get done going through our own processes, we’re going to be together every step of the way.”