Leon Rose has started his New York Knicks tenure with a letter to fans. So far Rose has said all the right things. The future looks good for the Big Apple.
Today, the New York Knicks officially introduced Leon Rose as the newly minted President of Basketball Operations. New York brought in Rose after the dismissal of Steve Mills about a month ago.
This hiring follows the recent trend of former player-agents being appointed to front office roles, particularly in Los Angeles with Rob Pelinka and Golden State with Bob Myers.
Rose, along with branding consultant Steve Stoute, were primarily hired to change the public perception of the Knicks.
Rose began his tenure with the Knicks Monday morning with a letter to the season ticket holders. He wrote a very encouraging and detailed letter about the future of this team, and why he believes he can turn the downtrodden franchise around.
While the Knicks faithful have heard this mantra before, it is hard not to feel optimistic about Rose’s hiring, especially after considering his experience representing talents like Chris Paul and Karl Anthony-Towns, as well as Allen Iverson and LeBron James.
“Having been fortunate enough to be part of professional basketball for more than 25 years, I have had the privilege of helping to shape the careers of many incredible athletes throughout those decades, collaborating with key decision makers and personnel within the basketball universe,” Rose wrote in the letter.
In lieu of a formal press conference, the Knicks opted for a simple press release with Rose’s letter. Rose is already off to a very strong start as Knicks president. In prior years, every time the Knicks made a splashy hire, a large media circus would accompany it. Conveying the employment as a strictly business move was a very smart move by New York.
When Phil Jackson was brought on in March 2014, he was hailed by James Dolan and the media as a savior for the franchise. This heaped on to the already sky-high expectations that accompanies running the Knicks, a franchise known to operate in a constant state of flux. This partially resulted in Jackson’s complete failure running an NBA team, and his eventual dismissal in June 2017.
Overall, the fact that Dolan allowed Rose to send a letter to fans without making a massive fuss about the hiring should be viewed as a significant change in the way the New York Knicks are handling public relations.
Every minor step towards being viewed as a respectable, competent franchise is critical for the New York Knicks, and this was an excellent start for the new regime.