It has been months now since it was rumored that the New York Knicks would be a team favored to land All-Star Donovan Mitchell this offseason, but there is very little proof any progress has been made in that direction.
This stems a lot from New York’s historic, adversarial relationship between members of the team’s staff and the media.
Since Leon Rose took over as president of the franchise in 2020, he has played his role from behind a curtain more often than not. He has had very little interaction with the media, who are the direct outlet for many of New York’s fans.
Things have not been different this summer, as pretty much every report surrounding the Knicks and Mitchell has been purely speculation.
The New York Knicks. vs. the media
New York separated itself from the brass of the media world, choosing to release information on its own accord and control much of the news surrounding the franchise. Many, especially those on the outside, see this as the Knicks isolating their fans and not facing the accountability they should be.
Recently, the franchise excluded all media from Jalen Brunson’s introduction, instead doing their own MSG Network production.
I believe this is a mangled opinion formed by those who feel scorned by the team, rather than an actual analysis of how the team is managed. I believe Rose believes actions speak louder than words and communicates with the fanbase by doing.
There are some moves that may demand more explanation than what we got on the surface, like the Cam Reddish trade last season, but overall, the Rose administration seems to be one that acknowledges their mistakes through progressive change.
This hateful relationship between the team and media is one that seems rare in professional sports. Many writers act as cheerleaders for the team and act as drivers for fan engagement and enthusiasm.
In New York, though, the media act as antagonists, and many fans could do without their analysis of the club.
The Knicks’ relationship with the media is a great thing for the fans
It would be nice to know what was happening with the Mitchell trade or to have an overall greater explanation for the future plans of the Knicks. The fact that we do not get this, though, breeds so much creation and exploration within the fanbases’ community.
New York creates engagement and enthusiasm for its fans by turning over much of the media to the fans themselves.
For a team that has been so desolated by the mainstream media for decades, and continues to be, it makes sense that the Knicks decided to exclude them altogether.
Rose proved his acknowledgment of last season’s misses by making roster moves this offseason, moving on from Kemba Walker, accumulating more draft assets, and landing Jalen Brunson.
Rose could have come out to the podium and scorned Julius Randle and others for the season, much like his predecessor Phil Jackson did several times to Carmelo Anthony during his tenure.
This only stood to make things worse in New York and inevitably led to the team being left in a worse condition.
The Knicks are building something the right way, and aren’t using their time to create smokescreens and debates in the media. They are putting attention on the basketball court, and whereas last season was not as they intended, they have made it clear they want to get better through their roster and not through media fanatics and big trades.
The future of the New York Knicks and the media
I would not expect much to change as we approach Rose’s third year in office. New York will look to prove it on the floor, trusting the moves that have been made and the work that’s been put in, and not promising false hope.
As for the Donovan Mitchell news, I would expect whatever comes from it to happen closer to training camp, and I would not expect the Knicks to let us know it’s happening before it does.
I think fans of New York should embrace a team trying to right their image through a working process and not through media engagement. They have never made promises or been the center of attention.
They have quietly built a very talented young roster, backed with significant draft assets and cap space, and moved the Knicks into the best position for success they could be in, all without the help of the media.
There is no reason they should change anything now, and regardless of Mitchell being on the team or not, look for them to continue their upward progression to becoming one of the league’s most stable franchises.