New York Knicks fans who have stuck with the team through the failures of the James Dolan era have displayed a remarkable penchant for patience.
Now they’re being asked for more.
The Knicks made official the hiring of new president Leon Rose on Monday, weeks after news of the transaction broke. Instead of holding a news conference, the notoriously media-averse Knicks made the news official via a statement alongside a letter from Rose addressed to Knicks fans.
In it, Rose touted the team’s stockpile of draft picks and threw his support at interim coach Mike Miller.
‘Significant future assets’
“Most immediately, we will support Mike Miller, his staff and our team, who have plenty of basketball left to be played this season,” Rose wrote. “ ... Our team has young talent, significant future assets (including seven first-round picks over the next four years) and an ample amount of financial flexibility in the coming years.”
The Knicks hired Rose — a successful player agent — to replace Steve Mills, who was fired amid a seventh straight losing season in New York. Last offseason was a massive failure for Knicks management that whiffed on the 2019 free-agent bonanza while watching the crosstown Brooklyn Nets sign Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Instead, the Knicks — who dealt budding star Kristaps Porzingis with the intention of hitting big during free agency — signed a package of role players highlighted by Julius Randle. They’re off to an 18-42 start, a game out of last place in the East.
Rose addressed the realities of the state of the Knicks at the close of his letter.
‘Nothing about this is easy’
“Nothing about this is easy or quick, so I ask for your continued patience,” Rose continued. “What I promise you in return is that I will be honest and forthright. ...
“While I realize that there have been difficulties on the court, what has been remarkable to me is that your pride remains so strong, your loyalty undiminished.”
On one hand, it’s brazen for a Knicks executive to ask for more patience from loyal fans. On another, Rose doesn’t have anything to do with the Knicks’ past failures and deserves time to implement his vision amid reasonable expectations.
Knicks fans who continue to expend their emotional and financial capital supporting the team might not want to hear a plan that focuses on patience. But the ones who want to give Rose a fair should recognize that Rose is not there to answer for the sins of Dolan’s past.
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