New York Knicks Replace Glen Grunwald With The Guy Who Hired Isiah Thomas
Glen Grunwald's roster managed to take the Knicks out of the first round for the first time in over a decade. A monumental feat by NBA standards, given the institutionalized ineptitude that is the New York Knicks front office. He even managed to come in third place in GM of the year voting this season. Now James Dolan is kicking him out the door, probably just because the Nets look better on paper, the Bulls get Derrick Rose back, the Pacers are a year more experienced, and the Heat still exist. So by default, the Knicks are the fifth best team in the East...
Nothing Grunwald could control, but hey, what do you expect when you're hired as GM on the coattails of Donny Walsh's competence?
Now the tables have turned on Grunwald, though under significantly different circumstances. He's been replaced by someone who never did a damn thing for the Knicks. Unlike Grunwald's replacement of Walsh, Steve Mills had pretty much given up being an NBA front office guy after leaving MSG in 2009 to work with Magic Johnson Enterprises (he ended running for head of the Players Association right before Dolan snatched him up this go-round). Grunwald was a former GM of the year and doing a pretty damn good job. What's the logic in replacing him with Mills? Familiarity with the franchise? Please.
His claim to fame in New York was hiring Isiah Thomas to be Knicks GM, which resulted in Isiah Thomas Head Coach, which resulted in a carousel of ancient, expensive coaches (Lenny Wilkins and Larry Brown), a sex scandal, a 59-loss season, and the following horrific roster decisions:
[Via New York Sports Digest]:
May 15, 2005: Waiving Jerome Williams instead of Allan Houston.
August 7, 2006: Signed Jarred Jeffries as a free agent.
February 24, 2005: Traded Vin Baker, Moochie Norris and a 2006 2nd round draft pick (Steve Novak) for Maurice Taylor.
August 5, 2004: Traded Othella Harrington, Dikembe Mutombo, Cezary Trybanski and Frank Williams to the Chicago Bulls for Jamal Crawford and Jerome Williams.
June 28, 2006: Drafting Renaldo Balkman over Rajon Rondo.
June 28, 2007: Traded Steve Francis and Channing Frye to the Portland Trail Blazers for Dan Dickau, Fred Jones, and Zach Randolph.
August 2, 2005: Signed Jerome James as a free agent.
October 4, 2005: Traded Tim Thomas, Mike Sweetney, Jermaine Jackson, a 2006 1st round draft pick (LaMarcus Aldridge) a 2007 1st round draft pick (Joakim Noah), a 2007 2nd round draft pick (Kyrylo Fesnko) and a 2009 2nd round draft pick (Jon Brockman) for Eddy Curry, Antonio Davis and a 2007 1st round draft pick (Wilson Chandler).
February 22, 2006: Traded Anfernee Hardaway and Trevor Ariza to the Orlando Magic for Steve Francis.
January 5, 2004: Traded Howard Eisley, Maciej Lampe, Antonio McDyess, Charlie Ward, Milos Vujanic, a 2004 1st round pick (Kirk Snyder) and a 2010 1st round draft pick (Gordan Hayward) to the Phoenix Suns for Stephon Marbury, Anfernee Hardaway and Cezary Trybanski.
At no point, during what is very likely the worst tenure in the history of professional sports management, did Steve Mills make an executive big boy decision and boot Isiah. Or publicly lobby for his ouster. Clearly, he's just another Dolan yes-man, destined to lead the Knicks down the path they've been on for more than a decade now. No matter how successful he was elsewhere, the single trait you need to resurrect the Knicks, is the fortitude to pry the reins from Jimmy Dolan's fat little icy hands -- even though that seems to get you fired almost instantly.
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