The New York Knicks have announced that they will be relieving Glen Grunwald, the current general manager, of his duties. They will be bringing in Steve Mills, a former Madison Square Garden president, to take over as the Executive VP and GM. Grunwald, despite playing a key part in the Knicks’ recent improvement, will be reduced to an advisory role.
This move, like just about anything associated with the Knicks’ front office, was completely unexpected and absolutely reeks of James Dolan. The Knicks’ owner is notorious for making questionable front office decisions with even more questionable motives and it’s possible this decision could be very much in the same vein as those related to Isiah Thomas in the past.
Mills has served in the Knicks’ front office before, and during his 10-year stint, served as Executive VP before. Knicks conspiracy theorists should probably know that Mills is the one who hired Thomas (a man so hated by Knicks fans that the Sacramento Kings‘ Isaiah Thomas gets booed just for having the same name) back in 2003. Given the history of the James Dolan/Isiah Thomas relationship, it’s easy to worry that this move was made for non-basketball reasons.
Hopefully, more information will be released in the near future that will clarify things, especially since it’s hard to imagine Grunwald is being removed for an unsatisfactory performance as GM, given that he’s been a major part of the Knicks’ resurgence. He’s been very shrewd in signing undervalued role players (like Kenyon Martin and Jason Kidd), he’s done a great job identifying talent in Europe (such as Chris Copeland and Pablo Prigioni) and he managed to re-sign J.R. Smith at a massive discount. Grunwald has generally done an admirable job as GM and, under normal circumstances, does not deserve to be let go.