The Brooklyn Nets made quite the statement this offseason after adding Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko.
But I can’t buy the notion of that statement being so loud that it’s part of the reason why New York Knicks owner James Dolan decided on Thursday to suddenly remove Glen Grunwald from his position as the team’s general manager and replace him with former Madison Square Garden president Steve Mills, who is best known for hiring Isiah Thomas as general manager back in 2003 and testifying on his behalf during the infamous Anucha Browne Sanders sexual harassment case of 2006.
If this jaw-dropping move by Dolan’s was really induced by the panic of the Nets turning into the talk of the town, it would have taken place during the summer when that shock was still fresh and hard to come to terms with, and not now when the leaves are beginning to change and training camp is finally set to begin.
No, this was solely about Dolan doing what Dolan has always done, which is nothing more than making bonehead decisions to set his team back yet again. New York won 54 games last season and a first-round playoff series with Grunwald calling the shots from up top.
The last time the Knicks had that kind of success, payphones were still a thing. Now he’s out. It’s a real recipe for success.
Fear that Carmelo Anthony could walk as a free agent next summer was likely Dolan’s biggest motivator in pulling Grunwald. Dolan clearly didn’t trust Grunwald’s capabilities of handling that situation.
Mills, however, is Dolan’s guy. They go way back. He has great faith in not only his ability to keep Anthony in Manhattan, but in his potential to land any other big name(s) in next summer’s impressive free agent class.
It’s not that Dolan suddenly realized Grunwald can’t be as aggressive as Brooklyn’s Billy King, it’s that he’s a lot more comfortable with Mills in that seat.
If this was really spurred on by the Nets and everything they’ve done in their ascension, it wouldn’t have taken Dolan so long to pull the trigger, especially one that nobody thought was necessary to pull.