Steve Mills will return to the New York Knicks after being announced as the new president and general manager of the franchise. He will replace outgoing GM Glen Grunwald, and although Grunwald will remain with the franchise as an advisor some are viewing the hiring of Mills as a shock.
Grunwald led the Knicks to 54 winning games last season on the way to winning the Atlantic Division and to the second round of the play-offs for the first time since 2000. The removal of Grunwald for Steve Mills also comes just days before the Knicks training camp is due to start. Taking all that into account a back office shakeup comes as a surprise.
Mills is of course very familiar with the Knicks. He started working for the franchise in 1999 before moving up to president of sports teams operations for MSG in 2001. His first tenure at Madison Square Garden ended in 2009 and many Knicks fans are not fond of Mills mainly because he was responsible for hiring Isiah Thomas as president.
During his time with the Knicks Thomas fired popular coach Larry Brown and appointed himself in the position. The former All-Star then led the franchise to two consecutive losing seasons and a sexual harassment case where MSG paid over $11 million in damages. While Knicks fans vent their anger at Thomas, they also remember the hand Mills had in his appointment.
However, with the Knicks once again a force in the NBA, led by exciting All-Star Carmelo Anthony perhaps Steve Mills can guide the franchise to more on court and off court success. Mills released the following statement after his employment.
It’s an honor and a privilege to work for such a storied franchise, and I look forward to doing whatever it takes to make the Knicks a successful franchise and a team that fans can be proud of