Scott Perry, “General Manager” of the Knicks

Scott Perry, “General Manager” of the Knicks

By Patrick Diaz @p_diazNY

The newly minted Knicks team president Steve Mills, a promotion that came as a surprise to no one, hired relatively unknown Scott Perry as the new general manager away from the Sacramento Kings. The front office was working tirelessly to appease Carmelo Anthony’s wishes to be traded to Houston, but since, the Perry hire talks have stalled.

The franchise was clear during Perry’s introductory press conference, the only way Anthony moves is if it benefits the team and not at the expense of the entire franchise.  If not, he could easily be part of things moving forward. With these intentions made clear it seems that someone in the front office is thinking about the betterment of the Knicks for once, without a personal agenda. There was also much talk about culture change and an emphasis on youth.

The question immediately arises, how can you bring on a culture change if all the main cogs haven’t been replaced? Perry doesn’t have his own people while being forced to work with executives that were there long before him and will probably be there after he’s gone. Owner James Dolan had a real opportunity to clean house with Phil Jackson’s dismissal, instead he chose to re-up with the same rusty parts.

Sports management is a cut throat business; loyalty and nepotism, two things Dolan severely suffers from, don’t bode well in that environment, it breeds incompetence and dysfunction. Perry as the GM feels a lot like a figurehead hire, a man coming into a position with no real power to make any impactful executive decisions, like what Phil Jackson did with Coach Jeff Hornacek.

Perry takes the reigns alongside a president who is not a true basketball man watching his every move or lack thereof. The hire comes at a very peculiar time, coming after an all-important NBA draft pick and significant free agent signings. The new GM effectively has his hands tied at least for the rest of this summer there is no wiggle room unless trades are made, all the remaining cap space was used in Mills’ signings.

With no real autonomy as the GM Perry will undoubtedly find himself at odds regarding player personnel with the rest front office. Mills will ultimately make the final decisions on his suggestions. Perry hasn’t made a single move and already they’ve, sort of, stopped him from doing his job properly, it doesn’t feel like a true overhaul or shake up of the front office. Gerald Madkins, a former Knicks scout and most recently assistant GM of the LA Clippers was hired away to be assistant GM to Perry.

If there is anything positive Knicks fans can take from all this is that Perry is willing to do all the leg work Jackson was unwilling to do, a small cause for optimism. Only time will tell if this is finally the right man for the job or just another cheap band aid on an open wound. Allen Houston seemed to be next line for the job and the logical choice since he’s familiar with the inner workings of an unchanged Knicks brass.

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