CAA — the Creative Artists Agency, which represents NBA stars such as Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Tony Parker, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul and a host of others — has long had special sway over the Knicks organization.
If you listen to the scuttlebutt around the league, Andrea Bargnani is a Knick because he is a CAA/Leon Rose client just like ‘Melo (why else would you take on that contract?). Why did the Knicks give a roster spot to Chris Smith, J.R.’s brother? CAA. That’s just the tip of the rumor iceberg.
But the days of CAA holding the power are gone — Phil Jackson has the power now. Jackson himself addressed this directly speaking with Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal.
Knicks fans should rejoice. This — along with keeping owner James Dolan out of basketball decisions — are two keys to turning the franchise around.
Now, it behooves any team president/GM to stay on good terms with agents and agencies, there certainly are ways they can help each other out. But you can’t let it effect your decision making.
The Knicks have the advantage of Phil Jackson being able to be bad cop to GM Steve Mills’ good cop. Mills was brought in as GM in part because of his good relationships with players and agents, with the idea being he could help with the recruiting. He can, just within Jackson’s framework.
By the way, Jackson also shot down the idea of him coaching. Those days are gone.