Trying to discern what is going on within the New York Knicks front office and who has the power is a lot like Kremlinology — you try to figure out what is going on based on who is standing next to owner James Dolan during a parade. Or something along those lines.
So why the sudden demotion of Glen Grunwald and the hiring of Steve Mills as GM — the guy who presided over the Knicks Isiah Thomas era, something no Knicks fan wants to relive? The move left a lot of people around the league shaking their heads as Grunwald had built a roster that made the second round of the playoffs, the first time the Knicks won a playoff series since 2001. Maybe Grunwald fought for his own ideas and opinions and didn’t just roll over for Dolan. Maybe Mills has some grand plan to lure free agents this summer that Dolan loved. This is the Dolan show, so it always comes back to him.
But Grunwald’s new title, “advisor,” also begs this question: What if his new role has something to do with helping groom assistant GM Allan Houston to eventually become New York’s GM? Mills, too, could have been hired to tutor Houston.
Former Knicks player Chris Copeland, now with the Indiana Pacers, sensed there could be a bigger opportunity in store for Houston.
“I think he’s the next in line,” Copeland said. “I’m sad for Glen—I have nothing but the utmost respect for Glen; I like Glen and I think he’s a great guy—but I’m extremely excited for Allan if he does get that opportunity. I think he’ll do a great job there.”
I don’t think Grunwald was stripped of his power so he could tutor Houston. Grunwald’s new title of “advisor” is essentially the banishment to Sibera of the Knicks organization.
However, it makes sense that Mills is the placeholder and tutor for Houston, who has long been seen as in line for that job.
That said, even the job of the GM is really subject to the whims of Dolan, he is the final word and the GM has to execute it. How well you can convince Dolan that your idea is his and is a good one may be the ultimate skill needed for that gig.
Nets GM Sean Marks gets suspended for going into ref’s locker room after Game 4
Emotions are high as the playoffs move into the second week. Things got a little testy between the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night as Jared Dudley got in the face of Joel Embiid after the Sixers big man committed a hard foul on Jared Allen.
That caused Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler to respond to Dudley, who overreacted to a good, hard playoff foul by Embiid. The result of the fracas was an ejection for Butler and Dudley, and a flagrant 1 on embiid.
But apparently that’s not the end of the disciplinary process for the NBA.
Nets general manager Sean Marks went into the officials locker room after the game — no doubt to discuss what happened here — which is a big problem in the eyes of the league.
According to a release by the NBA, Marks has been suspended for one game without pay and has been fined $25,000.
Marks will be suspended for Game 5 between these two teams on April 23rd.
The playoffs are high-stakes, but Embiid blocking the crap out of somebody shouldn’t result in someone going crazy like Dudley did.
Philadelphia beat the Nets, 112-108.
Everyone’s hero is dad who pulls son away from Nets/76ers fracas (VIDEO)
You set up a bonding experience with your son or daughter, one you hope will leave an impression on them and create a memory that will last a lifetime… for example, you get courtside seats, just behind the basket, for one of the first NBA playoff games in Brooklyn, ever.
Then everything hits the fan.
Joel Embiid commits a flagrant foul on Jarrett Allen, Jared Dudley rushes in and shoves Embiid to stand up for his teammate, Jimmy Butler runs in to shove Dudley on the same premise, and suddenly there is a wave of large professional athletes about to trample you and your son. So, you grab him, move onto the court, and get out of the way.
There were two fathers with the same thought, one on either side of the fracas that spills into the first row.
Unable to find a new NBA contract for this season, Andrew Bogut went home. The Australia native signed to play for the Sydney Kings in Australia’s NBL, where Bogut ended up being the league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, leading the Kings on a deep playoff run.
When that run ended, the Golden State Warriors came calling, asking him to fill a role — a role that got much larger after DeMarcus Cousins tore his quad. Bogut has played well for the Warriors in the postseason, and there is a good chance Cousins will not be back in Golden State (the Warriors can only offer him a small raise off what he made this season, that likely will not be enough, even after the injury), so the Warriors may try to retain Bogut for next season.
“The be all and end all is that I gave my word (to the Kings)… That is basically what it comes down to…
“Someone outside of the Warriors could offer me a deal that would be pretty lucrative and a decent one-year deal, but I’m sold and locked in on coming to the Sydney Kings again to try and better what we did last season.”
Saying you’ll walk away from a lot of money and actually doing it are two different things, but Bogut is a man who stands by his word. He probably returns to Sydney for next season.
When that season ends, however, don’t be shocked to see Bogut back somewhere in the NBA helping a team make a playoff run.
Joel Embiid calls Jared Dudley “a nobody” (but NBA Twitter shows Dudley love)
Jared Dudley has been in the face of the Philadelphia 76ers all series.
He was the guy who said Ben Simmons was “average” in the halfcourt (which echoed every scouting report on Simmons ever), prompting Simmons to respond, “It’s coming from Jared Dudley. C’mon.” The feud between the Sixers and Dudley was brewing.