According to reports from ESPN’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Leon Rose, veteran agent of Creative Artists Agency (“CAA”) has been tabbed as the New York Knicks next President.
Rose will become the second CAA agent to take the helm of a New York franchise, as veteran baseball agent Brodie Van Wagenen was hired by the New York Mets in 2018.
The news comes on the heels of Knicks owner James Dolan firing former team President Steve Mills from his position; Mills has served as team President since 2017.
Rose takes over a 16-36 franchise that ranks in the bottom of the NBA in terms of on-court performance and off-court image. In fact, Dolan recently hired Steve Stoute and his agency Translation to try and revamp the team’s image among the public.
Leon Rose, on the other hand, already boasts an impressive roster of NBA clients that many would in fact consider “cool.” Clients include names such as: Carmelo Anthony, Joel Embiid, Victor Oladipo, and Chris Paul. Retired players include: Allen Iverson, Richard Hamilton, Eddy Curry, and J.R. Smith.
In addition to his impressive client roster, Rose is also a native of New Jersey, having grown up in the Cherry Hill area of South Jersey.
Having grown up in this area, Rose likely understands the plight of the Knicks fan and how important this franchise is to the NBA and to the city of New York.
Rose will help to add a fresh perspective to a team that is so desperate for a culture change. Rose has experience on the players side of the negotiating table and is likely close to many of the sources (i.e. players) that deem the Knicks to be an undesirable franchise for NBA free agents and players in general.
Much like Van Wagenen put a jolt of energy into the Mets upon his arrival (trading for Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano, putting Pete Alonso on the Opening Day roster, drafting one of the best high school prospects in the 2019 Draft in Matthew Allen), Rose will should employ many of the same tactics with the Knicks.
If the Knicks are going to change for the better, and improve their on-court performance, the team needs more than just an improved roster. Rose needs to develop an organizational chart and implement new systems and procedures that result in an efficient and effective organizational structure.
Although the terrain is often unpredictable when it comes to agents taking the front office reigns, Knicks fans should look forward to Rose’s vision (which we will learn about soon enough) and hopefully look forward to some much needed change going forward.