By Lenn Robbins
Former player agent Leon Rose was officially hired Monday as the president of the Knicks president. As was the case with his most predecessors – Steve Mills and Phil Jackson – Rose asked Knicks fans for patience.
These are Rose’s words:
Nothing about this is easy, or quick, so I ask for your continued patience. What I promise you in return is that I will be honest and forthright. We will develop a plan that makes sense, both to jumpstart our short-term grow and ensure our long-term success. Our team will work hard, stick together and ensure we live up to the honor of wearing the New York Knicks jersey.
This is what Mills had to say after last year’s draft:
I think we’re asking them to continue to be patient. We laid out a plan when Scott [Perry] came on board and then David [Fizdale] joined us that we were gonna build this team the right way. We we’re going to draft well and we’re gonna be diligent about how we make this team and not taken any shortcuts.
And here is the Zenmaster prior to the 2015 draft:
We have a clear plan and expect our efforts to really take shape as we enter the 2015 draft and free agency in the months ahead. I ask that you remain optimistic and hope you will join us in our continued journey as we build a team that once again reflects the spirit of being a New York Knick.
With each regime, this plea for patience gets a little more galling. it’s been almost half a century since a Knicks championship banner was raised in The Garden. Half. A. Century.
Meanwhile, smart rebuilds are taking place all over the NBA map in places much less glamorous than the Big Apple such as Memphis, New Orleans and Oklahoma City. The Thunder have been gutted more thoroughly than all the fish in Greenport yet they have two first-round draft choices in each of the next five drafts. Five!
During this time, it’s hard to imagine another fan base more patient, supportive and perpetually hopeful than Knicks fans. They embraced Frank Ntilinka (Jackson) Kevin Knox (Mills).
There are many NBA executives that say Dolan dearly wants the Knicks to be good. They point to the $60 million he gave Jackson, hoping the extraordinary coach could make the transition to elite execute. He couldn’t.
Dolan tried the tandem of Mills and Scott Perry, hoping they could parlay their good standing in the NBA into bonanza free agent signings. They didn’t.
Now he has gone with the former agent, Rose. Those who know him say he’s sincere and his desire to make the Knicks a premier franchise is genuine. He deserves the benefit of any doubt.
We just have one piece of advice:
Don’t ask these fans to be patient. They could write the book on it.