Glen Grunwald was fired from his position as general manager of the New York Knicks this week, which causes for sincere questioning of the leadership of owner James Dolan.
The Knicks went 54-28 last season and won a playoff series for the first time in 30 years. But with the Brooklyn Nets making a lot of noise on the other side of town this summer, Dolan may have felt compelled to make a headline to spite Mikhail Prokhorov.
That’s one theory. The only other thought process he could’ve taken in firing Grunwald was that the former GM—who’s now been demoted to an “adviser” for New York—was that he signed too many older players last season.
Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace were downright old when they signed with the Knicks last year. Those guys were really hampered by injuries as the season wore on, but at times they were able to channel the fountain of youth and contribute a lot to the team, especially early on when NY got off to that spectacular 18-6 start.
After falling to the Indiana Pacers in the second round of the playoffs, Grunwald vastly improved the Knicks’ roster over the summer. He swapped Camby and Steve Novak to the Toronto Raptors for a potential steal in Andrea Bargnani, signed Metta World Peace for a fantastic price, drafted a future star in Tim Hardaway Jr. and added much-needed depth behind Tyson Chandler with the young and big-bodied Cole Aldrich.
And yet, Dolan just let him go. It’s an inexplicable, mind-boggling decision that could lead right into an even worse situation for NY—the return of Isiah Thomas.
Steve Mills will take over as the new general manager and team president. He’s a former Knick executive whose most famous move was ushering in the Isiah-era—which included a 59-loss season and a seemingly endless list of horrendous roster moves, one of which was drafting Renaldo Balkman over Rajon Rondo.
Maybe Mills will get rid of Amar’e Stoudemire’s burdensome contract, or bring in another star to cement Melo’s future with the team. Or perhaps he’ll bring Thomas back for another shot in the Knicks’ front office.
In any case, it’s still a troubling thought that one powerful, unpredictable man has the power to dictate the future of the Knicks.
The Knicks finally have a chance to turn themselves into a perennial contender—the only thing that stands in their way is their owner.