Wob: With Steve Mills Gone, Is Masai Ujiri Up Next for the Knicks?
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Steve Mills, former General Manager of the New York Knicks.
The ‘he’ in this case is not the ‘he’ that many Knicks fans chanting “Sell-The-Team!” intend the chant for, but it’s as close as it gets. Think of when Phil Leotardo put out a hit on Silvio Dante at the end of The Sopranos, it wasn’t Tony, but, it sent a clear, franchise-changing message to everyone involved.
That’s what we’re dealing with here today in the Mecca of Basketball. Nobody died, and there are going to be some people not mentioned in the reports who probably lost their jobs, which should never be celebrated, but the bottom line is Steve Mills is gone.
The notorious, consigliere basketball henchman of James Dolan, who not only survived every nuclear apocalypse within the Madison Square Garden front office, but seemingly got promotions too, is no longer the President of the New York Knicks.
Fans are going to celebrate. When the team hasn’t made it past the second round of the playoffs in more than two decades, you naturally overreact to any sort of W you can get — especially firings.
Cancel culture loves nothing more than the downfall of others, it’s just the way society operates in 2020. Now in the wake of this news, we have to ask: will this actually work?
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Considering the precedent of past Knicks presidents, the answer is likely to be ‘no’. After the reign of Ernie Grunfield ended in 1999, the Knicks have shuffled through Scott Layden, Isiah Thomas, Donnie Walsh, Glen Grunwald, Phil Jackson and now Mills.
Other than one 54-28 season in 2013, which resulted in a conference semi-finals defeat to the Indiana Pacers in six games, the franchise’s prestige has trended down since the glory days of the 90’s.
Every franchise has bad years; even the San Antonio Spurs missed the playoffs at one point during the rise of the Ottoman Empire. But you have every right to question if it’s the players who are responsible for 20 years of ineptitude or the management’s assembling the team.
With so much chaos, propaganda, and negative press surrounding the Knicks in the country’s most harsh media market, often times the answer is the front office. Fair or not, “FIRE DOLAN!” chants have drowned out any boos aimed towards the players for some time now.