James Dolan doesn’t speak with the media often, so when he joined Carton and Roberts in studio on Friday, he was asked about the job team president Leon Rose is doing with the Knicks, who are fighting for a playoff spot and to avoid the play-in this year.
“Yes, absolutely,” Dolan said when asked if he still approved of Leon’s performance. “Why did I bring Leon in? I’ve been doing this for 20 something years now. In my experience with the NBA, there’s things you can do as an owner. You can create an environment where you give everybody the money they need to do their job. You can stay out of the way, which is usually the best decision, but you pick the one guy who’s going to make all the strategy and execute for you. I picked Leon because I believe…the team with the best talent wins. Then you want a guy who can get you the best talent. And I believe Leon Rose is still the guy.”
Rose has extended draft picks RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson, signed Jalen Brunson as the franchise’s first impact point guard in decades, but has also held back on making a big splash for stars like Donovan Mitchell, choosing instead to continue compiling draft picks while the team’s young core steadily improves. Dolan isn’t opposed to that process, and doesn’t seem to be losing any patience with the team’s current leadership.
“It’s less of a timetable,” Dolan said. “Eventually, there’s a timetable, but right now, what we’re looking for is progress. We want to build into a championship team. We fully expect to make the playoffs this year. That will definitely be a benchmark.
“My attitude has changed…every new owner comes in thinking they’ve got the answer to how to make the team successful…you really gotta leave a lot of the strategy to the guys who have dedicated their lives and careers to it.”
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