The Knicks attempted to put out another firestorm on Tuesday, this time ignited by their new brand consultant who said the team would be moving on from current interim head coach Mike Miller after the season.
In an interview on ESPN’s “First Take” early Tuesday, the recently hired Steve Stoute — tasked with improving the Knicks’ shaky image — said, “there had to be a change in [firing team president Steve Mills]. That change will bring a new coach and new coaches that are going to help develop these younger players.”
He added: “Having a coach like that who has the magnitude and gravitas so that the media would love to talk to him and believe him, I think that’s super important.”
Hours after the interview went viral, the Knicks released a statement saying that Stoute “does not speak on behalf of New York Knicks personnel and basketball operations.”
Stoute, a 49-year-old former big-name music executive, said in the same statement that he “inadvertently insinuated about Knicks personnel.”
Stoute’s initial comments came with the Knicks in the middle of shaking up their front-office.
Before the NBA trade deadline last week, the Knicks fired Mills, the longtime James Dolan confidant who failed in two separate stints with the Knicks.
The Knicks are expected to hire super-agent Leon Rose as their next president, while current GM and interim team president Scott Perry is not expected to remain with the team in the same capacity past this season.
Miller took over for David Fizdale, who was fired not even halfway into his second season with the team 4-18, and has the Knicks playing better ball. Since the former G-League head coach took over, the Knicks are 13-19, and nearing the playoff bubble.