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Is Mills hiring a stepping stone to Allan Houston as Knicks GM?

Sep 27, 2013, 4:50 PM EDT

James Dolan AP

Trying to discern what is going on within the New York Knicks front office and who has the power is a lot like Kremlinology — you try to figure out what is going on based on who is standing next to owner James Dolan during a parade. Or something along those lines.

So why the sudden demotion of Glen Grunwald and the hiring of Steve Mills as GM — the guy who presided over the Knicks Isiah Thomas era, something no Knicks fan wants to relive? The move left a lot of people around the league shaking their heads as Grunwald had built a roster that made the second round of the playoffs, the first time the Knicks won a playoff series since 2001. Maybe Grunwald fought for his own ideas and opinions and didn’t just roll over for Dolan. Maybe Mills has some grand plan to lure free agents this summer that Dolan loved. This is the Dolan show, so it always comes back to him.

Or maybe Mills is just the placeholder until they can give the job to former Knicks player Allan Houston. That’s what Jared Zwerling was reporting over at Bleacher Report.

But Grunwald’s new title, “advisor,” also begs this question: What if his new role has something to do with helping groom assistant GM Allan Houston to eventually become New York’s GM? Mills, too, could have been hired to tutor Houston.

Former Knicks player Chris Copeland, now with the Indiana Pacers, sensed there could be a bigger opportunity in store for Houston.

“I think he’s the next in line,” Copeland said. “I’m sad for Glen—I have nothing but the utmost respect for Glen; I like Glen and I think he’s a great guy—but I’m extremely excited for Allan if he does get that opportunity. I think he’ll do a great job there.”

I don’t think Grunwald was stripped of his power so he could tutor Houston. Grunwald’s new title of “advisor” is essentially the banishment to Sibera of the Knicks organization.

However, it makes sense that Mills is the placeholder and tutor for Houston, who has long been seen as in line for that job.

That said, even the job of the GM is really subject to the whims of Dolan, he is the final word and the GM has to execute it. How well you can convince Dolan that your idea is his and is a good one may be the ultimate skill needed for that gig.

  1. richbertin - Sep 27, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Reblogged this on Starks Raving Mad and commented:
    I was just getting ready to post the season’s first of what is to become of many diatribes against Dolan, but then I saw this piece by ProBasketballTalk. This is an interesting angle in a vacuum of reasons why Dolan would suddenly bring back noted Thomas lackey Steve Mills. I love Allan Houston and so does Dolan. Perhaps there is more to this story on the way?

  2. Anoesis - Sep 27, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    The right way, the wrong way, and the Knicks’ way.

  3. bux1022 - Sep 27, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    The Knicks way was the 2nd seed in the east last year.. The Knicks way beat Miami 3 out of four contests.. The Knicks way was making to the second round of the playoffs! The Knicks way has been to get better each year, so tell you what I’ll take the Knicks way all day scrub!

    • badintent - Sep 27, 2013 at 10:27 PM

      Preach it brother !

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 28, 2013 at 3:04 AM

      Then the Knicks decided they didn’t like their own way, and traded for Andrea Bargnani.

    • thebigcaptain2011 - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      The Knicks way is also going 40 years without winning a title. I’ll take the Rocket way instead, thank you.

  4. cantonbound13 - Sep 27, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Please, please, please don’t let it be Isiah.

  5. onlyavoice - Sep 27, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Isiah Says Allen Is Not GM Material.

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