Knicks Notes: Branding, Oakley, Dotson, Udrih

The Knicks need more than a brand agency to help improve their image with fans, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. On Thursday, Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg broke the news that the team will be partnering with Steve Stoute’s Translation agency, which helped create a positive image for the Nets. Stoute will serve as a special adviser to the Knicks and will use data and analytics to develop public relations campaigns.

“We have a ways to go,” Stoute told Soshnick. “People can say what they want, but the world knows when you get it right — when the New York team is winning — basketball is better. When the New York Knicks are right, the NBA is a better place. That is the opportunity.”

Popper contends there’s little the franchise can do to improve its image as long as it’s putting a losing product on the court. He adds that the basketball side of the Knicks brand is “poison” because of a “culture of fear and backstabbing” that has executives and coaches afraid to speak out about the problems that are holding back the organization.

There’s more out of New York:

  • The new marketing effort could result in the return of Knicks legend Charles Oakley to Madison Square Garden, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. A source tells Berman that Oakley and Stoute are friends, and the power forward tweeted a congratulatory message this morning. Oakley has been a vocal critic of team owner James Dolan, particularly since being evicted from the Garden in 2017. Oakley claims the incident has caused some players to decide they don’t want to play for the Knicks.
  • Damyean Dotson‘s improved play has helped make up for the loss of RJ Barrett, who is sidelined with a sprained ankle, observes Greg Joyce of The New York Post. Dotson made seven of 10 shots and scored 21 points Friday night. “We find the minutes for the guys that need to be playing,” interim coach Mike Miller said. “As they’re out they’re playing, Dot’s playing well, so he played the whole fourth quarter.”
  • Beno Udrih has joined the coaching staff for the Knicks’ G League affiliate in Westchester, tweets Ian Begley of Udrih spent 13 years in the NBA, including a brief stop in New York.
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