In the wake of Thursday morning reports indicating Leon Rose is expected to become the Knicks‘ next president of basketball operations, team owner James Dolan issued a statement this afternoon addressing the club’s front office search.
“We are actively looking for a new President of the New York Knicks and hope to conclude the search as quickly as possible,” Dolan said. “I am not selling, but I am determined to find the right leader for the Knicks who will ensure the long-term success of the team, just as we did with the hiring of Rangers President John Davidson.”
Dolan’s statement doesn’t mean the Knicks aren’t locked in on Rose. As Marc Berman of The New York Post tweets, it will take some time for Rose to get decertified as an agent and complete all the steps necessary for the Knicks to officially bring him aboard. He’s still on track to the run the front office — it’s just not official yet.
The more interesting part of Dolan’s statement may be the brief mention of how he’s “not selling” the team. There have been no reports circulating lately suggesting he was considering such a move, so it seems to be a response to the recent chants at Madison Square Garden. Knicks fans chanted, “Sell the team!” at Dolan near the end of a blowout loss to the Grizzlies last week.
When the Knicks removed Steve Mills from the president of basketball operations role earlier in the week, there was speculation that the serenade from fans may have played a part in Dolan’s decision to move forward with front office changes. Today’s statement doesn’t necessarily confirm that, but it seems to suggest Dolan hasn’t just brushed off those chants.