“We are pleased to welcome Leon to the New York Knicks as team president, and believe he is the right leader to build a winning organization for our fans,” Knicks owner James Dolan said in a statement. “Leon is one of the most respective executives in professional basketball, with decades of experience working with NBA players and team management in all facets of the game. We are confident he brings the right combination of expertise and relationships to ensure the long-term success of the franchise.”
Rose is the replacement for former president of basketball operations Steve Mills, who was removed from his role by New York just two days before last month’s trade deadline. General manager Scott Perry has run the front office since Mills’ dismissal, but his future with the franchise is uncertain. Rose, who will “oversee all basketball operations and personnel” for the Knicks, figures to have the final say on whether Perry will remain in the front office.
Rose has been one of the NBA’s top agents for years and had a star-studded list of clients that includes Joel Embiid, Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Karl-Anthony Towns. It has taken him a few weeks to tie up loose ends with those clients as he transitioned from his role as a player rep to a team executive.
The Knicks were linked repeatedly to Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri following Mills’ departure, but reports at the time suggested they were reluctant to aggressively pursue Ujiri with more than a year left on his contract. With the hiring of Rose, the organization will attempt to emulate a model that has been successful for the Lakers and Warriors, who are run by former agents Rob Pelinka and Bob Myers, respectively.
Although the Knicks have now made Rose’s hiring official, they haven’t scheduled a news conference to introduce him to the media, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. According to Woj, Rose’s plan is to remain behind the scenes for now, observing and listening and avoiding making any “big public proclamations.”