Gio: Knicks Not Following Warriors Model By Hiring Leon Rose

Player Agent Expected To Be Named Team President

Boomer and Gio
February 07, 2020 - 9:49 am

The Knicks are reportedly set to hire Leon Rose, a player agent with no front-office experience, as their new team president. The move was quickly being compared to the model used by the Golden State Warriors, who are also run by a former agent, Bob Myers.

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But WFAN's Gregg Giannotti says he doesn't see the similarities.

"When people compare it to the Golden State Warriors, it's not the Golden State Warriors because the basketball guy in Larry Riley built that team," Giannotti said on Friday's "Boomer and Gio" show. "He drafted Steph Curry, he drafted Klay Thompson, Draymond Green was on his watch, Harrison Barnes -- all those guys were. Now, Kevin Durant went over there when Bob Myers ended up being the general manager, but this is not what's going on with the Knicks. They're not following the Golden State model because the Golden State model had a basketball guy who brought in all those guys, and they won a championship."

Giannotti said he had hoped the Knicks, who have not been to the playoffs since 2013, would have hired an experienced executive with a winning track record "to fix this thing." The Knicks removed Steve Mills as team president Tuesday.

Rose is expected to bring William Wesley, better known as "World Wide Wes," a longtime NBA power broker with close ties to Rose, with him to the Knicks. Together, they have relationships with many of the league's biggest stars -- Rose's client list includes Devin Booker, Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns, to name a few. 

"And that's what the Knicks are banking on, that Leon Rose and World Wide Wes can be able to attract some of those free agents," Boomer Esiason, Giannotti's co-host said. "They haven't been able to in the past."

"Now, I like the Leon Rose-World Wide Wes thing from that perspective," Gio said, "because every person we talked to, including our buddy Stephen Jackson's like ... "They're not going to go because of Dolan." ... If you put Leon Rose and World Wide Wes there as a buffer to Dolan, that changes a lot of things, and maybe free agents will think differently."

Esiason said the Rose hiring seems like "a desperate one," but added, "Why not? ... What the hell they got to lose?"

To listen to the open from Friday's "Boomer and Gio" show, click on the audio player above.