After losing out on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to the Nets in free agency, the Knicks decided they needed to become "cool" again. So they hired Steve Stoute, a former record executive at Interscope and Sony, as the team's new brand consultant.
His task: Make the Knicks cool again.
Things did not get off to the best start after Stoute went on ESPN's First Take Tuesday. The Knicks had to release a statement afterward clarifying Stoute's role with the team.
Where it began
Talking to Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman, Stoute compared himself to Drake and talked about the Knicks' personnel decisions. Specifically, firing team president Steve Mills.
"Toronto Raptors brought in Drake ... the New York Knicks brought in me."— First Take (@FirstTake) February 11, 2020
Steve Stoute talks about rebranding the Knicks. pic.twitter.com/vFSdUwVqEj
"Steve Mills, the former president, they needed a change in leadership," Stoute said when asked how he plans to address team building through the draft and player development. "I had nothing to do with Steve Mills' departure. But there had to be a change."
"So there is a change," he said. "That change will bring a new coach and new coaches that are going to help develop these younger players."
While Stoute explained he'll have a hand in courting star players and coaches to join the Knicks, basketball decisions will go to Leon Rose once he's officially announced as New York's newest president.
The Knicks' response
Hours after Stoute's appearance on ESPN, the Knicks released a statement to counter his comments on air. Stoute was also quoted in the statement.
"While Steve Stoute is a valued contributor to the Knicks' marketing and branding efforts, he does not speak on behalf of New York Knicks personnel and basketball operations," the team said. "Any decisions regarding the operations of the team will be made by the new president of the New York Knicks."
Stoute's statement immediately followed:
"In my excitement to defend the Knicks on live TV today, I inadvertently insinuated about Knicks personnel," Stoute wrote. "I look forward to working with Knicks management to elevate the great Knicks brand moving forward."
Why is this relevant to the Wizards?
Other than the fact the Wizards play the Knicks on Thursday in their last game before the All-Star break, this franchise remains a solid reminder for Wizards fans everywhere.
As bad as Wizards fans may think their life is rooting for their favorite team, they will never reach the lows the Knicks have. It's impossible.
It's so bad over in New York that the owner of the team, James Dolan, had to reiterate that he was not selling the team when announcing his team's search for Mills' replacement.
So as the Knicks take on the Wizards Thursday night, Washington fans can take solace in how their favorite team is not the New York Knicks.
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