Ian Begley

Ian Begley is SNY's NBA Insider.

 (Treated Image by SNY)
(Treated Image by SNY)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The NBA, Knicks and the Nets partnered with the China Consul General to donate 1 million surgical masks to New York's first responders, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday. 

Cuomo thanked the entities for their donation. 

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Earlier this week, several teams were holding out hope that the NBA season could resume in some form. 

No one knows at this point if playing games this summer will be an option amid the coronavirus crisis. It depends on factors that are impossible to project. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Knicks president Leon Rose (Treated Image by SNY)
Knicks president Leon Rose (Treated Image by SNY)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Nets GM Sean Marks said on Wednesday that Brooklyn's coaching search is on hold while the NBA season is suspended. 

The Knicks are taking the same approach, heeding an unofficial moratorium on any personnel moves while the season is on hold, people in touch with the team told SNY. 

That means no action taken on a potential coaching search, those people say. Those in touch with the team also say that there is no movement at the moment on any front office transactions, confirming a New York Post report. 

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Knicks president Leon Rose, interim head coach Mike Miller and several players offered a thank you to healthcare workers battling the coronavirus crisis in a video posted Thursday. 


Jun 20, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver talks after the final pick of the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner)
Jun 20, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver talks after the final pick of the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

If the NBA can play games in the summer -- a big if -- one potential hurdle will be the scheduling of the NBA Draft. 

Several agents pointed out that having the draft any later than July would be difficult because it would push the decision date for draft-eligible players close to the beginning of the fall semester. 

This would make the timing of decisions difficult for both the player and the school the player is potentially leaving. College coaches would have to plan for the upcoming season without knowing whether a draft-eligible player will return or not. They would also have to operate during a significant portion of the recruiting calendar with that uncertainty. 

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

No one can predict how the coronavirus will impact the United States - and the world - in the coming weeks and months. 

So it's way too soon to make any predictions or assertions about when the NBA might resume its season. 

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Elfrid Payton
Elfrid Payton

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

One of the most pressing questions for the Knicks under new team president Leon Rose is: What do you do at point guard?

Rose inherits Frank Ntilikina, Elfrid Payton and Dennis Smith Jr. as his lead guards, along with two-way player Kadeem Allen. Former Knicks head coach David Fizdale said last week that he thought it was important for New York to find a point guard who was a threat from the perimeter. Others currently in the organization share those thoughts. 

The Knicks have a team option on Payton for next season, and have Ntilikina and Smith under contract for next season. The club is projected to have three draft picks in the Top 36 picks of the 2020 NBA Draft, so they could target a point guard there. 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Maurice Harkless
Maurice Harkless

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

We don't know when NBA free agency will take place. But we know that the Knicks will have several decisions to make when it gets here. 

Among them is what to do with veteran wing Maurice Harkless

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Dec 7, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks interim head coach Mike Miller coaches against the Indiana Pacers during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 7, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks interim head coach Mike Miller coaches against the Indiana Pacers during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

When Leon Rose officially took over as Knicks president on March 2, the plan was to use the final six weeks of the season to get to know coaches, players and execs. That, presumably, would help inform Rose as he reshaped New York's roster, coaching staff and front office in the offseason. 

Obviously, that plan was altered two weeks ago when the NBA suspended its season amid the coronavirus crisis.

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Knicks rookie RJ Barrett
Knicks rookie RJ Barrett

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

If this Knicks season is over, RJ Barrett will finish with averages of 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steal per game.

Those numbers may not put Barrett in the Rookie of the Year conversation, but they've left a strong impression with some NBA evaluators.

"Everyone is going to talk about Ja (Morant) and Zion (Williamson), for obvious reasons," one Western Conference executive said. "But I like RJ a lot. I think he can have a long, successful career in this league if he stays healthy."

Tags: RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Feb 16, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a press conference at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)
Feb 16, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a press conference at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday that he's holding out hope that a portion of the NBA season can be salvaged amid the coronavirus crisis.

"We're gonna try by every means we can to play basketball again," Silver said in an interview with ESPN. "But I say that the safety and health of our players is first, and our fans, which is why I don't want to speculate more on that.

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A general view of Madison Square Garden before a Knicks game (Adam Hunger)
A general view of Madison Square Garden before a Knicks game (Adam Hunger)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The NBA and NBPA defended the testing of their players for Covid-19 amid criticism from New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and others.

"There's nothing irresponsible -- if you've got that information [that you've been exposed] -- about trying to get the tests," NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said in an interview with ESPN on Wednesday. "The problem that more of us can't get the tests -- and I'm not apologetic about saying it -- in my view, that rests at the foot of the federal government. They were responsible for making sure we were protected in that regard, and I think they failed.

"We shouldn't be fighting about this now ... but once this is done and we get through it, and we will, let's figure out who screwed up and fix that."

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Feb 3, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) smiles during a time out during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 3, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) smiles during a time out during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Even if the NBA season extends into August due to the coronavirus crisis, it doesn't sound like Kevin Durant will return to the court for the Nets.

Rich Kleiman, Durant's business partner and manager, downplayed the possibility of the two-time Finals MVP returning this summer during an interview on ESPN Radio Tuesday.

"Honestly, not very realistic from my standpoint and not even spoken about," Kleiman said when asked on the Golic and Wingo Show about the possibility of Durant returning in July or August. "…. It clearly was not something that was in the cards prior to all this. And now, just like the rest of the world, it's hard to take anything more than day by day. I think that Kevin's going to figure out the space that he needs to be in to continue to rehab during this time. Even that is hard to answer at this point with the new kind of rules that were put in place (restricting player travel)."

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Feb 12, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood (35) reacts as he dunks over Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) during the first half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 12, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood (35) reacts as he dunks over Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) during the first half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Regardless of what happens with the salary cap amid the coronavirus crisis, we know the Knicks are going to have money to spend in free agency. 

While it's way too early to know who they'll target, it's worth noting that some in the Knicks' front office are enamored with Detroit's Christian Wood

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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(Treated Image by SNY)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The NBA and NBPA agreed to suspend random player drug testing during the current moratorium to address concerns regarding the proximity of drug testers amid coronavirus fears and the sensitivity of drawing blood, SNY sources confirmed. 

Players are customarily subjected to random drug testing over the course of the year, as part of the collective bargaining agreement. 

Typically, a player will be tested roughly six times over the course of the year. 

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Nov 14, 2016; New York, NY, USA; General overall view of Madison Square Garden. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 14, 2016; New York, NY, USA; General overall view of Madison Square Garden. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Madison Square Garden sent a memo that stated event-driven employees - such as those who work at MSG on game nights for the Knicks and Rangers - will be paid through the next pay period, ending March 22, as the NBA and NHL navigate the coronavirus crisis. 

Both NHL and NBA seasons are currently suspended. It is unclear when - or if - either season will resume. This leaves arena workers who are paid wages for working Knicks and Rangers games without a paycheck. 

MSG said in the memo, obtained by SNY, that it is working to develop longer-term plans to support its entire work force. That work force includes event-night staff at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theater and the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. 

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Nov 14, 2016; New York, NY, USA; General overall view of Madison Square Garden. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 14, 2016; New York, NY, USA; General overall view of Madison Square Garden. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Madison Square Garden sent a memo that stated event-driven employees -- such as those who work at MSG on game nights for the Knicks and Rangers -- will be paid through the next pay period, ending March 22, as the NBA and NHL navigate the coronavirus crisis. 

Both NHL and NBA seasons are currently suspended. It is unclear when -- or if -- either season will resume. This leaves arena workers who are paid wages for working Knicks and Rangers games without a paycheck. 

MSG said in the memo, obtained by SNY, that it is working to develop longer-term plans to support its entire work force. That work force includes event-night staff at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theater and the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. 

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Frank Ntilikina (Geoff Burke)
Frank Ntilikina (Geoff Burke)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Mike Miller sees a subtle difference lately in Frank Ntilikina's approach: 

"Before, when he had a defender in front of him, he made the pass to Mitchell [Robinson] or Bobby [Portis] or whoever. And now he's seeing open lanes to the basket, and he's going," Miller said Tuesday. 

That change is significant for Ntilikina, who scouts had seen as too passive on offense in his first two seasons. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Mar 22, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks executive chairman James Dolan watches during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 22, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks executive chairman James Dolan watches during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Over the last few years, Knicks fans have seen owner James Dolan get into public spats with fans, Charles Oakley and -- most recently -- Spike Lee.

When the Houston Rockets were in town earlier this week, former Knick Tyson Chandler shared a story that showed a different side of the controversial owner.

In 2014, Chandler's mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Chandler said doctors believed she had three-to-six months to live. As you'd imagine, Chandler was stunned when he first learned of the diagnosis.

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Mar 8, 2020; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Elfrid Payton (6) dribbles the ball against the Detroit Pistons during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Mar 8, 2020; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Elfrid Payton (6) dribbles the ball against the Detroit Pistons during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Some notes from the Knicks' win over the Pistons...


Kevin Knox had two blocks against Detroit, tangible evidence of what Mike Miller has been talking about for weeks: the young Knick is improving on the defensive end.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Mar 6, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts during the second quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts during the second quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Some Nets veterans had serious questions about whether Kenny Atkinson could coach the team to an NBA title, per SNY sources.

"They weren't sure if he was the right guy," one source said Sunday.

It's unclear if the players' concerns factored in to the organization's decision to part ways with Atkinson on Saturday.

Tags: DeAndre Jordan, Jarrett Allen, Ian Begley
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Mar 28, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson during the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Mar 28, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson during the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

With the Nets' mutually parting ways with Kenny Atkinson, does his availability impact the Knicks' coaching search?

Atkinson checks several boxes that are important to some in the Knicks organization when it comes to the next head coach:

He can develop young players. 

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Knicks' Kevin Knox (Treated Image by SNY)
Knicks' Kevin Knox (Treated Image by SNY)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A few weeks into Kevin Knox's rookie season, his college coach, John Calipari, said that NBA teams would have to be patient with the 6-9 forward. 

"I told the Knicks and everybody recruiting (Knox) -- they're 19, 18, 20, not 25 years old. But what you have is a 6-9, 6-10 player who's multi-dimensional, who can score and is just going to get better and better when he matures and physically fills out," Calipari said. 

Tags: Kevin Knox, Ian Begley
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell grew up in Westchester County, rooting for the Knicks. Like most Knicks fans, Mitchell was surprised to see Spike Lee on First Take Tuesday morning talking about being 'harrased' by owner James Dolan. 

"I don't know exactly what happened. But I just reacted to what I saw. And from what I saw, that's the way I reacted the way I did," Mitchell said Wednesday after leading the Jazz to a win over the Knicks. 

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Feb 24, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) handles the ball while Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) defends during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports (Erik Williams)
Feb 24, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) handles the ball while Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) defends during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports (Erik Williams)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

James Harden had high praise for RJ Barrett after the Knicks' win over Houston on Monday. 

"Aggressive. I like it, especially as a rookie. Not timid at all," Harden said after Barrett scored 27 points against the Rockets. "When your aggressive and confident in your game, you look good out there. Long as he continues to build his confidence, keep being aggressive, and get the opportunity, which he will, he'll be great."

Barrett hadn't seen Harden's comments the day after the game, but he certainly appreciated the sentiment. 

Tags: RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Spike Lee believes off-court issues like the public back-and-forth between he, the Knicks and owner James Dolan on Tuesday are part of the reason the team hasn't attracted top free agents. 

"All deference to Mr. KD, Kevin Durant, (when he) talked about why free agents were not coming to play for the New York Knickerbockers in the World's Most Famous Arena, the biggest thing he left out was Charles Oakley being arrested and led out in handcuffs," Lee said in an interview with The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio in New York.

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Mitchell Robinson dunks during Knicks game
Mitchell Robinson dunks during Knicks game

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Knicks big man Mitchell Robinson turned in another strong performance on Monday, dropping 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting and 13 rebounds (five offensive) in New York's win over Houston. 

Tyson Chandler, a former Knick and current Rockets vet, was impressed by what he saw. 

"I love his game. Very talented young player. He's very raw. But his athletic ability and what he can turn into and things that he can accomplish, I feel like are limitless," Chandler said. "I don't think he even knows how talented he is yet."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

One possession after shooting an airball on a 3-pointer, RJ Barrett had the ball in his hands, Knicks up one, with 20 seconds to go. He drove left on PJ Tucker and finished over him, giving New York a 3-point lead with 8 seconds to play. 

Barrett's bucket and Frank Ntilikina's defense against Russell Westbrook on the game's final play sealed a surprising win for New York

It also underscored one of the most important qualities Barrett's showed in his rookie season: a seemingly unshakeable confidence. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Leon Rose officially took over as Knicks team president on Monday. Here's a look at a few important decisions he'll face in the near future:

1) Get prepared for the 2020 NBA Draft

Hiring a coach, of course, is one of the biggest decisions Rose will make as team president. But bringing in/retaining the right front office executives and scouting staff is just as imperative.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Don't expect Leon Rose to come in and make immediate changes to the front office. 

Several people briefed on the matter said Rose will take some time to evaluate the existing Knicks staff before making any decisions on who to keep and who to let go from the current regime.

Rose is expected to be officially named team president sometime this week. The New York Times reported that Rose will take over unofficially on Sunday. 

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Mitchell Robinson (Adam Hunger)
Mitchell Robinson (Adam Hunger)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Knicks coach Mike Miller believes Mitchell Robinson is playing the best basketball of his career lately. But Miller has no plans to insert Robinson into the starting lineup.

Here's why: "How well Mitch is playing. It's that simple," Miller said on Saturday. "We were looking at it, if there comes a time we need to change it then we'll change it, but right now he's playing the best basketball of his career.

"We got into the decision the other night, should we go ahead and start him now or keep him in his role. We kept him in his role and then started him in the third quarter and he put together another good game. Taj (Gibson) has gotten us off to great starts. Sometimes it's a matchup… But for the most part it's because Mitchell is so effective in the role that he's playing. We just haven't been put in a situation where we think it's time to change it."

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Dec 28, 2019; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox II (20) prepares to shoot as Washington Wizards center Anzejs Pasecniks (18) defends during the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Dec 28, 2019; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox II (20) prepares to shoot as Washington Wizards center Anzejs Pasecniks (18) defends during the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Kevin Knox says he isn't worried about his struggles on offense. He also thinks, despite the subpar offensive numbers, he's a much better player this season than he was last year.

"I definitely think I've gotten a lot better. I go out there (and) really just try to get better defensively. That's something I really tried to take on this summer, just have a better defensive approach," Knox said Wednesday before the Knicks' loss to Philly. "So that's kind of been my mindset this whole season.

"I'm not really worried about the offense, I know that's going to come, the shot's going to fall. But I really just want to lock in defensively, lock in on making those extra plays."

Tags: Kevin Knox, Ian Begley
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Nov 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) reacts after making a three point shot against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) reacts after making a three point shot against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Brooklyn GM Sean Marks has no problem with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and other Nets sharing their thoughts on potential roster moves. 

"These guys know the players better than anyone else. (When we say to them), 'This is what we're looking at. Well what do you think?' They'll be brutally honest because they've got to go play with those guys," Marks said in an interview on WFAN's Benigno and Roberts Show earlier this week. "So I think it's important to weigh their opinions from time to time, and we certainly do that."

Many NBA stars are consulted on personnel matters. So it isn't all that surprising that Nets management would talk to its players about potential moves. 

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie, Ian Begley
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Leon Rose
Leon Rose

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Nothing has changed regarding Leon Rose and the Knicks. He's still expected to be officially named as team president in the near future, and some with the Knicks expect that he will officially take over by early next month. 

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported Wednesday that Rose will take over on March 1.

Reports of Rose and the Knicks reaching a tentative agreement for the CAA player agent to become team president emerged on Feb. 6. But there has been no official announcement, leading to some uncertainty among Knicks fans.

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Jan 12, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles up court during the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 12, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles up court during the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

There were probably more than a few eye rolls from outside observers when the NBA Players Association voted Kyrie Irving as vice president. 

Reports of Irving being distant with teammates earlier in his career have created a perception that the Nets star isn't a great teammate. Whether that perception is fair or not probably depends on what you've seen, what you know - or what you've heard - and how you view that information. 

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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A few notes on the Knicks' coaching search: 

We reported Tuesday that Jay Wright would need to be overwhelmed by an offer to entertain the idea of leaving Villanova for the Knicks or any other NBA team. A separate NCAA source backed that assertion on Wednesday, saying that, at this point, the chance of Wright ending up as New York's next head coach was 'very remote.'

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Jan 18, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Villanova Wildcats head coach Jay Wright celebrates with forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (24) after the game at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Ross)
Jan 18, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Villanova Wildcats head coach Jay Wright celebrates with forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (24) after the game at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Ross)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

We're still a couple of months away from the Knicks earnestly engaging in a coaching search. So it's a bit too early to say who is -- and isn't -- a significant candidate for the job.

But if the Knicks want to make another run at Villanova head coach Jay Wright this offseason, they'll need to make an extremely strong pitch to lure him out of Philadelphia.

An NCAA source said Tuesday that Wright would need to be "overwhelmed by the opportunity" to even consider leaving Villanova for another job. This echoes a report from The Athletic's Dana O'Neil, who noted Monday, "source told me Jay Wright is not going anywhere. Not to the Knicks. Not to the Sixers. Not to Oz. His house is for sale. He's not."

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Apr 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; General view during pre game introductions before a game between the New York Knicks and the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; General view during pre game introductions before a game between the New York Knicks and the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Leon Rose's Knicks presidency is still on track to start within the next few weeks. Rose, a player agent, is believed to be finishing up remaining obligations with CAA. Once that is completed, he'll officially take over as New York's top basketball executive.

Since we're still days - weeks? - away from Rose starting, it's too early to concretely state which coaches or executives will be joining Rose's Knicks.

But one name that several opposing execs expect to get consideration is Rich Cho.

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General view as the New York Knicks are introduced before a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
General view as the New York Knicks are introduced before a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

NBA agent Todd Ramasar has been through plenty of trade deadlines. The founder and CEO of Life Sports Media and Entertainment, Ramasar represented his first player (Baron Davis) when he was 23.

Now 40, Ramasar has five NBA clients and 36 overseas, including Toronto's Pascal Siakam and Washington's Thomas Bryant

Below, Ramasar discusses life as an agent during trade season (the conversation, which took place two days before last Thursday's deadline, has been edited):

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Jan 2, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts during the first half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
Jan 2, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts during the first half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Before we get to Taj Gibson's thoughts on Tom Thibodeau, let's start here: Gibson is a huge fan of Mike Miller. Gibson believes the Knicks interim head coach is thriving under difficult circumstances.

"Coach Mike, being thrown in there, you've got to give him his due (respect) because coming into a situation like this and wheeling and dealing with a bunch of young guys, he's been phenomenal," Gibson said late Wednesday night.

So when Gibson was asked about Thibodeau, he wanted to make sure to credit Miller first. In doing so, he wanted to make it clear that he wasn't suggesting that Miller didn't deserve consideration for the Knicks head coaching job for next season.

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Rich Kleiman
Rich Kleiman

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Rich Kleiman, Kevin Durant's manager and business partner with Thirty Five Ventures, was at the Museum of the City of New York on Tuesday. Kleiman was among the guests on hand to honor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Owen D. Thomas with Gotham Icon Awards.

Before checking out the new New York City basketball exhibition at the museum, Kleiman took a few minutes to speak with SNY about Durant, the Nets, Leon Rose, his name being linked to the Knicks presidency, Steve Stoute and his Stephon Marbury documentary.

The Q&A has been lightly edited for length.

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Rich Kleiman
Rich Kleiman

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Rich Kleiman, Kevin Durant's manager and business partner with Thirty Five Ventures, was among a group of guests at the Museum of the City of New York Tuesday to honor NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Before checking out the new New York City basketball exhibition at the museum, Kleiman took a few minutes to speak with SNY about Durant, the Nets, Leon Rose, his name being linked to the Knicks presidency, Steve Stoute and his Stephon Marbury documentary.

'The Q&A has been lightly edited for length. Abdul-Jabbar received the museum's Gotham Icon Award at the event.

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Charles Oakley (Jerome Miron)
Charles Oakley (Jerome Miron)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Knicks consultant Steve Stoute said on Tuesday that he'd "love" owner James Dolan and ex-Knick Charles Oakley to reconcile, and for Oakley to return to Madison Square Garden. 

"Listen, I would love to see that thing. As a New York fan, as a friend of Charles Oakley, as somebody a part of the Knicks organization, of course I would love to see that subsided and bring that back," Stoute said on ESPN's First Take on Tuesday. "Charles Oakley is a very big part of New York. He's a fabric of what the New York Knicks have stood for for many years -- that toughness, resourcefulness, by-any-means-necessary attitude."

Stoute and his company, Translation, were hired to help redefine the team's brand and their ties to the fan base. He has been influential with Dolan since being hired. Stoute, who admittedly overstepped his bounds when talking about the Knicks coaching situation on Tuesday, said he's known Oakley for years. 

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Feb 5, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy watches the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs at the American Airlines Center. The Spurs defeat the Mavericks 116-90. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Feb 5, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy watches the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs at the American Airlines Center. The Spurs defeat the Mavericks 116-90. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A few notes on the Knicks' coaching situation: before Steve Mills was removed as team president, there was support within the organization to keep Mike Miller in the fold -- even if New York hired a new head coach for next season. 

In the wake of Mills' reassignment, some prominent people at Madison Square Garden remain in support of giving Miller a role within the organization regardless of what happens with the coaching search this offseason, per SNY sources. 

Entering Friday's game against Washington, the Knicks are 13-19 under Miller. The interim head coach has also been forced into the role of team spokesman under some difficult circumstances, including the firing of David Fizdale and Mills. (No members of the Knicks front office have been made available to answer questions about either situation).

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

There's so much we don't know about the Leon Rose era at Madison Square Garden. We don't know who the general manager is going to be. We don't know who the head coach is going to be. We don't know who is going to stay from the previous regime and who isn't. 

So it's too early to analyze how things will look under Rose, who is expected to complete a deal with the Knicks and be named president in the near future. 

But at least one exec who has worked and the Garden and who knows Rose well believes the CAA player agent will be successful at the Garden. 

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D'Angelo Russell
D'Angelo Russell

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A few post-trade deadline notes: 

News of the Knicks agreeing in principle with new team president Leon Rose broke hours before Thursday's trade deadline. It's unclear how, if at all, that impacted the Knicks' approach at the deadline. But the firing of ex-team president Steve Mills certainly changed their thinking. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Steve Mills/Scott Perry (Brad Penner)
Steve Mills/Scott Perry (Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A few notes in the wake of the Knicks' removal of Steve Mills as team president: 

Why now?

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Jun 22, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson answers questions during a press conference at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Jun 22, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson answers questions during a press conference at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

As the Knicks search for Steve Mills' replacement, there are a number of top-level executives who should be on their list.

They'd probably need someone with a proven track record and respectability -- and preferably someone with a title on their resume. But they will also consider others who don't fit that criteria.

Here are notes on a few executives and agents that the Knicks may target:

MASAI UJIRI

The Raptors' president of basketball operations, Ujiri is expected to be at the top of the list to replace Mills. With Ujiri under contract in Toronto, the Knicks would have to compensate the Raptors in order to hire him. Ujiri has told confidants in the past that he'd be open to considering the Knicks job if the circumstance is right, but it could take multiple first-round draft picks in order to pry him away from Toronto. 

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Jan 22, 2020; New York, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) drives to the basket against New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 22, 2020; New York, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) drives to the basket against New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks and Lakers have touched base about Kyle Kuzma, SNY sources confirm, but completing a two-team trade involving Kuzma would be complicated.

As NBA TV's Eric Pinus notes, the Lakers would probably need to send multiple players to the Knicks to take on Marcus Morris' $15 million salary.

A Kuzma to New York deal could also expand to more players or multiple teams to satisfy NBA trade rules.

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Jan 16, 2016; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti watches college basketball between the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Oklahoma Sooners at Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports (Mark D. Smith)
Jan 16, 2016; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti watches college basketball between the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Oklahoma Sooners at Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports (Mark D. Smith)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

If the Knicks decide that they can't pay the price to get Masai Ujiri from Toronto, there are a number of other top-level executives who should be on their list after parting ways with team president Steve Mills.

They'd need someone with a proven track record and respectability -- and preferably someone with a title on their resume.

Here are notes on a few executives that fit some of those criteria:

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