Leon Rose leaves big impression in first Knicks meeting

Leon Rose leaves big impression in first Knicks meeting

Kevin Knox liked what he heard from Leon Rose.

The new Knicks president addressed the players at the Monday morning shootaround in Tarrytown to rally the club with a, “We’re-all-in-this-together’’ message.

Rose, the former head of Creative Artists Agency’s basketball department, was officially announced as president Monday. Knox got the feeling he’s ready to bond with the players by traveling to all road games.

In Rose’s speech, Knox indicated, Rose also detailed all the travails the Knicks — 18-42 entering Monday night — have faced, including the personal losses of Reggie Bullock (sister), Dennis Smith Jr. (stepmother), and Julius Randle (grandmother).

“He’s going to work as hard as possible to make the team better,’’ Knox said before the Knicks hosted the Rockets at the Garden. “As a player, that’s what you want to hear. He’s just here to make us better and the team better. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs this year — coaching changes, president changes, family tragedies. He wants to stick with us, make sure we get better as a team. Obviously we’re tired of losing. I think he’s going in the right direction.’’

Rose only had one current client this season with CAA — Randle. Frank Ntilikina was with Rose, but parted ways before the season. Knox has yet to talk to Kentucky coach John Calipari, whom Rose knows well as he is repped by CAA.

Leon Rose today with GM Scott Perry (left)
Leon Rose today with GM Scott Perry (left)Corey Sipkin

“[He] can’t make any trades that he can really construct but he’s going to be around, come to the games on the road, get to know us better, talk to the coaches and players,’’ Knox said. “There’s only a little time left in the season. All the conversation we have now can really reflect next year.”

Interim coach Mike Miller said the theme of Rose’s speech was “just give him time to get in and have a chance to really evaluate things and see things and start moving. I think it was just introductory. It was just everybody getting to know each other and that we’re all in here together.”

Rose also met with Miller and the coaching staff, but the interim coach would not say if talk centered on a boost in minutes for the young players across the final 22 games.

Miller’s future for next season looks bleak to come back as head coach, but he has performed well enough to earn consideration to return in some capacity. Tom Thibodeau, Jeff Van Gundy, John Calipari, even Mark Jackson are considered potential candidates.

“My approach is always the same,’’ Miller said. “We’re here today. We’re trying to get better today. I don’t need any assurances from anyone as we go through this. I trust the process, I trust what we’re doing. I’m perfectly fine working the way we’re doing day to day.’’

Randle’s primary agent is Aaron Mintz, but Rose has gotten to know the former Lakers lottery pick from being in charge of CAA’s basketball operations.

“He’s a great human being to the core,’’ Randle said. “Great family man. I know him well, his son well. I established a relationship from being in CAA. No BS around him. He’s established great relationships with teams and players. He’s done very well for players. Who better to run the show than Leon?”

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