And we just gave GM Scott Perry an A on our mid-season report cards. Everything’s different now when discussing the Knicks management after an article surfaced in the NY Post that provides alleged behind-the-scene details of how the Knicks are being run — and show that Scott Perry has little-to-no say.
Instead the strategy for the franchise is being laid down by VP of Strategy Brock Aller, with animated input from “World Wide Wes” William Wesley and coach Tom Thibodeau. All of them hired by Leon Rose, the head of basketball for a year now — who is otherwise hand’s off but has them banging heads to provide him with key decision advice.
Yaron Witzman’s Expose in NY Post
The article is written by Yaron Witzman, who is not a NY Post reporter — the Post published his article, and in a tweet he thanks them for publishing it. The article doesn’t exactly make the Knicks management team look good — they do not come across as cohesive and strategic — but rather three dueling personalities banging heads to convince Leon Rose to get their way.
The article is here: https://nypost.com/2021/03/09/how-leon-rose-rebuilt-the-knicks-an-inside-look/
The one person the article never mentions is Scott Perry. Not a single mention.
Scott Perry the Source?
Not only does that provide strong evidence that Scott Perry has little decision-making duties, but as Fraud Investigator and Attorney Jake Andrews points out, it means Perry was probably the source for the article. Andrews points out that:
- In the article itself, the writer says that Rose, Aller, Wesley, and Thibodeau declined to be interviewed for the article — never mentioning Scott Perry the GM — whom we can assume DID get interviewed for the article?
- Although Witzman says his info came from a dozen league sources, Andrews points out that “A dozen league sources didn’t see Rose nearly drop his cell phone. Someone in the room did.”
- Andrews theorizes this would not be the first time that Perry leaked to the press: “There’s a ton of articles leaked to the post about the Knicks interest in guys tied to Perry. There was that article released that Perry decided not send Knox or Ntlikina down to the G-league. There was that article that SGA wanted to work out for the Knicks, but Mills refused.”
- Andrews points out there are details in the article that only someone in the room would know, such as that Wesley “went on all sorts of tangents, once making the group listen to the Jay-Z song “Empire State of Mind” because he had played it during the private pre-draft workout for Kevin Knox. One time he changed his shirt on camera, revealing his bare chest to the group.”
Thibs Wanted to Trade Robinson & Barrett?
According to the article, coach Tom Thibodeau initially wanted to flip RJ Barrett & Mitchell Robinson for seasoned veterans, and he wasn’t sold on Julius Randle. The article states that a former colleague of Thibodeau said, “There’s no rebuilding or long term with Thibs,”
Thankfully, it looks like Thibs has changed his mind on all three as the season has progressed.
- In the first preseason game, Thibs started veteran Nerlens Noel over Robinson, sparking Robinson to tweet something cryptic about lack of loyalty; but as the season started and progressed, Robinson was starting and logging over 35 minutes a game under Thibs — due mainly to Robinson’s excellent Defensive play and improved ability to stay out of foul trouble.
- And Thibs has been waxing poetic about Julius Randle and RJ Barrett, who are both having elite seasons.
Brock “Who?” Aller = VP of Strategy
The article says that Brock Aller is an opposite voice to Thibs — Aller is the one who wants to build long term. Aller “thought the Knicks should target second-tier veterans like Austin Rivers and Alec Burks with one-year deals — and then during the season try flipping them for future draft picks.”
As Marc Berman of the NY Post wrote in April 2020 when Aller was hired, Aller was previously the financial planner/capologist for the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 2017 Dan Gilbert the Cavaliers owner said Aller “is probably one of the finer capologists in the league. He knows more about the cap than probably PricewaterhouseCoopers knows about the IRS code. He lives with the cap, with the collective bargaining agreement. He comes up with ideas on things that the league has never heard of, they have to go into their committees to check if it’s OK or not. He’s sort of a savant with this.”
Wesley Deep Ties to Kentucky; Wanted Quickley
Witzman starts the article by revealing it was World Wide Wes who pushed the Knicks to draft Immanuel Quickley out of Kentucky. It is noted that Wesley has extremely strong ties with John Calipari of Kentucky, and also has a strong bias to Kentucky players. The Knicks are now littered with former Kentucky players — signing Nerlens Noel this off season, adding him to Kevin Knox and Julius Randle who were brought in by the previous regime under Scott Perry and Steve Mills.
The article reveals Wesley had been pushing for the drafting of Quickley for months. Witzman provides inside information on how it went down in the room when the Knicks were drafting:
- World Wide Wes repeated,”We need Quickley, get Quickley,” Further details: “Wesley had entered the night giddy, FaceTiming friends and passing out key lime pies from a bakery he loves in Margate, N.J. But now he was furious. He leaned back in his chair and folded his arms. His face twisted into a frown. He stood up and paced around the room.”
Clearly someone “in the room” (Scott Perry as Jake Andrews suggests?) provided those details.
With Aller chiefly a financial wizard of the NBA cap, and Wesley an agent — or as the Witzman article calls him, a “ubiquitous consultant/adviser/star-whisperer/power broker whose reputation has earned him the moniker ‘World Wide Wes'”, and Thibodeau the coach, and Leon Rose, in charge of it all — a former Agent — you might ask: who is making the talent calls? The requirements and requests seem to come from Thibodeau — a direct Coach-to-VP-of-Strategy relationship, with input on talent from the power-broker Wesley and his sources like Calipari. That makes a GM like Perry superfluous. As is said in the article, Wesley stated loudly on draft night, “Coach says we need shooting, Quickley’s the best shooter.”
Credit Still Goes to Perry
But as the Witzman article points out, “The Knicks entered the offseason with more than $40 million in cap space, one of the largest numbers in the league.” It was Scott Perry (and Steve Mills?) who got the Knicks into this splendid position. It was Scott Perry who did a “Money Ball” Free Agency during the summer of 2019, that netted Julius Randle and a host of other ‘value’ players like Elfrid Payton, Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock, and Bobby Portis at club-friendly 1- and 2-year contracts with club option for an additional season.
Perry (and Steve Mills) got the Knicks Julius Randle, and RJ Barrett (through luck of the draft and a miserable season), and Mitchell Robinson (a steal of a pick), and Quickley (signing Morris then dealing him for the Clippers’ late first-round pick). So we STILL give Perry an A on the 2020-21 mid-season report cards.
Addendum to this article. On March 15, 2021, while the Knicks were playing Brooklyn at Barclay’s, Adam Zagoria posted this picture off the tv:
This is a significant picture because:
- it shows Scott Perry sitting with World Wide Wes and Leon Rose,
- it comes after the article that was published in the NY Post and all the speculation that followed.
It may mean that the senior management team feels
- Perry was Not the source of the article, or that
- he was the source but they are ok with it (“I don’t care what you say about me just spell the name right”), or that
- he is on the way out but sitting there for show?
We’ll find out as the future unfolds.