Steve Mills replaces Glen Grunwald as Knicks GM

Ex-Madison Square Garden President Steve Mills will replace Glen Grunwald as president and general manager of the New York Knicks, according to a team statement.

steve millsGrunwald will stay with the organization as an “advisor,” the statement said.

“I am pleased to be able to welcome Steve back to the Knicks. He is a well-respected sports executive with a strong background in basketball, as well as a familiarity with NBA operations and our company. We look forward to his leadership and believe he is the right person to help us reach our ultimate goal of winning an NBA Championship,” James Dolan said in a statement. “We are grateful for Glen’s many years of valuable service and pleased that he will remain with the organization.”

Mills left MSG in 2009, serving as the Executive Vice President of the Knicks, Rangers and Liberty. He most recently served as a partner and CEO of Athletes & Entertainers Wealth Management Group.

Grunwald joined the Knicks in 2006 as assistant GM under Isiah Thomas. He became interim GM in June 2011 and in April 2012 was made the permanent GM and executive VP of basketball operations.

Harris Decker

This news comes as a huge surprise for me, as well as everyone who covers the team. It is generally accepted that Grunwald has done a very good job with this team. After Donnie Walsh made the Carmelo Anthony trade, Grunwald brought in key pieces to surround the superstar. The timing of this is also odd. Grunwald just completed another deal with the signing of Cole Aldrich and will now hand over the reigns to Mills with little left to do before the season.

Another angle surrounds Mike Woodson. Grunwald and Woodson were college teammates and you’d imagine their relationship was a key to this teams success. Now that Mills is returning, does it mean Woodson’s job is less secure?

Sam Spiegelman

My biggest issue with the ousting of Glen Grunwald is the timing. We’re a few days away from the start of training camp, so if this change was in the cards then why not do it earlier in the offseason? Grunwald was at the helm making all of the offseason personnel decisions, and if he was just a placeholder then the Knicks moves this summer could have been totally different.

Personally, I liked Grunwald’s moves. Re-signing J.R. Smith was a must. Acquiring Andrea Bargnani is a high-reward move. And bringing it Metta World Peace gives the Knicks another defender on the court. Bringing Steve Mills back into the fold was a bit of a shock, as Mills was rumored to be the candidate for the new executive director of the NBA Players’ Union.

Mills, a former member of the league office, was a member of the Knicks’ front office when the organization brought in Isiah Thomas.Though his resume as a league official is impressive, what is there to say about his history of bringing in personnel? Grunald did a fine job this offseason, and as long as he retains Carmelo Anthony next summer he won’t be chastised. I’m not a fan of the move or the timing.The Knicks need consistency; changing general managers right before training camp is the opposite.

Ben Kopelman

For all the criticism we can lob at the Knicks these days, just about none of it should fall at Grunwald’s feet. The guy did a masterful job creating something out of nothing over the last two off-seasons, working with huge financial handcuffs.  This offseason, he got players at bargain rates and made a trade to win now, without mortgaging our entire future (even if I wasn’t the biggest fan of the move).  After watching Donnie Walsh get ushered out of town just as he finished cleaning up a mess of a roster, we should have figured his replacement, who had done a valiant job — and then some — since 2011, would get similar treatment.  I really just don’t get it.

Amit Badlani

Stunner. Complete stunner. Glen Grunwald was tied for third in the NBA Executive of the year voting last season, and he did a great job improving the team this offseason considering the cap limitations. We’ll never hear what actually happened to Grunwald. He was moved to an advising role, which Frank Isola states is otherwise known as “hush money at Jim Dolan’s Garden.”

Steve Mills is best known for hiring Isiah Thomas in Mills’ last stint with the Knicks, so “Zeke” may not be too far behind…

Full release from the Knicks, click here...

NEW YORK, September 26, 2013 – The New York Knickerbockers announced today that Steve Mills, who previously served as a key executive with the Knicks for 10 years, has been named the team’s president and general manager. Mills replaces Glen Grunwald, who will remain with the organization as an advisor.

“I am pleased to be able to welcome Steve back to the Knicks. He is a well-respected sports executive with a strong background in basketball, as well as a familiarity with NBA operations and our company. We look forward to his leadership and believe he is the right person to help us reach our ultimate goal of winning an NBA Championship,” said James Dolan, executive chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company.

“We are grateful for Glen’s many years of valuable service and pleased that he will remain with the organization.”

A 30-year veteran of the sports world, Mills’ career has included 16 years with the National Basketball Association, where his talents led to a notable ascent from account executive to senior vice president of basketball and player development. This was followed by 10 years at The Madison Square Garden Company, where Mills had a wide range of responsibilities that included overseeing business and basketball operations for the Knicks and Liberty, along with business operations for the Rangers and for all other sports-related activities at The Garden.

“I want to thank Jim for this opportunity to return to the Knicks in this important position. It is an honor and a privilege to work for such a storied franchise and I look forward to doing whatever it takes to make the Knicks a successful franchise and a team that fans can be proud of, both now and in the future.”

After 10 years with the Toronto Raptors, Grunwald has been with the Knicks in various capacities since 2006 and will continue to work with the organization as an advisor.

Mills’ decade-long career at The Madison Square Garden Company included his role as president of MSG Sports, during which he oversaw all business operations, including marketing and community relations, for the company’s three professional sports teams and Sports Properties, which included college basketball, boxing, and track and field. Steve originally joined the Knicks as executive vice president of franchise operations in September 1999 and became president of sports teams operations for Madison Square Garden in 2001.

Prior to his move to The Garden, Mills played an integral role in the development of the National Basketball Association, where he held several positions with increasing responsibility, including his last role as senior vice president, basketball and player development. His responsibilities included managing the league’s relationships with all domestic and international basketball organizations, including the NCAA and USA Basketball, as well as overseeing the NBA’s developmental programs and player initiatives during one of the most critical periods in league history. Mills also played a key role in the creation of the Women’s National Basketball Association and served on the team responsible for the negotiation of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. Mr. Mills started his career with the NBA in 1983 as an account executive in the corporate sponsorship department of NBA Properties.

Before returning to MSG, Mills most recently served as partner and CEO of Athletes & Entertainers Wealth Management Group, LLC, a company he created in 2010 that links sports and entertainment stars with investment and management leaders to create new business opportunities.

An accomplished collegiate basketball player, Mills started three seasons at guard for Hall of Fame Coach Pete Carril at Princeton University, where he helped lead the Tigers to two Ivy League first place finishes, including the league title and an NCAA berth in 1981. He also played professionally for one season in South America in 1981.

Mills earned a degree in sociology from Princeton in 1981, and has served on the Board of Trustees for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Board of Directors for USA Basketball. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Princeton Varsity Club and on the Advisory Board for Manhattan’s Hospital for Special Surgery. Mr. Mills and his wife Beverly have two daughters and reside in South Orange, NJ.