So what's it like being the president and general manager of the New York Knicks, Steve Mills?
"Any job like this is a high-pressure job. But I'm very excited to be here," Mills said earlier this week. "I feel very good about our team. We're out to try to win a championship this year and compete in this league. So you always feel pressure in this kind of environment but it's good pressure."
Knicks owner James Dolan hired Mills to take over as president and GM and demoted ex-GM Glen Grunwald shortly before training camp.
No one on the Knicks has offered a public explanation for the change. But one widely-held theory is that Dolan wanted an executive in place to help attract free agents in the summer of 2015, when Tyson Chandler, Amar'e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani come off the books. (Carmelo Anthony is expected to re-sign as a free agent this summer.) Mills is known to be well-connected and well=liked around the league among players, agents and executives.
With that in mind, Mills was asked earlier this week about the importance of adding another marquee free agent to the Knicks' roster.
"I think we're going to see how the chemistry develops with our guys, see how Andrea and Carmelo come along, see where Tyson fits and how he gets back to the way he was playing before," Mills said. "But I think we like the roster we have right now. And I think we want to give it some time and see how they come together on the team and how guys gel together."
Bargnani was Grunwald's biggest offseason acquisition. The seven-footer is still getting adjusted to things on both ends of the floor with the Knicks. But management and head coach Mike Woodson seem committed to Bargnani for the time being. He is expected to start at power forward alongside Anthony and Chandler on Sunday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"It's clear he's trying to get accustomed to our team and (a) new role," Mills said. "I feel really good about how he's being integrated with the players and the team. And how he feels about being here. So I feel very good about how he's going to perform this year and how he's gonna come along."
Mills referred to Stoudemire as one of the core members of the Knicks. One name he left out of that group is Iman Shumpert, though it didn't seem to be intentional. Woodson has been critical of the third-year shooting guard, but Mills was highly complimentary of Shumpert when asked about him.
"I think he has an opportunity to be a really good player in this league. He's such a strong defensive player, he came in as a real good defensive player and stopper," Mills said. "We've encouraged him to work on his offensive game, we spent a lot of time and have people assigned to help him do that. I think he has an opportunity to be a complete player in this league."
HAIR-RAISING EXPERIENCE: Ever wonder why Shumpert decided to cut his famous high-top fade? Part of the reason was he didn't want people to think he was separating himself from his teammates. He explains the rationale behind the cut in this video.
Speaking of videos, Stoudemire had a pretty funny cameo in a new commercial for the NBA. Check it out here.
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