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Stephen A. Smith Goes Off On Knicks President Leon Rose: "You Can Not Be The Face Of The Knicks Franchise, The Leader Of Knicks Franchise And Scared To Do Interviews!"

Stephen A. Smith Goes Off On Knicks President Leon Rose: "You Can Not Be The Face Of The Knicks Franchise, The Leader Of Knicks Franchise And Scared To Do Interviews!"

The New York Knicks have been a royal mess for much of the last two decades, and a lot of the blame has fallen on the feet of upper management. Players and coaches have come and gone over the years, but the Knicks have remained terrible no matter what. Owner James Dolan has borne the brunt of the criticism for their failures as he has done a pretty terrible job as an owner and in terms of hiring personnel to run the team.

Dolan infamously hired Phil Jackson as team president in 2014 in what ended up being a disastrous move, as, under his leadership, they endured the worst season in franchise history in 2014-15 by winning just 17 games. It didn't get much better after Jackson's departure either, as his successor Steve Mills oversaw another 17-win campaign in 2018-19. Mills would then depart in 2020 to make way for Leon Rose, and their fortunes did surprisingly improve under him. 

In his first full season at the helm, the Knicks made the playoffs for the first time since 2013, but good things don't seem to last for long in New York, as they won just 37 games last season. The mood around the team once again soured, and it brought to the forefront the issue with Rose, as he refuses to interact with the media. Rose only gives in-house interviews where he gets shielded from facing the New York press, and Stephen A. Smith is not happy about it.

"I’m just disgusted with Leon Rose. The man that I know Leon Rose to be, somebody that I’m incredibly fond of as a human being, I think that it’s real soft the way that he is running the Knicks right now. He’s scared of the media. You’ve got to be a face of the franchise."

"You can not be the face of the Knicks franchise, the leader of the Knicks’ franchise, and scared to do interviews. It’s so pathetic for Leon Rose that you've got James Dolan of all people, James Dolan is protecting him and this dude is a recluse when it comes to the media."

"He (Rose) is scared to talk to the media. You don't see him anywhere. He doesn’t embrace accountability from a public perspective."

It is definitely a bad look to avoid facing the media in this way. One of your roles as president is to interact with the media and let everybody know the direction in which the team is heading, but Rose seems to be scared of having to answer some of the difficult questions that might come his way.

What makes Rose's hesitancy with regard to facing the media a bit weird is the fact that he has done a decent job in his time there. The decision to extend RJ Barrett has been received positively, and he is doing a good job in the Donovan Mitchell trade talks too. It really is puzzling as to why he chooses not to interact at all with the press.