On Tuesday Steve Stoute, who now counts brand consulting for the New York Knicks as one of his responsibilities, appeared on ESPN's First Take to discuss trying to make that franchise relevant again. This, of course, is a challenge that many a-player-and-front-office-person has failed to do in recent years.
During this appearance, Stoute said that he was brought into the franchise to be what Drake is to the Raptors. In the below clip you can also see him withstand a passionate two-minute rant from Max Kellerman about how the Knicks, and especially owner James Dolan, stink.
Being in this very position is a result of Stoute having been hired by the team a month ago to give the brand a lift and increase fan enthusiasm. Going forward remember that that's not a position that has to do with actual basketball decisions.
In any case, you could and should watch:
"You have a franchise that's synonymous with the sport itself," Stoute said, as transcribed by Bleacher Report. "Of course I want to do that, and I'm going to be a big part of turning it around. A lot of team have owners that people dislike. It's not about an owner. If you have an aggressive owner, somebody who's willing to invest in the team and put money behind the belief in putting the best product on the court, to me, that's kind of owner I want.
"There was a problem in New York with George Steinbrenner. There was a problem until they won."
SNY points out that Stoute also hinted at a possible coaching overhaul while discussing the week-old ousting of now former team president Steve Mills. Note that interim coach Mike Miller has been filling in for David Fizdale, who started the year as the coach, since Fizdale was axed from that position in early December.
"I had nothing to do with Steve Mills' departure," Stoute said. "I want to clean that up. I want to be accountable for getting people more jobs, specifically women and African-American, not necessarily getting rid of folks. But there had to be a change. So there is a change.
"That change will bring a new coach and new coaches that are going to help develop these younger players."
The awkward part came when it became very apparent that these statements were not something that Stoute should have been making. The team made that very clear when they put out a statement denying that Stoute has any input on decisions regarding personnel and basketball operations.
In that same statement, Stoute also was quoted as saying that he inadvertently insinuated that was part of his role while defending the team on live TV.
The mix-up (and formal correction of it) was spotted by several commentators on social media (duh, it was posted on social media). So this would be an instance where you just got to let the clowning play itself out.