Today, the New York Knicks issued a statement in which they named Glen Grunwald Executive Vice President and General Manager.
Since July, Grunwald has been in this role – on an interim basis – and today, the Knicks made it permanent.
“It has been a great honor to be a part of this storied franchise for the past six seasons,” Grunwald said. “I would like to thank Mr. Dolan for this opportunity and look forward to building on our commitment to give our fans a team that they can be proud of today, and in the future.”
Make no mistake about it, Grunwald has done a terrific job this season. The signing of Tyson Chandler (which came at a time when Knicks fans were praying for Chris Paul) has turned a Knicks team that was 21st last season in defensive efficiency into a top five defense this season. He was also still able to find the team’s point guard of the future, signing Jeremy Lin after a Christmas Day knee injury to Iman Shumpert forced the team to sign an extra guard.
However, he has had his fair share of luck, too. The signings of Steve Novak and J.R. Smith (which have been huge to the Knicks success this season) only happened after Shawne Williams turned down a one year deal for the vet minimum and when JR saw NY as a contender mid-way through the season. Regardless, Grunwald was the man who made those moves and they’ve worked out for the team, so he deserves his shot the be the full-time General Manager (even if the last time they gave a GM an extension before the playoffs didn’t quite work out. I’m lookin’ at you, Zeke).
What does it all mean for interim head coach Mike Woodson?
It is no secret that Woodson and Grunwald are friends – and former Indiana University teammates. Those are obvious positive points for Woodson. Add since the Knicks have clinched their second consecutive playoff appearance for the first time since the 2001 playoffs, as well as a 16-6 record since taking over the head coaching duties, it would seem Woodson has done enough to earn the full time head coaching job.
But with more successful coaches possibly available this summer – like Phil Jackson just sitting at home – don’t you at least have to ask if he would want to come to New York before handing the job full-time to Woodson?
I commend Woodson for motivating this roster to play hard for him. I like Woodson and would like to see him stay. Unfortunately, being that we are talking about the NEW YORK Knicks, if a bigger name coach happens to express interest, I could see James Dolan getting rid of Woodson, even though he has done a terrific job.