The New York Knicks finished 37-45 in the 2021-22 regular season and not only did they miss the playoffs but failed to even make it to the play-in tournament. After 2020-21 ended New York’s playoff drought, this past year erased all feelings of optimism.
That was reflected in the number of votes that Leon Rose received for the NBA Executive of the Year.
Zero. Rose didn’t get a single first, second, or third-place vote (as expected). Zach Kleiman, vice president of the Memphis Grizzlies, won the award with 16 first-place votes. Koby Altman of the Cleveland Cavaliers had two first-place votes, so Kleiman was the clear favorite.
Kleiman deserved the honor, as the Grizzlies finished the regular season with a 56-26 record, second to the Phoenix Suns’ 64-18 record. Memphis has built a successful culture, which is something that the Knicks have lacked for so long.
Rose was hired as New York’s team president on Mar. 2, 2020. He was previously an agent for CAA Sports and the expectation was that he’d be able to turn things around with the Knicks.
No other NBA executives voted for New York Knicks’ Leon Rose.
The award is voted on by other NBA executives, which means people in the same position as Rose didn’t think he deserved a vote or two at the very least.
After 2020-21, Rose received one vote for first place, as well as four second-place votes, and three third-place votes for a total of 20 points, good enough for fourth place.
As he prepares to enter his third year in New York, hopefully, Rose can get more than zero votes after next season. Why does that matter? Because it’d mean that the Knicks performed well and that’s something that every fan should be wishing for.
Rose has recently received criticism for not speaking directly with the media, which is something that he hasn’t done since before the 2021-22 season. Before New York’s final game of the year on Apr. 10, a pre-taped interview was aired.
During that talk, Rose made it clear that he’s in favor of Tom Thibodeau and Julius Randle, two of the most polarizing Knicks topics.
He’ll get a chance to continue to work his draft magic in June and on Tuesday, May 17, New York will learn what first-round pick it’ll have in the 2022 draft. Rose has been successful in recent drafts, with players like Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley being selected in 2020 and Quentin Grimes in 2021.
Reversing the past damage that was done to the Knicks isn’t meant to happen overnight, and there are still certain people within the organization that New York could do without (guess who), but Rose needs to be sure that the team is progressing, not regressing.