The New York Knicks fired President Steve Mills on Tuesday, shaking up the front office at a most unusual time.

General Manager Scott Perry will take over control of the basketball operations, with the team announcing that it would begin an immediate search for a new president just two days before the trade deadline.

Mills has held a number of titles at Madison Square Garden since 1999, where he came after spending 16 years at the NBA. But this was the first time his role included full control of basketball decisions, and now MSG executive chairman James Dolan will look for someone else to do it.

“I will always be grateful to Jim for giving me the chance to represent this franchise and I’m disappointed we were unable to achieve success for New York,” Mills said. “I would like to thank the staff and the players for their hard work during my tenure. I will always be a Knicks fan.”

Mills’ firing is the second major change for the Knicks this season. They fired Coach David Fizdale after just 22 games.

The Knicks are 15-36 this season, Mills’ third in charge after replacing Phil Jackson. They were 17-65 last season, tying the worst record in franchise history, but believed a big summer could lead to a quick improvement. However, they couldn’t sign any of the top free agents despite having enough money to afford two of them, watching as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving instead went to Brooklyn. Mills then pivoted to sign veteran players to short-term contracts, later insisting those were the players New York was targeting all along.

3-POINT CONTEST: The NBA is changing the format to this season’s 3-point contest at All-Star Saturday Night in Chicago by adding a pair of deep shots that will be worth three points apiece.

That change means each round will now be a total of 27 shots instead of 25, and competitors will now get 70 seconds to finish their shots instead of the customary 60.

NETS: Kevin Durant, Brooklyn’s brightest star who has yet to play a game since signing a four-year, $164 million contract with the Nets over the summer, has progressed to sprinting.

Durant, who ruptured his Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, was running with a football in an empty gym in New York on Tuesday. The progress has been significant for Durant, who could not put weight on his leg at the time of the injury. He has progressed from shooting flat-footed jump shots, to turn-around fading jumpers, to now sprinting at what appeared to be around 75-80 percent of his top speed.

LAKERS: LeBron James was named Western Confernece player of the month for January, becoming the first Los Angeles Laker to win the award since Kobe Bryant in February 2013.

James averaged 25.4 points on 50.4 percent shooting, 8.1 rebounds, 10.4 assists and 1.4 steals in January. He had 14 double-digit scoring performances, 10 games with 20 or more points and five games with at least 30 points. On Jan. 25, James scored 29 points and passed Bryant to take over third place on the league’s all-time scoring list.

 

 

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