Knicks Issue Statement on Brand Consultant Discussing Personnel Decisions

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Recently hired Knicks brand consultant Steve Stoute appeared to have overstepped his responsibilities during a TV appearance on Tuesday.

In an interview with ESPN's First Take Stoute made clear that he wasn't responsible for firing team president Steve Mills days before the trade deadline, but did allude to other future personnel decisions from the organization. 

“There had to be a change in [firing team president Steve Mills]. That change will bring a new coach and new coaches that are going to help develop these younger players,” Stoute said. “And they got some young players—you see RJ Barrett, Mitch Robinson. They got something to work with. And getting a coach in there and ultimately getting a coach and a coaching staff that’s going to help develop a team. That’s what I expect to happen so that we can actually get to what you expect from a New York team."

Hours after the appearance, the organization commented on Stoute's remarks.

"While Steve Stoute is a valued contributor to the Knicks' marketing and branding efforts, he does not speak on behalf of New York Knicks personnel and basketball operations," the team said in a statement. "Any decisions regarding the operations of the team will be made by the new President of the New York Knicks."

Stoute and his Translation agency were brought in to the Knicks, looking to shape the image of the franchise that seems headed for its seventh consecutive season without a postseason appearance. 

On "First Take," Stoute also talked about making the Knicks an attractive destination for some of the game's star players, insisting he will have a "loud voice" within the organization. 

"In my excitement to defend the Knicks on live TV today, I inadvertently insinuated about Knicks personnel," Stoute said in a statement. "I look forward to working with Knicks management to elevate the great Knicks brand moving forward."

The Knicks (17-37) are 5-5 in their last 10 games, having moved to within six games of the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.