Monday, April 19, 2021
Home Sports James Harden Is Headed Back to Houston. Too Bad He’s Not Staying.

James Harden Is Headed Back to Houston. Too Bad He’s Not Staying.

Stats entering Monday night’s games.

Tuesday marked one full year on the job for Leon Rose as the Knicks’ team president. The Knicks are 18-17, better than many pundits predicted, but the history stacked against Rose is foreboding: This is the 20th season of James L. Dolan’s ownership, during which the Knicks are 661-982 — resulting in the league’s lowest winning percentage in that span, at .402.

The three best regular-season winning percentages during Dolan’s reign belong to the three Texas teams: San Antonio’s .688 (1,131-512), Dallas’s .599 (988-662) and Houston’s .576 (949-698).

When the Knicks selected Obi Toppin with the No. 8 pick in November’s draft, Toppin was billed as Julius Randle’s potential successor in the frontcourt. Instead Randle, who has a very friendly team option for next season at $19.8 million, will play Sunday in his first All-Star Game. Without warning, Randle has emerged as the offensive fulcrum for Coach Tom Thibodeau, who is the closest thing to a marquee signing the Knicks made in the off-season.

The former Knicks team president Dave Checketts will join Burnley’s board of directors in June and make it the fifth club in the 20-team English Premier League club with an N.B.A. connection at ownership level. Arsenal is owned by Stan Kroenke, whose son, Josh, is the Denver Nuggets’ governor and team president and also serves on Arsenal’s board. Aston Villa is co-owned by Wes Edens, one of the primary owners of the Milwaukee Bucks. Crystal Palace is owned by the Philadelphia 76ers’ duo of Josh Harris and David Blitzer. And the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James has been a minority owner of Liverpool since 2011.

The diversity of the N.B.A.’s big-picture landscape remained largely unchanged after coaching moves in Minnesota and Atlanta over the past nine days. Of the league’s top 60 positions, only 16 are held by nonwhite coaches and heads of front offices.

  • With a player pool estimated at more than 75 percent Black, the league has just seven Black head coaches. Nate McMillan has replaced the ousted Lloyd Pierce in Atlanta as the Hawks’ interim coach and joined Cleveland’s J.B. Bickerstaff, Detroit’s Dwane Casey, Houston’s Stephen Silas, Philadelphia’s Doc Rivers, Phoenix’s Monty Williams and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Tyronn Lue.

  • Charlotte’s James Borrego, who is Mexican-American, and Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, who is Filipino-American, are the league’s other two coaches of color.

  • The six Black executives with lead decision-making authority in the front office are Cleveland’s Koby Altman, Detroit’s Troy Weaver, Houston’s Rafael Stone, Phoenix’s James Jones, San Antonio’s Brian Wright and Toronto’s Masai Ujiri. Minnesota’s Gersson Rosas was the first Latino in league history to run a team’s basketball operations.

Rosas hired Chris Finch, who is white and had worked with him in Houston, to replace Ryan Saunders as head coach of the Timberwolves on Feb. 22. Rosas has faced considerable criticism for hiring Finch, an assistant coach from the Toronto Raptors, in the middle of the season rather than promoting David Vanterpool, who is Black, from within, or commissioning a wider search. In the front office, Rosas has hired two Indian-Americans, Sachin Gupta and Robby Sikka, and Joe Branch, a Black former player agent.

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