New York Post

President asserts authority


Steve Mills wants his new hire Scott Perry to fight for moves he believes in, but ultimately the final decision will be made by the president, not the general manager.

“I’m going to give Scott the room to make basketball decisions and make recommenda­tions to me,’’ Mills said at Monday’s press conference to formally announce his promotion to the presidency and the hiring of Perry as GM. “He’s going to have a chance to manage the coaching staff, manage the scouting staff, and make recommenda­tions as to where we should go as a basketball organizati­on. I think we’ll be partners in that in the sense that he’ll come to me with his recommenda­tion and we’ll debate it back and forth. But at the end of the day, I’m giving him the room to make those decisions.”

On ESPN Radio, Perry said Mills “will have the final say,’’ but this stands to be the most influence he’ll have after working for four teams, including the Pistons, who won the NBA title during the 2003-04 season.

“I’m excited about the direction, to meet with him last week, we’re aligned in so many ways,’’ Perry said. “I come from a background of a lot of winning programs. So I’m hopeful to bring some of those experience­s that I learned there to help continue to enhance this franchise.’’

Mills said Perry will analyze the front-office staff and be given the freedom to make changes if need be. When Mills replaced Glen Grunwald as president before the 2013-14 season, he didn’t have a GM.

“I think one of the things differentl­y, last time I came in with a different title of president and general manager,’’ Mills said. “So as we talked about, and I discussed this with Jim [Dolan], how I want to envision this organizati­on going forward, one of the things I made clear was I thought we needed to bring in a general manager.’’

It is clear the Mills-Perry directive also is to establish better management relations with players, reversing what went on during Phil Jackson’s leadership. Jackson warred with Anthony and failed to mend fences with Kristaps Porzingis after he blew off his exit meeting following the season. One of Perry’s attributes, according to sources, is his relationsh­ip with the players and media.

Mills sounded like ground is being made in healing the wounds with Porzingis, who blew off his exit meeting with Jackson out of protest for the team’s dysfunctio­n.

“Kristaps and I have a hectic texting relationsh­ip. I continue to text Kristaps over the summer and he and I have spoken two or three times over the summer,’’ Mills said.

Mills said the club is formulatin­g a plan on visiting its three players in the European Championsh­ips — Porzingis (Latvia), Willy Hernangome­z (Spain) and Mindaugas Kuzminskas (Lithuania).

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