Aug 17, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Kemba Walker (8) and guard Evan Fournier (13) pose for a photo with team president Leon Rose (left) and head coach Tom Thibodeau (middle) and general manager Scott Perry (right) during their introductory press conference at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

If you wanted to hear what Leon Rose had to say about one of the greatest seasons in the franchise’s recent memory, consider yourself out of luck.

According to The Athletic’s Fred Katz, the New York Knicks president has yet again declined a request to hold an end-of-season media availability. That means that the organization hasn’t seen a high-ranking member of its front office speak on the record to independent media in nearly three years, which is nearly preposterous— especially in the New York sports scene.

The Knicks are one of the best teams in the league and have probably had a good chance at capturing the Larry O’Brien Trophy since 1973, if not for injuries to many key contributors and star players.

But because they’re winning, there doesn’t seem to be any national media pushback to do a solo press conference, which Rose has not done since assuming control of the organization in April 2020. Rose, to his credit, has built a perennial winner. However, the thought of a former Knicks executive – say, Phil Jackson — refusing to speak to reporters and be transparent in any way possible while doling that responsibility to his coaching staff would not go over particularly well.

But Knicks fans don’t seem to care.

As Sean Highkin pointed out, every time a Knicks beat writer posts on social media that Rose doesn’t want to fulfill his obligation as the franchise’s face, fans tend to side with the team.

It’s mind-boggling that Knicks fans tolerate a complete lack of transparency from the team’s leadership. No other fanbase would accept this silence from the people making decisions about their favorite team. Say a Knicks fan roots for the Yankees or Mets. Do you think they’d be okay with Brian Cashman and David Stearns, respectively, operating in the shadows with zero transparency or accountability?

It’s weird to think that fans wouldn’t care to hear his perspective on the teams he built, especially considering his great success in creating them. But that’s sort of beside the point here.

If Rose wants to operate in the shadows and avoid independent media at all costs, that’s certainly his prerogative. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the Knicks president isn’t breaking any league rules. However, those seem only designed for players and coaches, who are perhaps forced to be the vocal authority on decisions they did not make or can’t expound on.

It certainly remains to be seen if Rose ever feels compelled to break his silence and engage with the media. But with fans mostly showing indifference to Rose’s transgressions with the public, the Knicks will likely remain one of the NBA’s most enigmatic franchises.

[Fred Katz]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.