Can superagent Leon Rose do what star player Isiah Thomas, and star coach Phil Jackson, could not?
Can he overcome ownership and change the culture around the New York Knicks, turning one of the NBA's marquee brands back into a winner?
We'll find out starting Sunday, reports Marc Stein of the New York Times.
A foundation needs to be built in New York - and the pieces are there to do it. They have a couple of nice young players in RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson, plus New York has seven first-round picks in the next four years.
This is where the change in culture and foundation comes in - will the Knicks have the scouting, and the player development personnel, in place to take advantage of this? Sure, they need some luck with the ping-pong lottery balls, but can they find and develop guys down the board? Can they draft and develop a Brandon Clarke or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Donovan Mitchell or Bam Adebayo?
Can Rose instill a culture where players are brought in, challenged and developed, and grown into quality rotation players? They did that just over the Brooklyn Bridge: Young players such as Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, and Jarrett Allen were developed into a team that made the playoffs last season, and will again this season. Brooklyn built a foundation that became a place stars such as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant wanted to play.
It will start with a vision by Rose, then the hiring of a head coach and basketball staff that understands how to execute that vision. Without interference by ownership. Then Rose needs time to let the vision come to life, it will not be instant.
Is Rose up to that task? Will James Dolan give him the autonomy and time to do it right? We'll find out, starting Sunday.