NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Knicks and Nets are taking a beating — not just on the court and from fans, but also from the experts at the “worldwide leader.”
For the second straight year ESPN has put together a panel it believes is as qualified as any to assess the front offices and executives from all of the NBA’s 30 teams.
ESPN Forecast is “a panel of more than 200 members who collectively possess vast NBA experience, knowledge and perspective,” the network says on its website. Among the panel’s members are prominent media members, basketball personalities and former players.
This year’s panel has decreed that the Nets, who at 30-40 sat a half-game out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference heading into Thursday’s action, and Knicks (14-58), owners of the league’s worst record, have the 29th and 30th ranked front offices in the league, respectively.
Panel members were asked “to rate each team’s front-office management on its guidance and leadership in terms of how it affects overall on-court success, both in the short and long term,” ESPN said.
The San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors are ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively.
As far as front office executives go, ESPN has the Knicks — president Phil Jackson and VP of basketball operations Steve Mills — ranked 29th and the Nets, led by general manager Billy King and chairman Dmitry Razumov, 30th.
Those rankings assess the individuals within each franchise that “have the strongest say when it comes to transactions,” ESPN said.
San Antonio president Gregg Popovich and GM R.C. Buford topped the list.
Jackson, who was hired after last season amid massive fanfare, has said in recent weeks that his hope is to turn the Knicks around quickly and that he never really saw this season’s demise coming. Jackson has hinted he would consider trading the Knicks’ first round pick this year, which could end up being No. 1 overall, for more immediate help and has said he plans to build his team back up quickly through free agency.
The Nets have underachieved under first-year coach Lionel Hollins, with their best players having been rumored to be on the trading block up right up until the deadline. They may still make the playoffs, but expectations beyond that are few.