Before James Dolan brought Steve Mills back to the organization and sent Glen Grunwald packing Mills was in line to become the next director of the National Basketball Players Association. Billy Hunter is long gone and the position is still open. With Phil Jackson looking to clear house and put his people into place could Mills leave the New York Knicks to become the head of the players union?
The players union hired former NBA player and current Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson to head up a search committee with the directive to find a new executive director for the National Basketball Players Association.
Ever since Billy Hunter left the job vacant 14 months ago rumors have connected different people to the position. However, Steve Mills was always one of the most popular. The union press hopes to have someone in place by the start of next season. Could Mills bow out gracefully and leave the Knicks for the union position, allowing Jackson to bring in one of his people to fill the general manager position in New York?
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports Mills is in the running to replace Hunter as the union executive.
With his future in New York uncertain under new Knicks president Phil Jackson, Steve Mills is once again surfacing as a strong candidate to replace Billy Hunter as executive director of the NBA players’ union, the Daily News has learned.
The Princeton-educated Mills, who played for legendary coach Pete Carril, could have an inside track on the union job. He is well-respected among players as well as league and team executives.
“It would be great for the union’s future if Steve is the guy,” said one player representative, who did not want to be identified.
The fact is, despite James Dolan's desire for Jackson and Mills to work side by side everyone knows Jackson would prefer Mills out of his hair. The players union needs an executive director. Things could work out for both of them.
From a union perspective, they need to get a director in place. Adam Silver is already doing his part and speaking publicly about the changes that are needed to move the NBA product forward. And don't think for one second that the league isn't already focused on 2017 for their next lockout.
Mills could be the answer to the union's problems. The union has to pick someone and Mills seems to have the intelligence and experience needed to do the job well. Maybe Jackson can assume full control of the team without having to force out Dolan's right hand man.