Knicks Rumors & News
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Steve Mills was replaced yesterday by Scott O’Neil as the new president of Madison Square Garden . Mills has held the title of president since he replaced Dave Checketts in 2003. His tenure has been controversial and somewhat embrassing. He was responsible for hiring Isiah Thomas and Anucha Browne Sanders. As president of basketball operations, Thomas increased the New York Knicks payroll to the highest in the league, and as head coach, he led the team to a franchise record 59 losses. Thomas was fired as coach in the spring and was replaced by former suns coach Mike D’Antoni. Donnie Walsh was hired in April to be in charge of player personnel for the Knicks.

Browne Sanders, a former top executive at the Garden, was awarded $11.5 million dollars in punitive damages after suing Thomas and MSG. She accused MSG of firing her in retaliation to the harassment charges she filed. Mills denied that Sanders gave him accounts of Thomas abusing her and making unwanted sexual advances. The Garden’s reason for firing her was she could not accomplish the professional responsibilities based on her duties. However, Mills gave her exceptional evaluations. Mills will now report to O’Neil as president of business operations for MSG teams. Mills has been demoted but will stiill remain on staff. He will now focus on luxury suites sales and still be in charge of the pro teams marketing and community relations.

Scott O’Neil was a senior vice president at the National Basketball Association. His duties included: overseeing the leagues team marketing and business operations, advised NBA and WNBA teams on ticket sales, NBDL and the NBA’s Canadian business. At the garden, he is expected to direct the business operations of the: Knicks , New York Rangers, New York Liberty and other Garden events. In addition, the 38-year old will also supervise the sponsorship sales for the pro teams and arena events. It is an exicting time for the Garden because they are starting renovations in 2009, and the Knicks have a potentially bright future. They needed a regime change, and with O’Neil’s sponsorship experience and creative mind it is a good fit. The renovations are expected to be done in 2011, and the Garden is a candidate for the All-Star game for the 2011-2012 season. With the Garden expanding and trying to maximize business opportunities, these changes have to be made.

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