The Loop

Knicks targeting Masai Ujiri, who once told a crowd "Please clap after this: I hate the Knicks"

February 04, 2020

At long last, the New York Knicks fired/"parted ways" with team president Steve Mills on Tuesday, just two days before the NBA trade deadline. This is both good and bad. Good because Mills won't be around to screw things up further on Thursday, and bad because it's generally an awful idea to fire a team executive less than 48 hours before one of the biggest days of the year for team executives. Ultimately, it's better than then firing him after Thursday. Reminder, though: this is the Knicks,

As for what's next, there have been rumors for months that they are targeting Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri, and those rumors have now turned into full-blown reports. The Knicks are "targeting" another big name, who will surely be "lured" to N.Y. and "drawn" to MSG. Where have we heard this before?

After swinging and missing on virtually every big free agent in the last decade, the Knicks will now direct their attention to swinging and missing on the hotshot executive. The funniest part? Ujiri hates the Knicks, so much so that he once told a crowd to clap after he stated his disdain for them. Seriously, he literally said "Please clap after this: I hate the Knicks":

The clip is from a 2014 episode of "George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight," which airs in Canada on CBC Television. This interview was conducted after Ujiri's first season as GM of the Toronto Raptors. At the time he was hailed as the savior of the Raptors, which turned out to be true in 2019, when Toronto won its first NBA title.

Does Ujiri saying he "hates the Knicks" six years ago mean he won't come to the Knicks? Of course not, especially if the Knicks overpay for him. One source says it would cost multiple picks and 'at least' one first-round pick, since Ujiri is under contract through the 2020-2021 season. But that would just be the most Knicks thing ever, wouldn't it? Grossly overpaying for a GM who probably won't be able to fix the mess and who also once said he "Please clap after this: I hate the Knicks." Imagine being a fan of this team? (jumps off roof of high building)