Knicks clarify that new consultant Stoute can't fire coach

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Knicks clarified on Tuesday that the new adviser they hired to improve their brand makes no personnel decisions, after he indicated during a televised interview that they would hire a new coach.

Steve Stoute, hired in part last month to improve the team's connection to its fans, was interviewed on ESPN on Tuesday and said the Knicks would be looking for a new coach, even though interim coach Mike Miller has a better record than David Fizdale when he was fired in December.

Stoute said the Knicks' recent firing of president Steve Mills "will bring a new coach and new coaches that are going to help develop these younger players.”

The Knicks fired Mills on Feb. 4 and plan to hire player agent Leon Rose as team president. In the meantime, Stoute hinted at changes that would be coming during his TV appearance.

“While Steve Stoute is a valued contributor to the Knicks’ marketing and branding efforts, he does not speak on behalf of New York Knicks personnel and basketball operations. Any decisions regarding the operations of the team will be made by the new president of the New York Knicks,” the team said in a statement.

Stoute, who founded the entertainment agency Translation in 2004, was hired by the Knicks on Jan. 23. They had already fired Fizdale more than a month earlier and have been expected to hire a new staff once Rose takes over.

Stoute is tasked with improving the profile of a team that has missed the playoffs for six straight years. In the meantime, he hinted at changes he wasn't hired to make.

“In my excitement to defend the Knicks on live TV today, I inadvertently insinuated about Knicks personnel," he said. "I look forward to working with Knicks management to elevate the great Knicks brand moving forward.”

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