Kevin Durant's Agent Rich Kleiman Denies Rumors About Knicks' Team Presidency

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 19:  Durant Company/Thirty Five Media Partner Rich Kleiman speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017 at Pier 48 on September 19, 2017 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)
Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Rich Kleiman, Kevin Durant's manager and business partner, said he still dreams of being the New York Knicks president but shot down the notion he was close to landing the job this season.

He also praised the Knicks' choice of Leon Rose, per Ian Begley of SNY:

"No accuracy to it. Never heard from them. It clearly has to do with the fact that, two or three years ago, I tweeted that I wanted to run the Knicks one day—and, of course, I grew up in New York City. It's hard for me with all of the access that I've gotten to not still be a kid at times and realize that the Knicks were my life growing up.

So, yeah, it's still a dream of mine, but I'm also building a business with Kevin. And I think that it's flattering to know that my name was mentioned because I think, at least, it justifies some of the work I've done within the world of business and basketball. But it was never real because nobody ever called me. But if what they're reporting is true about Leon Rose, then I think they did the right job. Because I think Leon is going to be incredible."

As a fan, Kleiman surely knows the ordeal that building the Knicks into a winner will be moving forward.

The team has not been to the playoffs since the 2012-13 campaign and has just one postseason series victory since the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals. There are some building blocks in place with RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson, but New York is just 17-38 on the season.

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Still, Kleiman believes Rose's time as an agent will help him take on the challenge:

"But what Leon's done for the last 20 years has been this job times 10. Managing athletes in all different cities, managing the families and the enterprises that these athletes become, and knowing all the different players in that world and coming out of it and having everybody talk so highly of you and respect you the way they respect Leon, that's a great start. And for me, it's a home run they were able to get Leon."

The presidency position opened up when the Knicks announced Steve Mills was leaving Feb. 4, and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported the team looked toward successes with the Los Angeles Lakers (Rob Pelinka) and Golden State Warriors (Bob Myers) when considering hiring a player agent for the job.

Rose has worked with notable players such as LeBron James, Allen Iverson, Joel Embiid, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns.

He is now tasked with bringing that type of talent to the Big Apple.

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