Knicks add Craig Robinson to front office

ByIan Begley ESPN logo
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The New York Knicks have hired Craig Robinson, brother-in-law of former President Barack Obama, as vice president of player development and G League operations, the team announced Tuesday.

Robinson is not expected to serve as general manager for the Knicks' G League team. Allan Houston is expected to continue in that role, sources said.

Robinson, a teammate of Knicks president Steve Mills at Princeton, served as vice president of player and organizational development for the Milwaukee Bucks last season.

He will play a role in New York's player development program, which is considered crucial for a Knicks team committed to rebuilding around the young core of Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Willy Hernangomez and first-round pick Frank Ntilikina.

This is the third significant front-office hire made by Mills since taking over for Phil Jackson last month.

Mills hired Scott Perry as general manager, and Mills and Perry brought in LA Clippers executive Gerald Madkins, a former Knicks scout, to serve as assistant general manager.

"Last month, the day after I was hired, I started a full evaluation of the entire basketball operations staff," Perry said in a statement Tuesday. "My first goal was to build up the highest level front office in the NBA. We are adding a host of highly regarded and respected basketball people to work with the Knicks to fortify the franchise for years to come."

Perry has met with many members of the current front office, and he and Mills have been restructuring the group.

Perry also has added executives Harold Ellis and Michael Arcieri to the front office, it was announced Tuesday. Perry worked with both men in Orlando.

Ellis will serve a director of player personnel, and Arcieri will hold the title of director of basketball strategy.

Robinson was the head coach at Oregon State from 2008 to 2014, going 94-105 while failing to make an NCAA tournament appearance. Prior to joining the Beavers, he coached at Brown for two seasons.

Mills and Perry are hiring Fred Cofield, who played for the team in 1985-86, as a scout in their front office, it was announced Tuesday. Cofield has worked as an independent scout for teams and as a coach/trainer for several for NBA players.

Also, Mills and Perry are keeping Clarence Gaines Jr. in the front office as a scout, league sources told ESPN. Gaines, one of Jackson's only front-office hires, was credited by Jackson as influencing him to draft Porzingis. Gaines' title under Jackson was vice president of player personnel.