Grunwald Knicks' new VP

Glen Grunwald is joining the New York Knicks as vice president, leaving the Toronto Board of Trade....

Glen Grunwald is joining the New York Knicks as vice president, leaving the Toronto Board of Trade. (Toronto Sun File/Alex Urosevic)

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

Toronto Board of Trade president Glen Grunwald has decided to run away and join the circus.

That is, he has accepted the job as senior vice-president of basketball operations with the dysfunctional New York Knicks.

"I'm looking forward to it," Grunwald said yesterday. "We'll see how it goes, (but) I think it will be good."

Knicks president and head coach Isiah Thomas offered Grunwald, a long-time friend and associate and former teammate at Indiana University, the position despite the fact Grunwald had been out of the NBA since 2004, when his contract as general manager of the Raptors was not renewed.

"Glen is a skilled NBA executive whose expertise will be a great asset to the Knicks," Thomas said. "I know him well from our days as co-captains on the 1981 NCAA Championship team at Indiana and I hired him in Toronto. I consider him to be a quality evaluator of talent and a skilled communicator."

Grunwald admitted he was somewhat reluctant to jump back into the NBA fold, as his family is settled in the Toronto area.

"I love this city, I love this job and the Toronto Board of Trade is involved in great work," said Grunwald, who holds a law degree, an MBA and an honours business degree in marketing. "But I could not turn down this offer to rejoin my old friend and the sport that I love."

Grunwald joins an organization that has become the laughingstock of the NBA, a team that finished with the second-worst record in the league last year (23-59) despite a payroll of more than $140 million US, $46 more than the Philadelphia 76ers, which has the second-highest payroll. The Knicks are reeling from a series of controversies, including the dismissal earlier this year of head coach Larry Brown, who was let go with four years and about $40 million left on his contract.

However, Grunwald said he wouldn't have accepted the job if he didn't have faith in Thomas, who was given exactly one year by Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan to turn the team around.

"Sure you would like to go to the team that has the NBA championship but that's not going to happen," Grunwald said. "There's plenty of room for improvement, but I think we have much more talent than the 23 wins indicated.

"With Isiah returning to the bench in addition to being president and Brendan Suhr, the director of player personnel, also an assistant coach, there was a need for someone in the front office to look at the administrative duties, basic stuff I was doing (in Toronto), but reporting to Isiah and making sure he can focus on Job 1, which is coaching."


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