New York Knicks President of Basketball Operations steve mills was fired on Tuesday, nearly 48 hours before the potentially wild NBA trade deadline on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. ET.

Mills, 60, first started with the Knicks organization in 2000 as an executive in the “sports business” wing of the Madison Square Garden Company. He later began meddling in the team’s basketball operations during his second stint in New York in 2013, but for the first nine years, he served as a business strategist for executive chairman James Dolan following a decade-plus working for the NBA.

Mills’ time with the Knicks correlates strongly with both a decline in on-court success and off-the-court, let’s say, shenanigans that have populated the history of the franchise following an era dominated by Patrick Ewing and tough playoff series.

Mills returned to the franchise after a four-year sabbatical working for Los Angeles Lakers Hall of Fame point guard Magic Johnson’s investment firm, becoming the general manager under former team president Phil Jackson, and later Mills stepped into the president role after Jackson’s dismissal.

Laying the groundwork for his eventual firing on Tuesday (although he will still be involved with Dolan’s other business ventures, if you read the fine print), Mills hired former Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic executive Scott Perry in July 2017, who in turn brought in David Fizdale, the former Memphis Grizzlies head coach and assistant with the Miami Heat who was fired a quarter of the way through his second season in New York.

Now Perry is the main figurehead in New York’s front office and for the moment Mills’ departure from the basketball operations side is a brief respite for Knicks fans until the next shenanigan from team owner Dolan.

Mills’ near-two-decade involvement with the franchise went poorly, were just several instances here highlighted by the meandering, meaningless direction by the team paired with his arrival in 2000.

Isiah Thomas

During Steve Mills’ first stint in New York, Detroit Pistons Hall of Fame point guard Isiah Thomas was team president from 2003 to 2008. In 2006 Thomas replaced Larry Brown as head coach, too, and thus begun multiple seasons of some of the worst trades in franchise history.

Beyond years plural of unwatchable Knicks basketball, a sexual harassment lawsuit landed on Thomas’ desk, and Mills showed up in court to testify for his peer.

Many point to this instance during the franchise’s history as a reason Mills was so ingratiated in Dolan’s inner circle and brought back in 2013 even after he quietly resigned in 2009 following Anuncha Browne Sanders’ multi-million dollar settlement with Madison Square Garden.

Knicks’ Coaching Carousel

Between Steve Mills’ return in 2013 to Tuesday, Feb. 4—his official dismissal date—the Knicks, discounting interim coaches, went through four head coaches: Mike Woodson, Derek Fisher, Jeff Hornacek, and David Fizdale.

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It’s unacceptable for a franchise to expect definitive results give the short order it takes to respawn a new face on the sidelines and in practice. Part of the Knicks’ misery (they haven’t reached the postseason since 2012-13—the immediate season before Mills rejoined the team in Sept. 2013), has been an extremely precarious head-coaching job, which has turned into a revolving door.

The Knicks are set to hire their fifth head coach in seven years at the conclusion of the 2019-20 season, and it’s no wonder they haven’t found consistency during Mills’ tenure.

Joakim Noah

On July 8, 2016, Mills, as GM under the Jackson regime, signed veteran center and former Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah to a four-year, $74 million contract as a free agent, reuniting him with ex-MVP point guard Derrick Rose, for whom they traded in June.

Noah’s tenure in New York, his home city, was a disastrous marriage due to, well, multiple issues including Noah’s on off-the-court behavior along with injuries and a caustic relationship with his head coach and management.

Noah later played solid backup minutes for the Memphis Grizzlies to add insult to injury after the Knicks finally waived and stretched his contract in Oct. 2018.

The Knicks will pay Noah a cap-hitting $6.4 million until 2021-22.

Back to Back Bad Signings By The Knicks

Phil Jackson lost his job several days after the 2017 NBA Draft and in the interim, before Scott Perry was hired as GM, Mills acted as the lead decision-maker for the front office. In a few days, Mills handed out nearly $80 million in contracts to guards Tim Hardaway Jr. and Ron Baker.

Steve Mills handed a no-trade clause to Ron Baker.

Hardaway, who the Knicks initially drafted in 2013 before trading to the Atlanta Hawks, was a restricted free agent who, by all accounts, had an internal bidding war waged by the Knicks, paying roughly $20-30 million more than other suitors.

Hardaway never played quite well with New York, and the Knicks had to dump him off in the Kristaps Porzingis trade with the Dallas Mavericks as a “bad contract.” Hardaway is now thriving with the Mavs.

Mills’ dismissal by the Knicks will be celebrated by fans, but no doubt there are more moves to be made by the franchise before the trade deadline on Thursday and early in the offseason, including finding a replacement at president.