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Hawks promote Rose to D-League general manager (updated)

Malik Rose will need a winter coat again.

The Hawks promoted Rose to general manager of the Erie (Pa.) BayHawks, the team’s NBA Development League affiliate beginning next season. Rose will continue in his role as manager of basketball operations for the Hawks. However, there will be plenty of trips back and forth to warrant the new apparel.

“I do plan to spend a lot of time in Erie,” said Rose, a native of Pennsylvania. “This is a huge endeavor, a huge responsibility, the Hawks have entrusted in me. I do think I have to spend a lot of time there getting this thing off the ground there.”

The Hawks will take over operations of the Erie franchise for two seasons before it permanently relocates to College Park for the 2019-20 season in a newly constructed arena.

Rose has spent the past two seasons in the Hawks’ front office in his current role. He said Tuesday that it has been a dream to one day be an NBA general manager and this is another step, albeit an unexpected one, in the process.

“It’s something I had on my radar,” Rose said. “My end goal is to be a GM in the NBA one day. A lot of NBA GMs got their start being the GM of a D-League team. It was something that was always on my wish list. Something I always hoped would happen. That’s one of the things that makes this super special. No one ever talked to me about it and it wasn’t in the plan when I took the job (with the Hawks), but it’s something our ownership group, (Mike Budenholzer) and (Wes Wilcox) saw in me in the two years I’ve been working with those guys. I’m super humble and super thankful to them.”

Rose played 13 NBA seasons from 1996-2009 with the Hornets, Spurs, Knicks and Thunder. After retiring he worked as a color commentator for several team including with the 76ers before joining the Hawks. Rose played college basketball at Drexel University in his hometown of Philadelphia from 1992-96 where he earned degrees in Computer Information Systems and Education. He also has a Master’s degree in Sports Management.

“Malik continues to play an invaluable role in our front office and the added responsibility of managing the day-to-day operations of our D-League expansion is a natural progression for both Malik and the Hawks,” Hawks general manager Wes Wilcox said in a statement.

Rose said his first priority is to find a head coach for Erie. He said there are already a number of candidates, and he expects more before beginning the vetting process. Rose said he will look for a coach who can implement the Hawks’ system and culture to ensure continued success.

The Hawks will take advantage of the new two-way contracts in the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement to help with player development. He also said draft picks that have in the past been stashed overseas will be part of the D-League roster. That includes players such as Isaia Cordinier, a second-round pick last year who has been playing in France.

“You know how important D-League teams are today,” Rose said. “They are an integral part of a lot of winning franchises in the NBA. Our plan is to get one and build a winning culture and winning environment.”

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