Report: Donnie Walsh Staying In New York

Donnie Walsh

As I detailed yesterday, the Knicks future might not be as bright as some want to believe. The Knicks are still rebuilding. They have a coach whose future is being debated, a pair of stars still learning to play with one another, and a supporting roster still in flux.  

But at the top of the list of needs for the Knicks was shoring up its front office. And according to a report in today’s New York Post, they’ll do just that by bringing team President Donnie Walsh back.

“Jim really wants him back and the only issue left is Donnie getting assurances he’s in charge of the basketball operations,” the league source said.

According to sources, Walsh had become concerned about the increasing influence of some of Dolan’s MSG lieutenants regarding basketball matters. Walsh had taken the job three years ago with the promise he would be the head of basketball operations.

“It’s going to be resolved,” said one NBA executive who has been debriefed on the Walsh saga.

“Some of Dolan’s MSG lieutenants” almost undoubtedly refers to Isiah Thomas and his reported string-pulling in the Carmelo Anthony trade. MSG boss James Dolan astonishingly continues to listen to Thomas, who created a gigantic mess for the Knicks that’s taken three years of Donnie Walsh’s untangling to almost fix. And just when he’d gotten himself a roster that he could work with, Isiah comes around and convinces Dolan to send most of it to Denver for Anthony.

If you were Walsh… wouldn’t you look around and wonder “hey… who’s really in charge here?”  The trade may ultimately work out in the end, but who knows what pieces Walsh could have kept if he was allowed to do things his way.  

If he can truly get an assurance that he really is in charge, then Walsh can go about retooling the roster and bringing the Knicks from “relevant” to “respectable.” Keeping him in place was the biggest step in the Knicks’ climb out of the bottom of the playoff pack… and it seems they’ve been able to get that done.