It’s Official!

The Knicks will have a 1pm meeting today to announce the hiring of Donnie Walsh. The latest rumor is that Walsh will report directly to Dolan. Another rumor is that one of Walsh’s terms is that the team more media friendly, a huge departure from the recent era. The Knicks’ current policy is to not allow anyone in the organization be interviewed without a member of the P.R. department present.

It’s unknown what will happen to Isiah Thomas, and you have to wonder what will happen to Steve Mills as well since Walsh isn’t reporting to him. According to at least one report, Mills and Isiah have had a power struggle for some time now. It’s possible that Dolan uses the Walsh hiring to get rid of one or both. Most likely these questions won’t be answered until the season is over, but hopefully there’ll be an answer by the draft.

If True, Walsh Move a Step Forward

Although there has been no official word, a few different sources have reported that the Knicks have hired Donnie Walsh to oversee their franchise. Walsh isn’t the sexy move that Colangelo or West would have been, and his tenure in Indiana isn’t without it’s flaws. However for the Knicks in the Dolan era, playing it safe shows a marked improvement.

Since Dolan took sole possession, many of the the Knicks moves have been risky get rich quick schemes. Some of the hallmark transactions include trading for Glenn Rice, Antonio Mcdyess, Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, Eddy Curry, and Zach Randolph. If these deals have one thing in common, it’s that each one failed to account for the Knicks long term future. Rice was exchanged in favor of Patrick Ewing’s massively expiring contract. McDyess was gotten in lieu of the #8 pick (Nene). Meanwhile the rest took away the Knicks financial flexibility, not to mention four first round picks and a few young players. But despite surrendering all this, New York finds itself at the bottom of the league hoping to lose games in order to get a better draft pick.

During Walsh’s tenure, the Pacers rarely went for the big move. The early ’90s Pacers were built primarily through the draft. Reggie Miller, Rik Smits, Antonio Davis, and Dale Davis were taken in successive years. Meanwhile the early ’00s Pacers were constructed through shrew trades. Walsh paid pennies on the dollar for Jermaine O’Neal (Dale Davis) and Ron Artest (Jalen Rose & Travis Best). These deals are the antithesis of the recent New York acquisitions.

Compared to Walsh, Scott Layden and Isiah Thomas were inexperienced, impatient, and incompetent GMs. Fans were happy at the trade deadline this year when New York didn’t make any deals. Not because the team didn’t need to move players, but because Isiah Thomas didn’t have a chance to further damage the team. With Walsh at the helm, New Yorkers won’t hold their collective breaths anytime the ESPN ticker announces a Knick trade. If Donnie Walsh assumes the helm, he will be the first capable GM in the James Dolan era. And that’s a small step forward for a franchise wrapping up its 8th straight losing season.

Walsh to the Knicks Imminent?

Donnie Walsh is officially out at Indiana and ESPN is reporting he is set to sign a three-year/$15 million dollar contract with the Knicks.

I am not a huge fan of Donnie Walsh, but he should most likely be a step up on not only Thomas, but on every Knick General Manager since Ernie Grunfeld, as well.

It will be interesting seeing how this all plays out. Will Isiah still have a role on the Knicks? Who will be the next coach? Will there be a new coach?