A Step In The Right Direction – Walsh Knicked From Pacers

3 04 2008

Whichever spin is put on it, Donnie Walsh was pretty much stolen from the Indiana Pacers by the New York Knicks.
And there will be spin applied.
Count on it.

A donnie deal?For the Knicks, this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. And if Walsh’s first move is to dump Isiah Thomas as coach, then the Knicks are well on the way to recovery.
And ‘recovery’ it is.
As is said in such programs, the first step to fixing a problem is admitting that it exists. And Isiah ‘exists’ on a level of incompetency that was difficult to imagine before his bungling reign of one of basketball’s premier franchises commenced.
The difficulty has been that for some line of reasoning beyond the ken of mortal man, the team’s owner – James Dolan – is a huge fan of Isiah’s.
With the induction of Walsh as GM, Isiah’s influence on the team is somewhat lessened. Dolan’s man-love of Thomas may go either way at this point, Thomas being sacked as coach might be declared off-limits… but I tend to think that Donnie Walsh allows Dolan an escape clause:

“Hey, I gave Walsh carte blanche with the franchise, and he made this decision.”

Wave bye-bye to Isiah folks. Not before time. If nothing else, Dolan was foolish for not seeing the writing on the wall re. the management skills Thomas possesses post his absolute destruction of the Continental Basketball Association.
Talk about ridiculous.
Isiah bought it for $5 million, the NBA offered him $11 million. He turns it down, and within a very short time frame, it’s dead in the water.
Rumors that did abound of Thomas intentionally running the league into the ground to make way for the NBA-owned NBDL lack credibility, for if that were the case, Thomas would’ve just sold the league to the Association.

Even whilst at the Pacers – where some credit him with doing a fairly good job coaching – a charge of mismanagement is more easily understood: in 2003 even with a talent-laden roster, the 3rd seeded Indiana lost to the 6th seeded Boston Smilin’ Assassin… soon to be ‘assassinated’?Celtics in the first round. Perhaps the best thing Larry Bird did in the front office of Indiana was to sack Isiah Thomas.

And ‘mismanagement’ is the key phrase for his tenure at the Knicks. Or perhaps ‘deluded’.
Even now, after all that he has dragged the New York franchise through, Isiah claims that he believes that he will win a championship with New York, and that he will leave a championship legacy.
Deluded.
Isiah Thomas will indeed leave a legacy at New York. One that will take quite a long time for them to recover from.

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7 responses

4 04 2008
Empty the Bench - Fantasy Sports, Fantasy Football, Fantasy Basketball, NFL, NBA

[…] Brand did too. – HOOPSWORLD – Much like the Pistons, the Utah Jazz enjoy flying under the radar. – With Malice… – Donnie Walsh is a step in the right direction for the embattled Knicks. – Wizards Insider – The […]

4 04 2008
Gagan

The thing that would piss me off if I was a Knicks fan would be that they’ve been asking for Isiah to get fired for years now, and he continued to make stupid deals that increased their cap figure every season. It’s about time Dolan realized what has to be done, let’s just hope it doesn’t take as long for Walsh to realize it as well.

Although, being a Raptors fan I’m loving it.

4 04 2008
Steve

When Isaiah was a player with the Pistons, he may have been a punk, but at least he was a TALENTED punk as a player. As an executive, Isaiah Thomas has been more of a Kiss of Death that Typhoid Mary herself. Now, along with being a sexist prick-who cost the Knicks a ton of $$ with that sexual harrassment suit judgement-he is the one Hall of Fame ex-player who may be a more incompetent NBA executive thant Kevin McHale-and given how much McHale has killed the Timber-puppies, what Isaiah has done with the Knicks and much bigger budget has been nothing short of a spectacular failure. I wouldn’t hire him to coach a bunch of middle school kids.

4 04 2008
Steve

Don, maybe you or your readers can come up with an all time worst list of great players who were horrible coaches/general managers. Isiaiah Thomas, Kevin McHale, Elgin Baylor are the three that come most to mind for me.

4 04 2008
withmalice

Steve, that’s a great idea… I think I’ll do that!

5 04 2008
Lou

Your blog doesn’t say much about Donnie Walsh except that the Knicks stole him from Indiana. For the last 15 years the Indiana Pacers have been a good but never great NBA basketball team; in my opinion one of the most boring teams to watch. Donnie Walsh’s claim to fame is that he picked Reggie Miller over Steve Alford in a draft 15 years ago. His smartest trade, getting Jermaine O’Neil from Portland, was orchestrated with Isiah Thomas’s recommendation. Some of Walsh’s best years in Indiana were had because of Isiah Thomas’s talent evaluations, as his right-hand man. Donnie Walsh did not inherit the situation that Isiah Thomas inherited in NY — a team 50 million over the salary cap with little talent.

Why do you think that Donnie Walsh will bring anything to NY but mediocrity? What part of Donnie Walsh’s resume makes you feel that way?

5 04 2008
withmalice

Sorry, not sure how Donnie Walsh not stuffing the Pacers up equates to anything but a step up from Isiah Thomas.

In answering your question, allow me to pose a question of my own: do you really think that Isiah Thomas should remain at NY?

Isiah may not have created the problem with the Knicks, but he certainly didn’t help it. Rather, he magnified it tenfold. And that’s just discussing the team… the ignominy he brought to the franchise is perhaps worse than they’ve ever experienced.

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