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Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

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  • Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_yl...asknicks022011

    LOS ANGELES – The thin veil of secrecy has torn away now, the pretenses gone and Isiah Thomas has left the shadows and moved into the light again. Once more, he is the New York Knicks’ top basketball executive.

    Thomas is driving everything through owner James Dolan – the trade for Carmelo Anthony(notes), the departure of Donnie Walsh and perhaps even the eventual hiring of the New York Knicks’ next president and general manager, multiple league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    “Isiah is calling the shots for New York,” said one front-office executive involved in the Anthony trade talks. “It’s a disgrace. Donnie should walk.”

    Thomas wouldn’t blink. After all, that’s his plan: He wants Walsh to leave out of sheer frustration because of Thomas’ meddling, or because Dolan doesn’t pick up the option on his contract in April. For a franchise with a history of inexplicable dysfunction, even this is an episode for the Madison Square Garden time capsule.


    Dolan has overruled Walsh in these trade talks and undermined his authority. Walsh has never wanted to give away Raymond Felton(notes) for an aging Chauncey Billups(notes) and throw Danilo Gallinari(notes) into the package, too. This is all Isiah, all his influence.


    Thomas doesn’t believe Dolan is inclined to give him his job back, but it almost doesn’t matter anymore. In a moment of truth for this Knicks franchise, in the biggest trade they’ve tried to make in years, Isiah Thomas, the coach of Florida International University, has emerged as the de facto GM.

    Eventually, Anthony will likely end up with the Knicks, and Thomas plans to take full credit with Dolan for delivering him. He’s worn out Dolan with the idea that Walsh is too old to recruit the biggest stars to New York, that he can’t connect with them. This is complete nonsense. What sells New York isn’t the GM, but cap space, the Garden and a magnificent teammate and leader like Amar’e Stoudemire(notes). Thomas is forever selling revisionist history and out-and-out lies to an audience of one: Dolan.

    For months, Thomas has privately insisted that Walsh was done with the Knicks this spring. His option must be exercised by April 30 and that still hasn’t happened. Thomas believes it’s never happening, and believes he can install a puppet regime through Dolan to replace Walsh. This way he can eliminate the middleman. “He wants his own guy in that office, someone he can have some control over,” a league source said.

    Thomas had a plan to run the Knicks again, and it failed a year ago: When Dolan pushed Walsh to bring back the disgraced executive as the Knicks general manager, Walsh reacted with the threat of resignation. This was pure lunacy, a plan hatched out of the incompetence of Dolan, out of the deviousness of Thomas.


    The NBA rejected a compromise to let Thomas serve as a Knicks consultant and the coach of FIU. Dolan insisted he would keep conferring with Thomas, and he told the truth. Only now, he listens more to Thomas than he does Walsh.

    Thomas has pushed Dolan to let Walsh’s contract expire on June 30 and hire a new executive to run the Knicks. Thomas plans to furnish Dolan with candidates, a source said. He thinks he can get a candidate hired from the outside, but there will be a brawl inside before that happens.


    The fight for power could come between Thomas and William Wesley – Worldwide Wes. He’s an agent for CAA, the powerbroker agency connected as a rep of star players, executives and coaches. He pushed for Mark Warkentien’s hiring as a high-level consultant to Walsh, has strong ties to Knicks assistant GM Allan Houston(notes) and he’s one of the main reps for Anthony and 2012 free agent Chris Paul(notes). It’s against NBA rules to rep players and coaches, but commissioner David Stern picks and chooses the rules he enforces. He lets Worldwide Wes travel with his Olympic teams, gain access to stars, steal them away and broker them to the commissioner’s market franchises.

    Stern ought to be ashamed of himself for letting this happen to Walsh. He pushed Dolan and Walsh together three years ago to clean up Thomas’ toxic mess, to restore a measure of honor and dignity to the Garden. Walsh did the job, and now Dolan is one more owner with so little respect for the commissioner and his franchise’s fans that he’s allowed Thomas to emerge as a Knicks powerbroker again.


    The front office is still stocked with Thomas loyalists, including Glen Grunwald and Rodney Heard. Heard was responsible for the illegal workouts under Thomas’ regime, but Walsh has never been allowed to fire him because of Thomas’ relationship with him. Heard, an East Coast scouting director, had a chance to leave for an assistant GM’s job with the Minnesota Timberwolves over the summer, but stayed because, as he privately told friends in the league, “Isiah is coming back.”

    Only, Isiah Thomas never truly left the New York Knicks. From across the country on All-Star weekend, on a South Florida college campus, Thomas keeps pushing the big trade for the big Denver Nuggets star. Thomas has always bragged to Dolan about how close he is with ’Melo and how he’s sold the star on a future with the Knicks. It’s pure nonsense and pure gold for Thomas.


    Walsh wanted to see the Knicks back into the playoffs, and this is the year it happens. They aren’t chasing a championship, but they’ve returned to respectability and are in contention. Walsh had a smart, shrewd and patient plan to get Anthony. There were limits to the price to be paid for ’Melo, and Dolan has let Thomas exceed them in these contract talks. He’s humiliated Walsh, who, sources said, could still return to the Indiana Pacers as president should Larry Bird retire this summer.
    Walsh’s peers are embarrassed for him, but no one is too surprised. James Dolan has forever lusted for Thomas, and no level of shame, no humiliation, no embarrassment can keep them apart. The Knicks are giving up far too much for Anthony, and that doesn’t end with the players in the proposed package. Dolan sold this franchise’s soul a long time ago, and now that old, failed partnership is promising a second act that comes straight out of hell.

    Carmelo Anthony could be on the way to New York, Donnie Walsh could be on the way out, and one thing has never been so certain: Isiah Thomas has big, big ideas for the future of the franchise.


    *********************************************

    Dear sweet God nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!

    I was just delivered from one nightmare, please oh please do not let me fall back into this.

    Kevin Pritchard, David Morway, hell promote Clark Kellogg, anyone but Walsh. Ok well not anyone cause God knows I would not want O'Brien in there either.

    I've never rooted so hard in my life for Larry Bird but if I have to start a cheer section to rival area 55 right behind Bird I will to make sure he doesn't leave.

    BillS is going to be unbarable at the party now...


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

  • #2
    Re: Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

    I don't think Larry will retire. As others have pointed out, specific quotes from Larry imply that he'll be back (like interviewing new coaches). He has a young team that he likes, the most cap room in the league, his pick of a new coach, and full trust of the owner.

    What's Larry going to do post-retirement, go into broadcasting? Unlikely. He might have some health issues, but he's only 54. I can't think of a better way for an ultra-competitive former NBA player to spend his time than having full run of his own team. It's like what Michael Jordan wanted, but he doesn't have to pay $275 million to do it.

    Larry very well could walk away after the season. But if he does, I'll be very curious as to why.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

      I'm a former Walsh Warrior and I don't want him back either. I want Bird to stay!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

        Forget Walsh coming here. It is speculation. Piecing two puzzle pieces together cause they don't fit their current puzzle.

        I am thrilled about this article. Cause if Thomas is running the show, then the Knicks will not get better than they are right now.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

          When I started reading I thought this was an Onion Sports article.
          "A man with no belly has no appetite for life."

          - Salman Rushdie

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

            Originally posted by Major Cold View Post
            Forget Walsh coming here. It is speculation. Piecing two puzzle pieces together cause they don't fit their current puzzle.

            I am thrilled about this article. Cause if Thomas is running the show, then the Knicks will not get better than they are right now.
            I agree. Although I feel bad for Walsh, I am glad that Isiah is back! I was just starting to worry about the Knicks being an actual player in the next year or so. Yaaay!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

              Absolutely love the idea of Thomas coming back to run the Knicks back into the ground.

              Absolutely hate the idea of Walsh returning to run the Pacers back into........oops! I better stop there out of respect for the success that Walsh did have in the 90's

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

                I liked what Bird has done in Indiana. Actually, I liked what Bird did years prior to now with the exception of buddying up with O'Brien, but I understand there are circumstances pertaining to why O'Brien was hired during that period of time (the team was a mess; not many coaches would want to walk into that mess) and why Indiana can't just constantly hire and fire coaches the way big market teams do ($$$). I would hate to see Bird walk away just as he has nearly completed constructing the team he's been trying to build. He's put together a fantastic young core of players, and he will have lots of financial flexibility very soon.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

                  I feel bad for Donnie.

                  Shame on Isiah, though I suppose he could be thinking "payback's a *****." Bird fired him, but only because Donnie liked him too much to do it himself, so he let Larry come in with a hatchet.

                  I can't say I'm upset that Isiah continues to infect the Knicks. It's just too bad that it comes at Donnie's expense, and this time with two star players, maybe they do have success this time, so who knows.

                  As for Walsh coming back, I wouldn't say it's impossible, but I would say it's unlikely. For one thing, Bird sounds to me like he wants to come back. For another, I think Herb Simon wouldnt mind keeping Larry around. Additionally, even if Bird is done here, Walsh may choose to retire altogether. He's getting up there, and his health has deteriorated a bit since he left Indiana.

                  I think Donnie returns to Indy, but only as a resident, not as the President of Pacers Basketball.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

                    It took awhile, but Walsh has turned the Knicks into a respectable team. He may not be as over the hill as believed.

                    However, I absolutely do not want him returning to Indiana under any circumstances. It's over.

                    But if he wants to step down and let Isiah take over for him Monday, I'm all for it. Gives Isiah enough time left in the season to dismantle the team and let us slide up in the standings.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

                      I know the NBA "addressed" this before, but I have a huge problem with an NCAA coach having any kind of consultative relationship with an NBA team. Either Stern or the boys south of IUPUI need to step in and put an end to this farce.

                      As for Donnie coming back, I really don't see it happening.
                      Come to the Dark Side -- There's cookies!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

                        I'm not sure I buy the article. Where are the sources? Wojo says "The thin veil of secrecy has torn away", well he hasn't torn away his own secrecy. Sounds like a lot of conjecture to me. I know the author has been around a while, and is generally well thought of, but it sure would make it more believable if we had more info.

                        Also, I thought the illegal workouts were held after Walsh was already there. Am I wrong about that?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

                          What I want to know is how IT still has such a power position with Dolan, and with any players in the NBA after what has gone on with IT previously? The conspiracy theorist in me believes that there must be connections through some type of off the court questionable activity, especially with Worldwide Wes also getting mention in this article.

                          That said, we will likely never know.

                          As far as Walsh coming back, I would hope that Larry is becoming excited about the future, and is interested in getting to be involved with finishing the job that he has spent the last several years and all of the huge stress that he has endured in getting the franchise to this point. I think Larry deserves to have the chance to reap the rewards (hopefully) of all of his efforts to right the ship.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

                            This CAN NOT happen.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Turmoil in N.Y. may turn into a nightmare for me

                              Originally posted by mellifluous View Post
                              When I started reading I thought this was an Onion Sports article.
                              No kidding.......Zeke is evil incarnate.

                              I hate the Knicks and all....but I wouldn't want this to happen to Walsh. If Melo does go to NY....I can only hope that Zeke destroys the Knicks from the inside.

                              One more thing...where on earth did this come from? I haven't heard one bit of this until now.
                              Last edited by CableKC; 02-20-2011, 12:19 PM.
                              Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

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