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Thread: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

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    Default FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/5173956

    Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    Ian O'Connor / Special to FOXSports.com
    Posted: 6 hours ago
    From the blind side, Donnie Walsh was hit with his epiphany on the plane ride home. His Indiana Pacers had just lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2000 NBA Finals, and right there, at 30,000 feet, Walsh knew it was time to remove his head from the clouds.
    Of course his heart was telling him to make another run at David Stern's grail. His Pacers were right there, after all. They had been the Buffalo Bills of the Eastern Conference, losing four conference final series before finally landing on the big stage with Kobe and Shaq.

    Now they just needed one more piece, one more off-season tweak, before they could wipe that smug expression off Phil Jackson's face.

    Walsh knew differently. As much as he wanted to believe the Pacers just needed to take that last step in the natural progression of an NBA champ, Walsh surrendered to a cold and unforgiving truth.

    "I knew my team was done," he said the other day by phone. "I knew the players had given everything they had to give, and it wasn't going to happen anymore. I thought we had to change the team and start over before it was too late."

    So Walsh traded Dale Davis, coming off his one and only All-Star season, for a kid who couldn't get on the court in Portland, Jermaine O'Neal. The Pacers' president declined to pay big free-agent bucks to Mark Jackson, and he watched Rik Smits, Chris Mullin and the coach, Larry Bird, leave to pursue other interests.

    By doing the O'Neal deal and making smart complementary choices ever since, Walsh managed the near impossible: He rebuilt his team without spending a single season out of the playoff tournament. In fact, the Pacers are expected to make the playoffs this year for the 16th time in 17 seasons, a run that makes Walsh one of the best and most underappreciated executives in sports.

    It also makes him a leading candidate to end up on the better end of his next big trade, the one involving Ron Artest.

    "A lot of teams have called about Ron," Walsh said, "and some think we're just going to take anything for him. That's not going to happen. I don't think I can get a player as good as Ron, and I'm not really expecting that. But I do want players who fit in and will contribute in a meaningful way.

    "I don't want older guys. I want to go younger."

    Artest wants to go to New York, which happens to be a hometown he shares with Walsh. It's not going to happen, and not because Artest ruined the 2004-05 season and cost the Pacers a shot at their seventh Eastern Conference finals under Walsh by taking his malice into the stands of the Palace.

    Walsh simply has no interest in doing a bum deal, especially one that might aid his former coaches in New York, Larry Brown and Isiah Thomas. When Thomas, the Knicks' president, called Walsh on behalf of Brown, the Knicks' coach, Walsh made sure the conversation was short and bittersweet.

    "Isiah, I know you had to make this call," Walsh told Thomas. "I know everyone's saying you should bring Ron home. But I also know that you're not giving up any of your young players, and that I'm not doing a trade for any of your older players. So we won't have a deal."

    Truth be told, the Knicks have always represented the best measurement of Walsh's success in the Hoosier heartland. While Walsh struck before his Pacers plunged into oblivion, his forever postseason antagonists in New York waited too long to trade Patrick Ewing, then made a dreadful deal when they finally did move him.

    Walsh never gave Reggie Miller the kind of absurd, nine-figure contract the Knicks gave Allan Houston. Scott Layden ultimately put together an undersized, underskilled and overpaid roster, one that Thomas was left to remake. The cost? The Knicks are working on their fifth straight season of claiming fewer than 40 victories.

    "We can't afford to have seasons like that," Walsh said. "How many people go through Penn Station every day? If you walk through the wrong door, you end up inside the Garden. I don't have that in Indiana. We've got to put a good team on the floor here every year. We've got to win and create excitement to fill the building."

    Walsh kept the Pacers competitive by making that O'Neal deal with Portland, another franchise that has fallen off the face of the earth. Now he's got a star in Artest to ship somewhere else.

    Even though he hasn't won a title in Indiana, Walsh almost always fields a team good enough to challenge for one. He's survived the brawl and the retirements of Reggie Miller and Rik Smits, and now executives are lining up to talk to Donnie Walsh on the subject of Ron Artest.

    Let the buyer beware.
    "I'll always be a part of Donnie Walsh."
    -Ron Artest, Denver Post, 12.28.05

  2. #2
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    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnie Walsh
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    "I don't want older guys. I want to go younger."
    This tells me that the offers are either veterans with expiring contracts, or young undiscovered talent. I'm glad we're taking this road - but what does Rick have to say about it?

    It's great to trade for young talent, but it does no good if they're sitting on the bench.

    By the way, how much say will Rick Carlisle have in a trade? Any at all?

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    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    He needs to hurry up with the trade, he should get it done by the Clippers game. But thats just me, I hate waiting.

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    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    The Big C, surely has his views and would rank up there, he has to make it work so he'd have a say

    Loved the article and it makes me feel so much safer... I already knew it, but it's good to hear it in this time of panic


    Ya Think Ya Used Enough Dynamite there Butch...


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    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    Ohh and rcarey if Rick could have the choice of players he would bring in, he would want Kevin Willis,Tyrone Hill and Michael Curry.

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    And DW thought the Pacers were finished in '99 with the loss to the Knicks and so the 2000 Finals run was a surprise to him. Which has been stated in print and quotes (altho I don't have a link handy)...

    IOW, he was wrong once... not sure why everyone is so quick to believe he was then suddenly right... Except it's warmer and fuzzier believing that rather than to think we've had better (or other) shots at making the Finals and threw them away.

    -Bball
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    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    Quote Originally Posted by rcarey
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    This tells me that the offers are either veterans with expiring contracts, or young undiscovered talent. I'm glad we're taking this road - but what does Rick have to say about it?

    It's great to trade for young talent, but it does no good if they're sitting on the bench.

    By the way, how much say will Rick Carlisle have in a trade? Any at all?
    Good questions..I am not sure.. although Walsh is running this deal right now and running the decisions by Larry go get his consensus on it as well. I am sure Rick has some input perhaps but no final say, or at least that's my guess.

    Why Not Us ?


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    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    All I know is: In DW We Trust!
    "George's athleticism is bananas!" - Marc J. Spears

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    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball
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    IOW, he was wrong once... not sure why everyone is so quick to believe he was then suddenly right...
    -Bball
    It was Donnie's decision to let that team break up. You'll have to agree it was his decision to make.

    I don't have any problem with you disagreeing with his decision, it's your opinion and you could be right.

    As for your statement, "not sure why everyone is so quick to believe he was then suddenly right..."

    Because it's our choice! Do juries always agree? No, yet they are presented with the same facts.

  10. #10

    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    Walsh did the right thing in breaking up the 2000 Finals team. Smits and Mark Jackson were kaputt. To have invested a fairly large, long contract with Jackson, like Mark wanted, would have been a mistake. Derrick McKee was also in decline.

    But, for this writer to say Donnie will do the right thing in this trade is fluff. Nice touchy feely stuff, but no substance. We'll just have to wait and see how things turn out. Deep down I doubt this current team is a title contender this year, no matter who is added when a deal gets done.

    Of course, I'd love to be surprised in a good way.

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    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    Quote Originally Posted by sixthman
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    Walsh did the right thing in breaking up the 2000 Finals team. Smits and Mark Jackson were kaputt. To have invested a fairly large, long contract with Jackson, like Mark wanted, would have been a mistake. Derrick McKee was also in decline.

    But, for this writer to say Donnie will do the right thing in this trade is fluff. Nice touchy feely stuff, but no substance. We'll just have to wait and see how things turn out. Deep down I doubt this current team is a title contender this year, no matter who is added when a deal gets done.

    Of course, I'd love to be surprised in a good way.
    We've done this argument ad nauseum, but everytime Bball or Peck bring it up, I feel obliged to point out all aspects of Donnie solely blowing up the team.

    1. Smits Retired. Walsh had nothing to do with this.

    2. Jax signed elsewhere for unbelievable dollars.

    3. Bird left after his 3 year rule.

    4. Dale asked for a trade.

    I'm not advocating that Donnie sat idly buy with nothing to do. But there were other members of the team that had a part in the busting up of the team.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    Quote Originally Posted by brichard
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    We've done this argument ad nauseum, but everytime Bball or Peck bring it up, I feel obliged to point out all aspects of Donnie solely blowing up the team.

    1. Smits Retired. Walsh had nothing to do with this.

    2. Jax signed elsewhere for unbelievable dollars.

    3. Bird left after his 3 year rule.

    4. Dale asked for a trade.

    I'm not advocating that Donnie sat idly buy with nothing to do. But there were other members of the team that had a part in the busting up of the team.

    And then I have to mention the groundwork for that was laid in '99. Had Walsh not traded away AD for ummmm nothing... had he went ahead and signed his players to their desired extensions rather than letting them become FA's in 2000... had....

    nevermind... I'm sure you remember the spiel

    -Bball
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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    Member rabid's Avatar
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    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox Sports
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    Even though he hasn't won a title in Indiana, Walsh almost always fields a team good enough to challenge for one.
    That about says it all right there, folks.

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    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball
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    And then I have to mention the groundwork for that was laid in '99. Had Walsh not traded away AD for ummmm nothing... had he went ahead and signed his players to their desired extensions rather than letting them become FA's in 2000... had....

    nevermind... I'm sure you remember the spiel

    -Bball
    I was gonna say something really rude, but I stopped myself. Suffice it to say... shoulda woulda coulda. You could point to any GM in the league multiple times with multiple decisions on that argument.

    Donnie has done 20 times more good than harm to this franchise over the years with his decisions if you measure them all against each other. He's not perfect but I'll take my chances with him any day.

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    Banned PacerMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    Quote Originally Posted by rabidpacersfan
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    I was gonna say something really rude, but I stopped myself. Suffice it to say... shoulda woulda coulda. You could point to any GM in the league multiple times with multiple decisions on that argument.

    Donnie has done 20 times more good than harm to this franchise over the years with his decisions if you measure them all against each other. He's not perfect but I'll take my chances with him any day.
    Yep..

    And what makes it easier is I almost always agree with his choices. (except Isiah)

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    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    Quote Originally Posted by brichard
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    I'm not advocating that Donnie sat idly buy with nothing to do. But there were other members of the team that had a part in the busting up of the team.
    You put it better than I did. The only real choice Walsh had apparently was whether to sign Mark to a long term deal or let him go. Donnie made the right call.

    Let's hope that TPTB come out as well on this trade request as they did on the Dale Davis trade demand.

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    Default Re: FOXSports: Don't bet on Walsh to bungle Artest trade

    Quote Originally Posted by FOXSports
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    The cost? The Knicks are working on their fifth straight season of claiming fewer than 40 victories.

    "We can't afford to have seasons like that," Walsh said. "How many people go through Penn Station every day? If you walk through the wrong door, you end up inside the Garden. I don't have that in Indiana. We've got to put a good team on the floor here every year. We've got to win and create excitement to fill the building."
    I'm really surprised this didn't get highlighted in any of the discussion.

    This, folks, is the key to how the franchise operates in terms of talent and goals.

    You can argue about whether going for broke, completely rebuilding and risking abject failure (as in Atlanta, say) is a better strategy than trying to evolve a team. You can't really argue which direction is the focus for the Pacers.

    Me, I agree with this all the way. That may be because I'm still paranoid about seeing empty sections (or curtains in the upper levels) as people abandon the Pacers in favor of High School or NCAA ball. This has happened in the past and could easily happen again if we risk too much.

    Suffice it to say that Donnie will not make a trade that ruins the team, and his history is that he gets decent trades. Seldom spectacular, and seldom horrible (except perhaps in hindsight *cough Bender cough*), but decent.

    The worst thing to worry about from a franchise perspective here is that this whole situation has showed that being over the cap is not necessarily beneficial to the team, and so we may see the team focused on lowering salaries for a while.
    BillS

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