This was buried in this article from today - Monday 3/17/08. Towards the end of the article. It also indicates that Walsh will never go for it, but the interesting thing to me is that the Simon's want to fire Bird. And of course I wonder who the high ranking Pacers official is - can't be Walsh or Bird
BY FRANK ISOLA
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Monday, March 17th 2008, 4:00 AM
The most attractive free agent on the market this summer to the Knicks may very well be Indiana Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh.
The New York-born executive is expected to postpone his retirement and already has drawn interest from two clubs, according to a person close to Walsh. The Knicks also are expected to reach out to Walsh, 67, about possibly succeeding team president Isiah Thomas, whom Walsh hired to coach the Pacers prior to the 2000-01 season.
Walsh's agent, Steven A. Kauffman, said yesterday that his client has the right pedigree to become successful in New York.
"Donnie has the experience, the temperament and personality to deal with the New York Knicks' situation," said Kauffman, whom Walsh hired last summer to represent him. "He has roots there."
Neither Kauffman nor the Knicks were willing to say if the two sides have had any contact. Kauffman would only confirm that his client would gladly accept a meeting with Garden management.
Whether those meetings already have taken place is a curious question. The Daily News obtained flight records via a Knicks official showing that the private jet belonging to Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan made two trips to Indianapolis over a 24-hour period last week. Those documents don't prove that Dolan was on the plane or that the purpose of the trip to the Midwest was for a clandestine meeting with Walsh.
But when the plane landed in Indiana on Tuesday night, Walsh was conspicuously absent from the Pacers' game against Seattle. The team said Walsh was home with the flu. He also was out of his office the following day, when Dolan's plane traveled in the morning from Indianapolis to South Florida, where Dolan owns a home. The plane returned to Indiana later that same afternoon before flying again to Florida.
When reached over the telephone yesterday, Kauffman claimed to have no knowledge of a meeting between his client and the Knicks. Walsh did not return phone calls. The Indianapolis Star is reporting in today's editions that Walsh had declined to comment about a possible meeting with the Knicks.
"I'm not discussing my future until the end of the season," Walsh told the Star.
The Daily News reported two weeks ago that the Knicks had made informal contact with Nets assistant general manager Kiki Vandeweghe.
Dolan has not publicly addressed Thomas' status for more than a year. Walsh's future with the Pacers also remains up in the air. According to a high-ranking Pacers official, the team's co-owners, Herbert and Melvin Simon, are hoping to retain Walsh and fire team president Larry Bird. The same source indicated that Walsh has too much respect for Bird to fire him and then reassume full control of the team.
In all likelihood, Walsh will leave the Pacers when his contract expires this season and look for work elsewhere. In recent months, Walsh has grown more detached from the franchise. He no longer sits near the court and instead watches games from a luxury suite.
Walsh has said in the past that he misses the day-to-day operations of running a team. He and Bird believe that a franchise can't be run the right way with both men in a position of power. When the Pacers reached their lone NBA Finals in 2000, Bird was the team's head coach and Walsh was the GM.
Should Walsh land in New York, it is unlikely that he would keep Thomas as head coach. Instead, Walsh's arrival could pave the way for Mark Jackson, the former Knicks' point guard, to take over on the bench. Walsh believes Jackson can be a top-flight NBA head coach and was said to be pushing for him to be hired last year before the Pacers decided to hire Jim O'Brien.
Another possibility would be Scott Skiles, who was fired as the Bulls' head coach in December. Walsh also admires Skiles, who currently lives in Indiana and would be the type of hard-driving tactician that the Knicks need.