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Thread: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    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


    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/ba...int=1&page=all


    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.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 03-17-2008 at 08:45 AM.

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    Member Harddrive7's Avatar
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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    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


    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/ba...int=1&page=all


    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.
    That's the kind of coach we need.

  3. #3

    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    Until something more concrete happens, it's all speculation.

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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    I have to admit, I am surprised by this development.

    Honestly, I've seen so much inaction over the years, just to hear that there is motion behind the scenes to fire Bird makes me believe that some kind of shakeup may actually happen.

    This is encouraging.

    P.S. Interesting that even the Two-Headed Monster is now admitting that two heads is a bad idea.
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    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/ba...int=1&page=all


    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.
    That's just what the Knicks need a coach with absolutely no coaching or front office experience.

  6. #6

    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    haha I really doubt Bird gets fired.

  7. #7

    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    If any of that is true and the best course of action is to ax both
    Bird and Walsh and start over. If it's true that Walsh 'has too
    much respect for Bird' to fire him, then he's outlived his usefulness.

    Wether Bird needs to be canned is an open question. But if so,
    Walsh shouldn't allow personal feeling about him stand in the
    way. The NBA is a business, not a fricking club.

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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    Quote Originally Posted by Rajah Brown View Post
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    If any of that is true and the best course of action is to ax both
    Bird and Walsh and start over. If it's true that Walsh 'has too
    much respect for Bird' to fire him, then he's outlived his usefulness.

    Wether Bird needs to be canned is an open question. But if so,
    Walsh shouldn't allow personal feeling about him stand in the
    way. The NBA is a business, not a fricking club.
    In my opinion, DW's respect for the Simons, the team, and his self-respect for performing his own job well, should come before letting any respect he has for Bird get in the way of doing what is best for the franchise.

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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    Quote Originally Posted by Rajah Brown View Post
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    But if so,
    Walsh shouldn't allow personal feeling about him stand in the
    way. The NBA is a business, not a fricking club.
    I was about to say exactly that.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    I didn't think Walsh had the authority to fire Bird - Thought that had to come from the Simons

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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    The Simons just need to do what they have to do.
    R.I.P. Bernic Mac & Isaac Hayes

  12. #12

    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    Oneal07-

    Yup, that's the bottom line. Sentimentality has no place in the
    eval process right now when it comes to TBTP or the players.

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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I didn't think Walsh had the authority to fire Bird - Thought that had to come from the Simons
    They could override his decision, but I think they'd let Donnie do it if he thought it was best for the franchise.

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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    I'm gonna be a while wrapping my brain around the thought of Scott Skiles coaching a team with Zach Randolph, Eddy Curry and Stephon Marbury on it.

    They want a sure-fire money maker, sell tapes of some of those practices - or locker room "talks."
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    Quote Originally Posted by DisplacedKnick View Post
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    I'm gonna be a while wrapping my brain around the thought of Scott Skiles coaching a team with Zach Randolph, Eddy Curry and Stephon Marbury on it.

    They want a sure-fire money maker, sell tapes of some of those practices - or locker room "talks."

    After the last set of bozos that Scott coached I think it's going to take longer than six moths for him to want to go through it again.

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    Should I bookmark my unintended 'prediction' from a few days back:
    http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-...5&postcount=68

    My first thought was Herb planned to beg Walsh to stay, to take a stronger role, and change Bird's role in some sort of restructuring... or rearranging of chairs on the Titanic....

    I haven't read the transcript yet tho...


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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    Honestly I think Indiana needs a fresh mind in the office. I don't think Walsh and Bird are the right ones. They should go with someone young (Not THAT young) and experienced, someone with a vision. Someone who can bring life back in the Franchise, cause when Bird took over, it's like you didn't even know he took over. To me he doesn't have that Presence as a GM. He's too laid back IMO
    R.I.P. Bernic Mac & Isaac Hayes

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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    This doesn't even remotely surprise me (hence the "hypothetical" thread).

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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    Quote Originally Posted by rommie View Post
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    haha I really doubt Bird gets fired.
    I don't.

    I thought Simon's comments the other day strongly implied it. Walsh isn't getting "fired" because clearly he is no longer the main shot caller, and hasn't been the sole power guy for years. He's on his way to retirement, or a new team, so he would simply step down rather than be axed.

    I think they have coaching concerns too, and that puts another item against Bird since JOB was his call (literally, interviewed over the phone). How many choices specifically Bird's have been strong? Saras, Baston (scouted Europe himself), Shawne (scouted him in Memphis early in the season), JOB. If we are to believe reports then Diener, Rush and Flip are all his, and this includes "one of the best 3pt shooters in the NBA" and "reminds me of Mark Price".

    Maybe the other bad calls were all Donnie, but at least in his case we know for certain that he's also made a lot of great deals too.

    Wether Bird needs to be canned is an open question. But if so,
    Walsh shouldn't allow personal feeling about him stand in the
    way. The NBA is a business, not a fricking club.
    Rick Carlisle just called in to say "QFT!"

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    I don't.

    I thought Simon's comments the other day strongly implied it. Walsh isn't getting "fired" because clearly he is no longer the main shot caller, and hasn't been the sole power guy for years. He's on his way to retirement, or a new team, so he would simply step down rather than be axed.

    I think they have coaching concerns too, and that puts another item against Bird since JOB was his call (literally, interviewed over the phone). How many choices specifically Bird's have been strong? Saras, Baston (scouted Europe himself), Shawne (scouted him in Memphis early in the season), JOB. If we are to believe reports then Diener, Rush and Flip are all his, and this includes "one of the best 3pt shooters in the NBA" and "reminds me of Mark Price".

    Maybe the other bad calls were all Donnie, but at least in his case we know for certain that he's also made a lot of great deals too.


    Rick Carlisle just called in to say "QFT!"
    The Simons comments the other day I agree did strongly imply that they would like to keep Walsh and they didn't give Bird much of a vote of confidence, so I agree with you Nap. i think the Simons would be happy to let Bird go and keep Walsh. I don't think that is going to happen though. Walsh probably wants a new challenge

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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    I question how strong the relationship between Walsh and the Simons is today with all of the trouble the franchise is in. I lean towards Walsh leaving and Bird staying and the main reason is Bird is a legend in this state and Donnie is just some outsider working for a NBA team. I don't think that the Simons want to have Bird's feathers all over them.

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    Intuition over Integers McKeyFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    Quote Originally Posted by Elgin56 View Post
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    I question how strong the relationship between Walsh and the Simons is today with all of the trouble the franchise is in. I lean towards Walsh leaving and Bird staying and the main reason is Bird is a legend in this state and Donnie is just some outsider working for a NBA team. I don't think that the Simons want to have Bird's feathers all over them.
    I just don't think Bird's stock is all that high as a GM.

    As a player, even coach, sure. But what has he done for us lately?
    Last edited by McKeyFan; 03-17-2008 at 02:29 PM.
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    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    Quote Originally Posted by Elgin56 View Post
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    I question how strong the relationship between Walsh and the Simons is today with all of the trouble the franchise is in. I lean towards Walsh leaving and Bird staying and the main reason is Bird is a legend in this state and Donnie is just some outsider working for a NBA team. I don't think that the Simons want to have Bird's feathers all over them.
    I agree with McKeyFan's comment, and would add that Bird's rep isn't what it used to be.

    As far as DW, he is much more than "some outsider" after 24 years. In particular to the corporate clients.

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    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    The only thing we know right now is that it is LIKELY that there will be changes at the top.

    My opinion is that it is likely that those changes will come in the form of resignations, buyouts and retirements.

    I think all the talk about "firing" may be over the top.

    I do not look forward to hearing all the back and forth arguments on PD about wether or not someone quit, was "forced to resign," was fired or was bought out or whatever. It's not going to be pretty reading, especially when it's obtuse articles like these that represent the "proof" for one side or the other.

    In the end, people will leave. Outright firing happens very rarely, and I don't think it's part of this organization's vocabulary. If Bird is in fact out of the Pacers organization soon, it will not be important to me to figure out if he was fired or if he quit because in the end, they might as well be pseudonyms.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: New York Daily News: Simons want to fire Bird and retain Walsh

    Is Bird's contract up??
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 03-17-2008 at 02:59 PM.

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