Blog Entry

Walsh's classy response

Posted on: November 5, 2010 7:39 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2010 7:42 pm

NEW YORK -- The Knicks returned Friday night to Madison Square Garden, which has been cleared of asbestos -- but sadly, not all toxins.

The poisonous dust wafting throughout the World's Most Famous Arena was more collateral damage from the Isiah Thomas era, as the Hall of Famer's comments about wanting to replace Donnie Walsh when he retires from Thomas' old job were the topic du jour.

Walsh, who replaced Thomas in 2008 and needed two years to return the Knicks to respectability, said before the game he'd only read "a couple of pieces" of the interview with Thomas , but added, "I have no remarks about it. At all."

In a two-hour interview with the web site in Miami, where Thomas is head coach of Florida International University, Thomas said he thinks about running the Knicks again "every single day of the week;" that he may have been able to succeed where Walsh failed to lure LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to New York; and that he harbors fantasies of completing that vision as head of the Knicks in 2014, when the contracts Wade and LeBron signed with Miami this past summer expire.

The timing and content of Thomas' comments took team executives league-wide by surprise. But Walsh, seated in his customary spot at the scorer's table during pregame warmups, said he was "nonplussed." Asked about his relationship with Thomas, Walsh said, "I don’t consider Isiah a guy that’s not my friend, if that’s what you’re asking me. I always treat him like a friend."

Asked about Thomas raising the specter of his retirement, Walsh, 69, said, "I think when I hear retirement, I think it’s a choice that I make. But I’m not answering that question. I have nothing to say about the comments that were made today by Isiah. I have nothing to say."

Walsh, who has this season plus a team option left on his contract, was asked about the oddity of Knicks fans once again talking about Thomas -- even as Walsh has repaired the Knicks' roster, payroll, and image.

"Well," Walsh said, "I'm not."


Since: Nov 14, 2009
Posted on: November 7, 2010 1:04 am

Walsh's classy response

I wholeheartedly agree with you, Jetc.  I'm not a Knicks fan, but it pains me to see this happen to a team with such tradition.  As a matter of fact, I used to despise the Knicks when they were a contender and regional rival of the Celtics, but since Thomas has been a part of the organization, they've practically turned into the NBA Division 2.  I miss the rivalry and competition and hope it can be rebuilt.  Thomas wouldn't be able to manage a fantasy football team, never mind direct an NBA team.

Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: November 6, 2010 10:11 pm

Walsh's classy response

Isiah Thomas was a great NBA point guard. No question. But his career since retiring from the NBA as a player is the stuff of nightmares - for his various employers and enterprises. Let's recap:
  1. Purchased the CBA in 1998. Proceeded to bankrupt the league - it folded in 2001.
  2. Became head coach of the Indiana Pacers in 2000. This is the most debatable stage of Thomas' post-player career. He didn't do a bad job with the Pacers after succeeding Larry Bird, but his teams were more or less average. They did make the playoffs, but never got past the first round. However, the main reason he was let go by Bird would seem to be personality, not coaching skill. Again, this period is highly debatable, and Thomas did not fail in his job as head coach. Whether he succeeded or not is another question.
  3. Became President of Basketball Operations with the New York Knicks in 2003. Thomas' tenure with the Knicks was indisputably a complete disaster in every way. He acquired high-priced, mediocre talent, he traded picks for more mediocre talent and he established an environment that led to the KNicks being found liable in a high-profile sexual harassment suit. It took his replacement, Donnie Walsh, two years to undo the worst of what Thomas did. Thomas was essentially cut loose in 2008.
Whatever Thomas might desire or dream of, it is the height of arrogance for him to give this kind of interview. And I am not surprised that Donnie Walsh would refuse to comment. Walsh is the epitome of class, Thomas the antithesis of class. If the New York Knicks ever give Isiah Thomas any role in their front office again, they deserve whatever disasters accompany his return. For the sake of the New York fans, I would hope that the KNicks are not so foolish as to give a proven failure yet another chance to wreak havoc. But if Jerry Brown can return to the same office in which he performed so badly, then I suppose it is not out of the realm of possibility that Isiah Thomas can as well. 

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: November 6, 2010 8:12 pm

Walsh's classy response


Since: Aug 4, 2009
Posted on: November 6, 2010 3:45 pm

Walsh's classy response

As a Knicks fan I am appalled and embarrassed that this douchebag of an owner and his scumbag buddy who killed our team are both still around this once proud organization. Scumbag Thomas shouldn't be anywhere near any basketball team in ANY power position. It seems that everyone but MeThomas knows that you never speak about a job that someone else already has. I wonder where he keeps the pictures or whatever dirty secrets he has on Dumb Dolan hidden, maybe I can find them and use them to get Dolan the hell out of NY. These two clowns are an embarassment to the league.  Isiah is worse than OJ, he got away with murder twice (the CBA and the Knicks) and like OJ he just keeps coming back. Hopefully, like OJ he'll get sent away somewhere for everybody safety and his own. What an f-ing scumbag!!!  Big props to Mr. Walsh For keeping it classy and respectable during this whole mess. It's a shame that some of his classy manners didn't rub off on the other two idiots.

Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: November 6, 2010 11:43 am

Walsh's classy response

The only people talking about Isiah is the media, the NY fans only utter his name when it's accompanied by profanity. Donnie Walsh has done a great job in overhauling the lineup and salary cap problems, as well as the image of the Knicks. Does that dolt Dolan even remember the mess left by Isiah?

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: November 6, 2010 10:25 am

Walsh's classy response

Agreed, Mullin should have been here already, but Dolan is keeping the door open for Thomas???? Dolan must be out of touch with reality and delusional. Dolan belongs in Bellevue alongside Thomas, where they can both be medicated and receive their daily voltage treatment.

Donnie Walsh has finally assembled the best roster since the Ewing area and still a work in progress, he should be allowed to finish the job with Mullin as his lieutenant and heir apparent.

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: November 6, 2010 9:49 am

Walsh's classy response

I wish Stern would strip Dolan of his ownership, but obviously that would be too far reaching.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: November 6, 2010 3:36 am

Walsh's classy response

The knicks' fans talking about Thomas again? Err, where and when? You seem to have suggested to Walsh that Knicks' fans may be uttering positive words regarding Thomas' return to the front office. Nothing could be further from the truth. We love Walsh with or without LeBron. Hopefully he finds a way to steal Carmello, if not, he still has me believing that he is doing the best job that anyone can do at this time. For this, I invite him to keep at it until the Knicks are back, as Amar'e says and believes. Go Knicks. To Mr Dolan I plead; keep Thomas away from MSG, we all just took a shower and feel somewhat clean again. -L

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: November 6, 2010 2:21 am

Walsh's classy response

When Walsh retires, the Knicks should give Chris Mullin a call and hire him ASAP. He's a real New Yorker and a man of integrity. He's everything Thomas isn't.

Thomas doesn't belong @ MSG, but rather Bellevue. He's certifiably insane.

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