Blog Entry

Knicks considering two-year extension for Walsh

Posted on: April 25, 2011 12:07 am
NEW YORK -- The Knicks are considering a two-year extension for team president Donnie Walsh, with the matter expected to be resolved in the next two weeks, a person familiar with the organization's thinking told Sunday night. 

Walsh, 69, has an option for the 2011-12 season to be exercised by April 30, but the more likely scenario is a two-year extension that would keep the architect of the Knicks' revival at the helm through the critical next phase of the rebuilding plan. If the option is not picked up, Walsh's contract expires June 30. 

"It's basically going to be Donnie's call whether he wants to come back," said the person with knowledge of the organization's intentions. 

No final decisions have been made on Walsh or coach Mike D'Antoni in the wake of a 4-0 first-round sweep completed Sunday with a 101-89 loss to the Celtics, and sources cautioned that several issues could complicate both situations. For one, neither Walsh nor D'Antoni has been given a clear indication as to their respective statuses, which explains why D'Antoni took some off-guard with his postgame comment Sunday, "I don't know what the future holds." 

D'Antoni's comment was not made with knowledge of his status one way or another, one of the sources said. The coach's fate is strongly tied to Walsh, whose future has been shrouded in secrecy and subject to the whims of Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan. Even those with ties to Walsh who've had dealings with Dolan have been unable to decipher in recent weeks how far Dolan will go to try to keep Walsh. 

Another complicating factor could be an attempt to force something on Walsh that he's not comfortable with, sources said. Such a circumstance could be another attempt by Dolan to bring former coach and president Isiah Thomas back into the organization in an official capacity -- an unequivocally destructive move that is believed to be no more than a remote possibility, one of the sources said. Dolan's attempt to hire Thomas, the coach at Florida International, as a consultant last summer was shot down by NBA rules forbidding team employees from having contact with college players who are not yet draft eligible. 

Walsh has consistently sidestepped questions about his future and has grown increasingly aggravated that his status has become a news item as the Knicks made their first trip to the playoffs in seven years. Before the Knicks' brief return to the postseason ended Sunday with a 4-0 sweep at the hands of the Celtics, Walsh testily tried to deflect questions about D'Antoni's status and a looming decision on whether to guarantee point guard Chauncey Billups' $14.2 million contract for next season. 

Walsh appears to be leaning toward keeping D'Antoni -- "Overall, he's done a good job," he said Sunday -- given that the Knicks lost Billups for the final three games of the Boston series and were further compromised by Amar'e Stoudemire's back injury in Games 3 and 4. D'Antoni has one year left on his contract, had only two months to integrate Billups and Carmelo Anthony with Stoudemire, and hasn't coached a stable roster from start to finish for three seasons. 

The decision on Billups, 34, must come first due to a five-day clock that began ticking Sunday on a deadline to fully guarantee his contract for next season. But the most important call is on Walsh, who restored dignity to a lost franchise, cleared a mountain of cap space to attract stars, and now is expected to embark on the third phase of a massive reclamation project that began when he was hired to replace Thomas in April 2008. 

Walsh has endured several health problems during his tenure, including a successful bout with tongue cancer and hip-replacement surgery in November that has him still using a walker. But those close to Walsh have described him as being in good health and spirits as well as invigorated by the prospect of completing a rebuilding job that began with the signing of Stoudemire and escalated with the February trade that paired him with Anthony. 

After Sunday's loss, both Anthony and Stoudemire deflected questions about whether Walsh and D'Antoni would be back next season. 

"I'm pretty sure the front office will handle it to the best of their ability," Anthony said of the multitude of offseason decisions. "They have one of the best front offices in the NBA right now, so they will do their job. I'll let them handle that."

Since: May 4, 2011
Posted on: May 4, 2011 8:54 pm

Knicks considering two-year extension for Walsh

I am all for Walsh staying and finishing what he started. However, antoni (no D for no defense) must not return unless he agrees to bring in a defensive minded coach and will allow him to enforce a defensive mindset. Not sure if that can be accomplished in today's NBA. While our Knicks are once again relevant and fun to watch, i believe (-D)antoni's style will never prevail in the playoffs. His lack of adjustments from situation to situation is non-existant. if he is preaching D or other critical adjustments in the huddle, the team sure isn't listening. if you watch Amare and a pt guard defend the pick n roll 10 straight times you will see 10 different looks from Amare. Clearly, he and the others are confused and it shows bigtime. The question moving forward for the Knicks is, if (-D)antoni is let go, who is there to replace him??? AHH HAAA!!!

Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:17 pm

Knicks considering two-year extension for Walsh

Nothing against Isiah personally, but professionally he needs to stay away from the Knicks franchise.  Many fans will tune out the team if he comes back.  Its silent protest for a very foul front office move.  Cmon Dolan, get your head outta your arse, and do whats right.  D'Antoni may need to go, as he isnt the greatest fit for the personnel, but hes a good coach.  Just not with this set of kids.....Sign Walsh to 2 years, keep Isiah away, and hire a grittier head coach.  Done deal, now go get Chris Paul.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:16 pm

Knicks considering two-year extension for Walsh

For the love of god dolan, PLEASE dont bring back isaiah in any capacity, not even as a water boy.
I finally was able to watch basketball for the first time in 7 years. Keep Chauncey until we can get CP3

Since: Mar 21, 2010
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:03 pm

Considering?! What is there to consider?

It is obvious that James Dolan does not like winning sports franchises or he would have recognized the amazing job that Donnie Walsh has done for the New York Knicks and this extension matter would have been resolved during the All-Star break that just passed.

"It's basically going to be Donnie's call whether he wants to come back," said the person with knowledge of the organization's intentions.
Please cite name of this so-called person within the organization, because Donnie Walsh is already on the record as stating that he wants to come back and finish what he has started. The only scenarios where I can see him refusing to come back to is if he has to be co-general manager with Isaiah Thomas or actually has to report to Isaiah Thomas who would actually be in a supervisory position over Walsh. If either of those two scenarios are 'the organization's intentions' then I would not blame Donnie Walsh for leaving.

Hey Dolan do the right thing and not only pick up the option for 2011-2012 for Walsh, but then throw a 2-year extension on top of that and keep Isaiah Thomas far far away from this team.

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 2:11 pm

Knicks considering two-year extension for Walsh

not even the great isiah thomas could have done a worse job coaching this team in the playoffs.  The knicks somehow could have won both games in Boston,  and got neither,  then doc had a few days and of couse the injuries set in and that was that.  Dantoni did not make one single decent adjustment during the entire series.  if you watched it you will notice that boston scored after every single timeout, including the never works alley oop from out of bounds play.  i cant even begin to name the mistakes dantoni made, and forget the playoffs,  this guy cant get this team to play even 20 percent of the deffense that they played in the first two games, he made the cavs look like Lebron never left, every game who ever they played started out shooting 65 percent, night after night id hear mke breen say ," this is the worst shooting team in nba, and got beat by 29 to milwaukee or some other also ran last night, meanwhile would be up 13 on the knicks.  Mike Dantoni had a perfect setup in phoenix because of nash, he was the coach on the floor, it was a once in a lifetime mix of players that made for some fun basketball, but never even a conference final.  Dantoni must be shown the door, because to keep him would mean an extension as there is no way the guy coaches with one year left on his contract.  id rather have zeke coach the team any day, i guarantee he couldnt do a worse job.  

Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 11:38 am

Knicks considering two-year extension for Walsh

D'Antoni did a pretty darn good job as the head coach even with bunch new faces this year and a roster overhaul in the middle of the season, Walsh brought all this together as the president and they seem to be a good combination to restore the Knicks back to a somewhat entertaining team. I'm not a fan of the Knicks but I was rooting for them in the serie against the C's, it's really unfortunate that they lost Billups for most of the serie and that Amar'e had to deal with an injury, otherwise this would've been a much more entertaining serie with Knicks giving the C's a better scare. IF they can lure Chris Paul or another star in for the summer they can definitely be a championship contender this time next year. And finally why is Isiah Thomas still being mentioned in ANYTHING relating to NBA?? He's a good player back in the days but clueless in how to run a team, he's finally out of the league and can we PLEASE just let it stay like that!

Since: Apr 25, 2011
Posted on: April 25, 2011 11:36 am

Knicks considering two-year extension for Walsh

I'd love to see Walsh and Billups come back next year. My fear is that Dolan the Dummie will bring Isiaih back as a way to force Walsh to leave without making it appear that he was forcing him out. But for those of you saying we should be looking for a younger point guard to run the team have you checked out the list of free agents lately?

Since: Apr 6, 2010
Posted on: April 25, 2011 10:47 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Sep 30, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 10:15 am

Knicks considering two-year extension for Walsh

Here's hoping that the Knicks will decide to not give him the extension. He has already expressed an interest in returning to the Pacers, and I for one would gladly welcome him back. While I am certainly happy the Pacers are back in the playoffs this year, and playing competitively, I still question Larry Bird and his management decisions.

Since: Mar 2, 2010
Posted on: April 25, 2011 9:29 am

Knicks considering two-year extension for Walsh

 but the more likely scenario is a two-year extension that would keep the architect of the Knicks' revival at the helm through the critical next phase

I think this line from the article above sums it up best. Donnie Walsh has brought the Knicks this far lets let him finish the job which should be completed by midseason of next year, hopefully with the addition of Chris Paul. The only questions now is which players to bring back for next year and how to fill in those gaps around Amare' and Melo which were quite noticable during this series.  D'Antoni should be back too hopefully. 

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