Not hiring Mullin as Knicks GM is Walsh's biggest regret
As[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]is enshrined into the Naismith Hall of Fame tomorrow in Springfield, Mass., for his spectacular career at Xaverian, St. John's and the NBA, it is a Hall of Shame the pride of Flatbush is not going in while holding a Knicks' front-office title.
According to a league source close to Donnie Walsh, his biggest regret as Knicks president was not being able to hire Mullin as the team general manager and then groom him as his successor. In fact, the source said if owner[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]had granted Walsh permission to hire Mullin last summer as GM, Walsh likely would still be the president -- and not an Indiana-based club consultant.
Sources said Walsh backed out of a verbal agreement on a two-year extension due to contract language partly related to control in hiring his successor.
In an interview with The Post last weekend, former St. John's coach Lou Carnesecca, who will be Mullin's presenter tomorrow, said, "I would've loved to see him in New York. That's where he belongs."
Not according to Dolan. The source said Dolan did not view Mullin as polished enough to be the face of the Knicks. He once described Mullin's thick Brooklyn accent in the "Book of Basketball" as a cross between[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]and WFAN's Mike Francesa.
Mullin, 48, served as executive VP of basketball operations from 2004 to 2009 and still lives in the Bay area with his wife, three sons and a daughter, though he has a summer house in the Hamptons. Mullin is an[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]studio analyst.
Walsh declined to comment on anything related to his interest in hiring Mullin, whom he signed in 1997 to play for the Pacers late in Mullin's career. Mullin played three seasons for Walsh during the Pacers' glory days.
In an email, Walsh cited Mullin's incredible preparation that marked his Hall-of-Fame career. "On the day of games, Mully would work out before shootarounds, do the shootaround, work after the shootaround and then get to the arena early," Walsh stated. "On non-game days he would work out three, four times." *
With Houston reportedly getting the 2013 All-Star Game, the new Garden figures to be the top candidate for the 2014 event when the three-year transformation is finally complete. The Knicks have applied to host the game. The Nets and Brooklyn's Barclay Center also could be considered.
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