View Poll Results: What grade would you give Donnie Walsh for his performance thus far with the Knicks?

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  • A

    8 26.67%
  • B

    16 53.33%
  • C

    5 16.67%
  • D

    1 3.33%
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Thread: With one year on the job, Donnie Walsh has put his stamp on Knicks

  1. #1
    Veteran JayJ44's Avatar
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    Thumbs up With one year on the job, Donnie Walsh has put his stamp on Knicks

    The constant manufactured noise inside Madison Square Garden, noises that would be deemed too cruel to use on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, can either excite or irritate those attending Knicks games. Nate Robinson is a similar polarizing force. In the midst of a decade full of losing and controversy, two distant types of Knick fans have emerged: those who will sacrifice their bodies and $9 beer for a free T-shirt, and those who get annoyed at every turnover and missed defensive assignment and aren’t afraid to show it.
    Donnie Walsh, though, is different. He is impervious to the madness surrounding him. Whether the Knicks are winning, losing or losing some more, the man who has staked his reputation on rebuilding the once-proud franchise is poker-face calm.
    Occasionally, he’ll turn to his constant companion, younger brother Jimmy, and whisper a quick thought. But mostly, the Knicks president sits 10 rows up at center court with his arms folded, watching and thinking. It’s as if he knows something that everyone else doesn’t.
    “You will not find a more focused executive anywhere,” says NBA commissioner David Stern. “He’s always thinking about basketball and his team and ways to get better.”
    Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver and Walsh ate dinner at a Manhattan restaurant just hours after Walsh was introduced as Knicks president and savior last April. The NBA’s two highest ranking officials were thrilled that Walsh, raised in Riverdale, had postponed retirement to return home. He didn’t need the Knicks. The Knicks needed him.
    The team Walsh inherited had just completed its seventh straight losing season. Reggie Miller, the best player Walsh drafted when he ran the Indiana Pacers, had called the Knicks “a league-wide joke” and that was the day before they lost to the Boston Celtics by 45 points on national television.
    Miller was obviously selling the Knicks short. As awful as they were on the court, their conduct off it included an embarrassing sexual harassment trial featuring Isiah Thomas and screaming headlines about the star point guard, Stephon Marbury, having an extramarital encounter with an intern in a truck. The Knicks weren’t just bad, they had become hard to like.
    “That is why he was hired,” Stern says. “This is the guy you want.”
    Next week marks the one-year anniversary of Walsh’s hiring and his welcome to New York dinner with Stern. On the surface, there has been little to celebrate. The Knicks faded rapidly after the All-Star break and have lost seven of their last eight after last night’s defeat against the Bobcats.
    Their streak of losing seasons has reached eight and barring a small miracle the Knicks will miss the playoffs for the seventh time since 2001. Danilo Gallinari, Walsh’s first draft pick, is likely headed for back surgery and an uncertain future. Chris Duhon, Walsh’s first significant free-agent signing, is crawling to the finish line.
    “When you’re trying to build a team, it takes times,” says Walsh, the Knicks’ third president since 1999. “People don’t leave you great teams. I knew it would be hard. But basically, I wanted to see the players I had and work from there. The last thing I wanted to do was rip everything apart from the start. I wanted to look at the pieces we had.”
    Walsh understood the inherent risks of making in-season trades, particularly at the trading deadline, and blames himself for disrupting the team’s chemistry by orchestrating deals designed to help the Knicks in the future.
    “I have to take responsibility for that,” Walsh says.
    But Walsh, always looking at the big picture, made the decision to trade the contracts of Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford in November because losing in the short term could lead to the Knicks signing a major free agent in two summers: That free agent may or may not be LeBron James and/or Chris Bosh. But getting under the salary cap gives the Knicks something they haven’t had in over 10 years: the opportunity to upgrade their roster with proven talent.
    When the Knicks were under the salary cap in the summer of 1996, the club signed free agents Allan Houston and Chris Childs and also acquired Larry Johnson in a trade. Johnson and Houston were starters and Childs was the backup point guard on teams that reached two conference finals and one NBA Final.
    “We made the trades primarily for the cap space,” Walsh says. “But I also think the players we got back have helped us. I wanted Cuttino Mobley but he wasn’t able to play (due to a heart condition). He would have been an important player.
    “But I’m happy with the team. The players have played hard and I have a lot of faith in Mike (D’Antoni). He’s a very good coach and at the end of the year we’ll sit down and decide what we’re going to do.”
    The summer will be a critical time for the Knicks. They have a first-round pick and will have to decide what to do with their restricted free agents, David Lee and Robinson. Walsh can also free up additional salary cap room if he can somehow trade Eddy Curry and Jared Jeffries.
    In typical Walsh style, he isn’t tipping his hand. Now 68, and eight months after having a small cancerous tumor removed from his tongue, Walsh seems more determined than ever to finish the job.
    He is a constant presence at practice, where he can evaluate the roster each day. He has attended every home game, has made several road trips and was in Los Angeles two weeks ago to scout the Pac-10 tournament. Having been forced to quit smoking last summer after the cancer scare, Walsh looks better and appears re-energized.
    And in a corporate environment that devoured his predecessors - Scott Layden and Thomas - Walsh has remained true to himself. He speaks regularly with Garden chairman James Dolan but he also tries to eat lunch with D’Antoni every day after practice to talk basketball.
    “I love being around the team,” Walsh says. “I love going to practice every day. I know I’m getting older and I still get nervous about everything. Just being an executive is not my tea. My cup of tea is running a team. My job is to build the team. When you do that, all the other things fall into place.”
    Walsh’s immediate goal is to rebuild the basketball product, but he’s also been proactive in repairing the Knicks’ image. Addressing the team’s infamous restrictive media policy has been on his agenda since last April and while there has been noticeable change - Walsh always makes himself available - old habits are hard to break. In keeping with tradition, at least two assistant coaches were “warned” by a member of the media relations staff to avoid certain beat reporters. Walsh says he doesn’t condone such policies.
    More importantly, Walsh is reconnecting with the Knicks’ past. He wants the team’s former players to feel welcome at the Garden. It was Walsh’s idea to honor Knicks from each decade and last Monday the team welcomed back Richie Guerin, Willis Reed, Bernard King and Patrick Ewing. As Walsh greeted each player at midcourt, he said the moment nearly brought him to tears.
    “It was a great night,” Walsh says. “It’s important to recognize these great players and celebrate history. I wanted to do it.”
    All that remains is for Walsh to create his own piece of history, one that would include the club’s first championship since 1973.
    “Hey, I knew this would be a difficult job,” Walsh says. “But that’s what appeals to me. If I can’t do it I’d be the first one to say it.”
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  2. #2
    Veteran TunerAddict's Avatar
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    A+

    He got rid of untouchable contracts...Even Jerome James got the boot...

  3. #3
    Veteran JayJ44's Avatar
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    I gave him a B mainly because the Marbury thing wasn't handled well. Besides that, he's done a very good job.

  4. #4
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    Wow, the paper said it, so it must be so, just like when they were comparing Curry to Ewing. Please, Walsh hasn't done anything special. Chicago, just like lots of other teams: Washington, Philly, G-State, Cleveland, wanted to get rid of Larry Hughes. Harrington and Crawford are essentially scorers, and we just replaced one with another. The Randolph trade dumped Mobley and Thomas on us, which has left us paying a guy who can't even play.

    One of the already signed Knicks, not Thomas, and Jerome James for Hughes might have been okay. Better yet, waive James and free up a roster spot for a hungry, cheap player, like the Rockets did with Von Wafer and the Clippers did with that kid they had the other day. Let Marbury know that the minute he gets stupid, he's waived and let him play as a back up to Duhon. Keep Zach, who, if you look at his numbers is definitely not overpaid, based on how great of a lowpost threat, rebounding and offense machine, he is. Bring in Lopez to stabilize the middle, by controlling the boards and intimidating penetration, while also playing the pick and roll with Marbury, Duhon and Craw. You keep a solid bench of guys that include Lee, Nate and Marbury, and you have a team that can compete.

    As time moves on, you get the cap space to sign a superstar, or you get one from the draft, which makes the team a contender, more than just a playoff team.

  5. #5
    Veteran LeFlume's Avatar
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    I gave him A. He have done what he said he would do. Dump salary and rebuild with the future in mind, but most of all he gave me hope again. Something I haven't had in long long time as a fan. Donnie Walsh is my man.

  6. #6
    The Knicks are Back DaTPRiNCE's Avatar
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    i give him a B only because he hasn't provided us with a true center and a legit no.1 option, soon though that B will become an A

  7. #7
    Evacuee Crazy⑧s's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by JayJ44
    I gave him a B mainly because the Marbury thing wasn't handled well. Besides that, he's done a very good job.

    Exactly the same as me.

    Marbury was a faggot but it would have been nice to have it done a lot more smoothly. God I'm glad he's gone.

    Otherwise, all went very well. He's a Curry trade off being re-assessed for an A+

  8. #8
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    Thumbs down Thumbs down after Walsh first season

    Being an ole Knick-Fan for 40 years I gave Walsh a C-minus for not being able to deal with the max contract he gave to Jermain O'Neal, and not having the guts or intelligence to deal with Marbury and Zach for just one full season.

    Does Walsh deserve high praise for deliberately Tanking his first season as the Knick-President? I dont think so.
    Is it hard or complicated for a team to get below the salary cap within a 2 and a half year span? I dont think so.

    All the moves Walsh made from March 2008 to March 2009 shows he will need several miracles this 2009 offseason to not give Utah a Lottery draft pick.

  9. #9
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    Thumbs down This is why Thumbs down for our new regime

    The most important thing about Curry this season is his $9.7M salary and being this teams best low-post scorer.
    Inwhich President, management, and coaching-staff found no interest in getting Curry into game shape this season when they found out he was out of shape in October 2008.
    What would've been the action and reaction of "Curry & James (our $85M investment)" if we would've drafted Brook Lopez whom was a 5th round pick in the 2008 draft?
    Which gives us 3-Centers

    Dantoni already had plans of grabbing FA-Duhon while in Phoenix so before draft night Dantoni knew he was adding PG-Duhon to the list of Knick guards PG/SG-Marbury, SG-Crawford, PG/SG-Nate, and PG-Collins.
    Which gives us 5-Guards.

    What Dantoni did not think was important was our Fowards which does all the rebounding....we had Balkman, Lee, and Zach....which was the 3-strongest-rebounders on this team to average 43-rebounds as a team.
    To give up one (Balkman) of our rebounders and get no rebounder to replace him may not hurt the team much.
    But to give up two (Balkman & Zach) of our rebounders and get nothing to replace them but a person to pick up their pay check is a "sign" of cluelessness or tanking in our new regime.
    u pick?

    The Knicks having 7-Fowards under contract before the 2008 draft of Zach, Malik, Q.Richardson, Jefferies, Lee, Balkman, and Chandler (above $40M salary this season)....adding another foward to this $$$ list of Fowards the new foward (Gallo) would have to be sold as Larry Bird....for the manager to explain to his boss.<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

  10. #10
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    i give him a C.. the roster at the begining of the year was last years more or less, he made lots of moves midyear, and now the roster is at about the same talent level as we started the year.

    we have had little improvement, and i don;t see the building blocks in place for the future, espec a roster where if we plug in a lebron (or a wade), we become a contender.

    i hope walsh has a master plan.

  11. #11
    Veteran GetRealistic's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kiyaman
    Being an ole Knick-Fan for 40 years I gave Walsh a C-minus for not being able to deal with the max contract he gave to Jermain O'Neal, and not having the guts or intelligence to deal with Marbury and Zach for just one full season.

    Does Walsh deserve high praise for deliberately Tanking his first season as the Knick-President? I dont think so.
    Is it hard or complicated for a team to get below the salary cap within a 2 and a half year span? I dont think so.

    All the moves Walsh made from March 2008 to March 2009 shows he will need several miracles this 2009 offseason to not give Utah a Lottery draft pick.
    Are you slow or something Kiya? It is rediculously hard to get under the salary cap in the NBA once you've reached salary cap hell.

    I'm so sick and tired of people thinking a team of Marbury, Crawford, Chanlder, Randolph, and Lopez would have won a championship. At best they would have squeaked into the playoffs. And after being quickly dumped out of the playoffs we would have been in the same salary cap mess without a lottery pick.

    Due to Walsh we have cap flexibility and a ton of expiring contracts that during the offseason will be very intriguing to alot of teams. Once the Raptors and Hawks realize they won't be able to sign Bosh and Johnson after next season they are going to go out looking for teams with young talent (Lee, Chandler, Robinson, this years lottery pick) and expiring contracts (duhon, hughes, harrington, Q Rich) and start talking trades and since Donnie Walsh was able to give us cap flexibility we can be in the running to land one of these players. If we kept Crawford, and Randolph we wouldn't even be in the discussion to land these players.

    Some people don't want Lebron (which is stupid) and i agree that we may not be able to land him but to go into the summer of 2010, the biggest summer in the history of free agency. Without the ability to be a major player would be a damm shame. Donnie Walsh to this point has given us the ability and flexibility to be a major player come 2010.

  12. #12
    Veteran LJ4ptplay's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kiyaman
    Being an ole Knick-Fan for 40 years I gave Walsh a C-minus for not being able to deal with the max contract he gave to Jermain O'Neal, and not having the guts or intelligence to deal with Marbury and Zach for just one full season.
    Weren't you the one bashing Walsh for not giving a 2nd round pick and Zach for an expiring contract?

  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by GetRealistic
    Are you slow or something Kiya? It is rediculously hard to get under the salary cap in the NBA once you've reached salary cap hell.

    I'm so sick and tired of people thinking a team of Marbury, Crawford, Chanlder, Randolph, and Lopez would have won a championship. At best they would have squeaked into the playoffs. And after being quickly dumped out of the playoffs we would have been in the same salary cap mess without a lottery pick.

    Due to Walsh we have cap flexibility and a ton of expiring contracts that during the offseason will be very intriguing to alot of teams. Once the Raptors and Hawks realize they won't be able to sign Bosh and Johnson after next season they are going to go out looking for teams with young talent (Lee, Chandler, Robinson, this years lottery pick) and expiring contracts (duhon, hughes, harrington, Q Rich) and start talking trades and since Donnie Walsh was able to give us cap flexibility we can be in the running to land one of these players. If we kept Crawford, and Randolph we wouldn't even be in the discussion to land these players.

    Some people don't want Lebron (which is stupid) and i agree that we may not be able to land him but to go into the summer of 2010, the biggest summer in the history of free agency. Without the ability to be a major player would be a damm shame. Donnie Walsh to this point has given us the ability and flexibility to be a major player come 2010.
    Well said. One can make the argument that the team would better with Zach and Crawford, and maybe they win more games and make the playoffs, but what would that do for our future? We would be stuck with that team fr years to come, and that team would never be good enough to contend in the future. So it would be years of mediocrity. Im tired of that. Now we have flexibility, we can get a stud player in 2010, and we have a lottery pick in this draft, we have a shot at a guy like Thabeet, who would fill one major need on this team. None of this would have been possible without the moves Donnie made. They were all brilliant. I wish we could have gotten more from the Zach trade, maybe a guy like Jordan, that would be lovely. But all in all, he did a great job. You will all be loving him if we get a high pick or if we get Bron or Wade.

  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by GetRealistic
    Are you slow or something Kiya? It is rediculously hard to get under the salary cap in the NBA once you've reached salary cap hell.

    I'm so sick and tired of people thinking a team of Marbury, Crawford, Chanlder, Randolph, and Lopez would have won a championship.
    You obviously have a 3rd grade reading level. Nobody said those guys would win the Knicks a championship.

    Me and a couple of others said that they would have made the playoffs.

    16 teams make the playoffs, and only 1 win the championship, in case you didn't know.

    There's a huge difference between making the playoffs and winning a championship.

    Please expand your vocabulary, so that you can tell the difference between the two.

    Also, if you would have read the thread, I made some good points.

    #1-Marbury had an expiring contract, so the Knicks could have used him this year and then let him go.

    #2- Jamal Crawford has an opt out clause on his contract. The Knicks could have used him this year and got rid of him afterwards.

    #3- Zach Randolph is a top 10 power forward. You do not trade 20 point, 10 rebound players for Larry Hughes who has 25 million dollars left on his contract and sucks, and Cuttino Mobley who retired and is still owed 16 million dollars.

    #4- Brook Lopez > Danilo Gallinari
    Lopez can block shots, rebound, and post up. Gallinari can't do any of those things.
    Last edited by abcd; Mar 31, 2009 at 13:13.

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    Originally Posted by abcd
    You obviously have a 3rd grade reading level. Nobody said those guys would win the Knicks a championship.

    Me and a couple of others said that they would have made the playoffs.

    16 teams make the playoffs, and only 1 win the championship, in case you didn't know.

    There's a huge difference between making the playoffs and winning a championship.

    Please expand your vocabulary, so that you can tell the difference between the two.

    Also, if you would have read the thread, I made some good points.

    #1-Marbury had an expiring contract, so the Knicks could have used him this year and then let him go.

    #2- Jamal Crawford has an opt out clause on his contract. The Knicks could have used him this year and got rid of him afterwards.

    #3- Zach Randolph is a top 10 power forward. You do not trade 20 point, 10 rebound players for Larry Hughes who has 25 million dollars left on his contract and sucks, and Cuttino Mobley who retired and is still owed 16 million dollars.

    #4- Brook Lopez > Danilo Gallinari
    Lopez can block shots, rebound, and post up. Gallinari can't do any of those things.
    I think Crawford's opt out clause is for the player, not the team. Thats why Donnie Nelson is threatening to sit him if he doesn't opt out.

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