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Thread: Donnie Almost Resigns Because of Isiah

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    Veteran LJ4ptplay's Avatar
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    Default Donnie Almost Resigns Because of Isiah

    Donnie Walsh nearly resigned from New York Knicks upon learning of hiring of Isiah Thomas

    BY Frank Isola
    DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
    Sunday, August 8th 2010, 4:00 AM


    Isiah Thomas nearly climbed the corporate ladder from consultant to Knicks president on Day 1 of his new job with the club.
    The Daily News has learned that Donnie Walsh considered resigning after Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan made the controversial move to hire Thomas, but Walsh decided to continue running the team despite his objections to Thomas having a role in the front office.
    "Donnie finds this entire thing distasteful," said one NBA source. "He's had second thoughts about staying but he wants to finish the job."
    Walsh, who did not return phone calls yesterday, is under contract through 2012. Last month, he denied a published report that he was contemplating retirement for health reasons.

    Dolan's insistence on giving Thomas the ambiguous title of consultant angered Walsh, who for two years has been trying to hire former St. John's All-American Chris Mullin as general manager. Dolan has refused to sign off on hiring Mullin and clearly has designs on giving that position to Thomas, who also holds the title of head coach at Florida International University in Miami.

    The News reported yesterday that Dolan advised Walsh to hire Thomas as his general manager two weeks ago. When Walsh refused, Dolan decided to make Thomas a consultant, a move that was universally panned by several of Dolan's top executives, according to sources.

    Besides Walsh and Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni being against the move, Garden vice chairman Hank Ratner and Garden president Scott O'Neil voiced their displeasure but were overruled by Dolan, sources said.
    The Thomas-Dolan relationship is baffling to many, but the two men grew closer after a former female executive at the Garden accused Thomas of sexual harassment in the workplace. The Garden was found liable in the case and eventually settled out of court with Anucha Browne Sanders for $11.6 million.

    Thomas has been plotting his return to the Garden since the day Walsh replaced him in April of 2008, and began to put on the full-court press two months ago. Thomas volunteered to help the Knicks in their recruitment of free agents this summer and almost immediately became Dolan's most trusted confidant on matters concerning LeBron James.

    When Dolan's band, JD And The Straight Shot, was touring out west in June, Thomas set up a meeting between Dolan and a top Nike executive at the company's headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. According to a source close to Dolan, Thomas said the Nike executive could help the Knicks land James, who was scheduled to become a free agent on July 1.

    Thomas apparently sealed his return to the Knicks when he was a guest at a Fourth of July party at Dolan's estate on Long Island. According to several guests at the party, Thomas never left Dolan's side and "was working him the entire time. It was incredible."

    Amar'e Stoudemire was also in attendance that day after having made the decision to accept the Knicks' five-year, $100 million contract, a deal that no other team, including the Phoenix Suns, was willing to match.
    At Stoudemire's introductory press conference, Dolan instructed Walsh to publicly thank Thomas for his assistance in recruiting Stoudemire. There are conflicting accounts on what role, if any, Thomas had in helping the Knicks land Stoudemire, who had previously played for D'Antoni in Phoenix. Most league executives acknowledge that Stoudemire simply went to the highest bidder. In fact, Stoudemire's agent, Happy Walters, said in July that Stoudemire hadn't even spoken to Thomas until Dolan's July 4 bash.
    But in an awkward joint statement from Walsh and Dolan that the Knicks released on Friday, the club again credited Thomas with helping it sign Stoudemire. Walsh, according to a source, was told he had to have Thomas' name attached to the statement.

    Three days after Dolan's party, Thomas compromised Walsh's and D'Antoni's power by volunteering to meet with an unidentified associate of James in Ohio in a last-ditch effort to convince James to sign with the Knicks. The mystery associate wasn't James' business manager, Maverick Carter, or his agent, Leon Rose. Nor did Thomas meet with James' confidant, William Wesley, who is most commonly referred to as World Wide Wes.

    The Knicks believe that the mystery man may have been Steve Stoute, a New York-based record executive who may be best remembered for being beaten up by rapper Sean (Diddy) Combs in Times Square 11years ago. Stoute also serves as an adviser to James.

    Regardless, Thomas' visit failed to make much of an impression on James, who eventually signed with the Miami Heat. In the aftermath of the Knicks failing to sign James or Dwyane Wade, Thomas used the opportunity to make his case to Dolan that Walsh and D'Antoni don't have street credibility with today's young NBA stars, their agents and their entourages.

    Dolan concurred and felt compelled to rehire Thomas, especially with the Knicks in position to sign at least one major free agent next summer. The Knicks believe they have a chance to land Denver's Carmelo Anthony and possibly pursue the Hornets' Chris Paul the following summer. Thomas has told Dolan he can deliver both players.

    Coincidentally, Paul has drawn favorable comparisons to Thomas, an all-time top 50 player. But the Knicks may already have a famous guard capable of recruiting Paul to New York: Paul's grandfather idolized Earl Monroe and told his grandson stories about the legendary guard who starred at Winston-Salem State. Paul attended college at nearby Wake Forest.

    For years, Thomas has worked the angle that because current NBA players still idolize him, they will want to play for him. He felt he scored a minor victory when Kobe Bryant invited the Knicks to his home in Newport, Calif., several years ago when the Lakers star was a free agent. The Knicks could offer Bryant only the mid-level exception, which to Thomas meant that Bryant would consider taking a huge pay cut only because Thomas was running the team.

    From all indications, Thomas will eventually return to his old job with the Knicks. Under his agreement, Thomas is not supposed to attend Knick games, especially in New York. But he does have free rein to telephone Dolan whenever he sees fit.

    "When the Knicks lose two games in a row he'll be on the phone with Dolan and Donnie saying, 'This is all D'Antoni's fault,'" one Knicks official said. "And if they lose three games he'll be on the phone with Dolan and Mike saying, 'This is all Donnie's fault.' That's Isiah."

    This makes me want to puke. Isiah will be the next GM. He is a snake and he has Dolan's ear. Ever since Lebron chose Miami, Isiah has been telling Dolan what a failure Donnie is.

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    Evacuee Crazy⑧s's Avatar
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    Sickening. Sell the Knicks Dolan. If you really love the team, walk away.

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    this is not good!

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    Unhappy

    Why wasnt Pritchard hired 2 weeks before being FIRED!!!

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    Originally Posted by Kiyaman
    Why wasnt Pritchard hired 2 weeks before being FIRED!!!
    One word. Dolan.

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    Veteran DontForgetDerekHarper's Avatar
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    dolan is 5 words

    dic$
    offensive
    lame
    asshol@
    nincompoop

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    Is Thomas butt ****ing Dolan? Maybe he wants his boyfriend nearby. What a joke! For some reason I believe the validity of the article.

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    Fundamentally Sound ronoranina's Avatar
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    This is very, very troubling.

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    Heh, Dolan just gave me more reason to absolutely hate him. No one in the state wants Thomas back with the Knicks organization besides that fool who runs it. I really wish the NBA would veto this deal or force Dolan to sell the team, because clearly he is really doing his best to ruin a great thing this organization has. If the owner clearly as no clue what he is doing and is being led around by the idiot that ruined the organization in the first place, he has no business being hands on. He is really a terrible owner.

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    Member keyser soze's Avatar
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    1) IF this is accurate information, this is truly disgusting and this franchise is still probably in trouble longterm

    2) I question how accurate this information truly is. For one thing, I read an article recently (and I believe it was posted on this message board) that quoted Walsh explicitly defending Isiah. In particular, It quoted Walsh as saying that he was shocked at how unpopular Isiah was when he took the job and that he thought Isiah didn't do that bad of a job. That article and this article simply don't mesh. I guess Walsh could have been towing the company line by publicly defending Isiah but I don't know. I just question how much these reporters ever really know.

    edit: I'd add to the above paragraph that Walsh and Isiah supposedly had a good relationship. (Remember, Walsh was the GM in Indiana who hired Isiah to be head coach of the Pacers)

    3) **** James Dolan

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    we will never have a championship as long dolan is owner.

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    We, as Knicks fans, should all meet in front of MSG and protest. And if we have to we have to get violent so they can hear our voices...

    p.s. If I was Donnie, I would have resigned. Im actually surprised he didnt.

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    Originally Posted by AlboKnickFan
    We, as Knicks fans, should all meet in front of MSG and protest. And if we have to we have to get violent so they can hear our voices...

    p.s. If I was Donnie, I would have resigned. Im actually surprised he didnt.
    good post....I honestly feel that if Isiah was signed as the new GM after all Donnie did, that Knicks fans would be furious.

    Furious to the point of having signs outside of MSG saying "fire Dolan" or "sell the Knicks"

    I would join my fellow fans if a date ever came to that.

    The frustration has mounted to the point of no return, Dolan will forever be hated by Knicks fans.

    NOW on the positive side, If Isiah can actually get Melo and Paul here without trading away our really good young player in Gallo and Randolph, then I would take that trio of super stars and Isiah over no superstars and just Walsh.

    But this is an embarissing day for the Knicks organization and what is sad about it is that everyone is against Dolan while he just sits in his pool of money laughing at everyone.

    Dolan is like a spoiled kid with one friend(Isiah), he will do everything to give him a job when he does not deserve anything expecially with the Knicks who he ruined for years.

    As a scout im fine with but if he is ever GM again then I promise I will bring a sign to MSG saying "Fire Isiah AGAIN and Dolan should sell the Knicks"

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    Member XxWinKnicksxX's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LJ4ptplay
    This makes me want to puke. Isiah will be the next GM. He is a snake and he has Dolan's ear. Ever since Lebron chose Miami, Isiah has been telling Dolan what a failure Donnie is.
    WHAT THE HELL IS THIS B.S? Are you kidding me? This is a disgrace and is a circus, A CLOWN SHOW! If anybody has faith in Isiah Thomas they need to be examined! Its comical I heard Steve Stout's name in this article! These guys are all morons if this article has any truth to it!

    Are we suppose to believe this just because it is being reported. I know this guy has his sources when hes talking about the knicks, but that doesent make this true!

    You don't need street credibillity in The NBA! It's a business not a corner where people slang things! It's New York, it sells it self with its credibility as being the most prominent city in the U.S. With it's cap room and recent success of getting quality players and maintaining a respectable coach and hiring a prominent gm, the Knicks must be picky and choosy with what they spend there money and time with. Isiah failed miserably and should be left to fend for himself in his future endeavors. It's that plain and simple and anyone that doesent acknowledge that is living far from reality! This is a disgrace and the owner needs to admit it or SELL THE TEAM! I'm fed up with this b.s.! I was just starting to think they are finally playing it smart. I can except them losing as long as they do it without Isiah! This is Horrible! This is why it's embarrassing being a Knick fan sometimes!

    Wake up Dolan! YOUR IGNORANCE IS AMAZING!

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