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Posts Tagged ‘Donnie Walsh’

The New Old School

Knicks President Walsh

There is old school and then there is Donnie Walsh. But it’s that old school styling that earns him so much respect around the league, even in this new school NBA.

He’s a New Yorker to the fullest – straight from the Bronx – who practiced Tar Heel traditions at North Carolina, before being selected by the Philadelphia Warriors but never playing. Walsh opted for coaching at UNC instead, then South Carolina, then as an assistant coach for Larry Brown with the Denver Nuggets.

A storied career with the Indiana Pacers soon followed, where he rebuilt the team through Reggie Miller. And man, was Miller ever a Knicks killer.

Now Walsh aims to do the same with New York (minus Miller).

It’s only fitting – after talking to Walsh and getting to know his thoughts on the state of the Knicks – that his first change in New York was eliminating the strict and paranoid media policy that had been no doubt hurting the franchise.

Had that policy remained in place, I’m not sure Walsh would have signed-on to help reform the Knicks in the first place. Under the old regime, we certainly wouldn’t have been able to chat courtside without a team representative present, that’s for sure.

He knows the press isn’t the enemy.

Walsh may be getting up there, but he’s as new school as he is old school.

At 68-years-old, he stays up late to watch games on NBA TV, is attached at the hip to his BlackBerry – even if he would rather not be at times – and makes the cross country treks and long road trips to keep tabs on the team and staff.

Is he a miracle worker though?

We’ll find out in the summer of 2010.

pic via: cbc

 

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stephonThe drama never stops at Madison Square Garden. It was that way when I covered the New York Knicks for three seasons and it’s that way right now. That’s the thing. It’s not worse with Stephon Marbury’s antics, insubordination and house arrest. It’s simply the same.

No buy out yet. Just bye-bye.

Even 3000 miles away from Manhattan, I know one thing is for certain: the Knicks locker room is a better place without Marbury in it.

So while the Knicks deal with the typical distractions, Portland looks to make it five-straight wins and their second consecutive win on a five game roadie. But believe it or not, all the talk coming out of New York isn’t necessarily Knicks-centric and all about Starbury. There is some Blazers banter making its way down Broadway…..

First Knicks General Manager Donnie Walsh voiced his concern for Greg Oden over the weekend.

“I’m a little worried about Oden,” Walsh told the New York Daily News. “He’s young and these young guys come in, but their bodies are not ready for the NBA, and they do get hurt. I think with real young players, they’re not ready for the NBA. All of a sudden they’re playing at our speed and our tempo against men. It seems that even if they don’t get hit, they start breaking down a little bit.”

Then on Monday, Alan Hahn of Newsday – who writes the paramount blog on the Knicks beat by the way – gave the rumor mill a fresh spin making a ploy for a couple Blazers.

“They (the Knicks) have a pretty good test Tuesday against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Garden. Keep an eye on Travis Outlaw…think he might fit in the (Mike) D’Antoni system if the Blazers ever would consider moving him. Sergio Rodriguez is looking for a change of scenery as well….Hmmm.”

Who would the Knicks offer in return with Outlaw and/or Sergio likely expendable? With the Knicks failing to sign forward David Lee to a contract extension back in October, his future in New York appears tentative at best according to two sources familiar with the situation.

pic via: newsday

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