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Walsh: Blame me for Knicks struggles, not players or coach

Mar 22, 2011, 10:59 AM EDT

New York Knicks Introduce Mike D'Antoni Getty Images

Let’s hope James Dolan doesn’t take him literally.

Donnie Walsh did what a good executive of a slumping (1-6 in last seven) team should do — tried to take the heat off his players and coach. Walsh threw himself on the grenade when taking to Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“I take more responsibility than the players or the coaches because I made a monumental trade in the middle of the season, and it appears to me they’re having a hard time getting together, which is understandable,” Walsh said.

“That’s why I don’t like to do it in the middle of the season,” Walsh added. “We gave up a lot. We got back a lot. But I do think this trade is going to make us better in the future. In the long run, this trade will make us a better franchise.”

Remember that when this trade was going down Walsh wanted to go slower and give up fewer assets to Denver in the deal. It was owner Dolan — maybe on the advice of Isiah Thomas, Dolan says no but plenty of other people say yes — who pushed to include more players and make sure the trade got made. This was the owners trade, but he’s not going to fire himself.

Also, Walsh is right — this trade was not about this season. It was about a year or two from now, when more talent can be assembled around the team’s two stars, when more chemistry and trust has been developed. Right now there is precious little of that, and it shows.

Walsh’s deal is up at the end of this season and Dolan has until April 30 to pick up his extension. Walsh has not been perfect, but he has done the hard work to get this team out of salary cap hell and start to rebuild, he deserves the chance to finish the job.

  1. thetooloftools - Mar 22, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    When is Dolan going to wake up and realize Thomas is no executive?
    If I was Walsh I would just walk away.

  2. saynotocarmelo - Mar 22, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Bravo. Well said Kurt. Dolan pushed him into doing it now, when he had the right idea to wait. Give the man his extension and lay off and let him do his job.

  3. mogogo1 - Mar 22, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    If Carmelo Anthony had any common sense he’d have said “no way” to the Knicks the second he heard Thomas’ name mentioned. The guy was a great player but he’s destroyed everything he’s touched since then. He cost the team millions for sexual harrassment, drove the team into the ground and they’re STILL asking his advice? Hey, maybe the 40th time is going to be the charm…

  4. davidly - Mar 22, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Why didn’t they just wait until the off-season when they could have had Anthony for money? If screwing Billups out of Denver is supposed to be part of the return they got for what they gave up, I’m not sure if pulling this trade was good in the long run either.

    What am I missing?

  5. hnirobert3 - Mar 22, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    The worse is yet to come. The difference between what the Heat and Knicks did is that the Heat’s big 3 took less than max money, whereas Amar’e and Melo are maxed out. Do you think CP3, or any other “max” guy, is going to take less than those two?

    • loungefly74 - Mar 22, 2011 at 4:26 PM

      theres no way they could afford a “max” player. agree… (yet, i hear the lone Knicks fan at my work singing, “we gonna get CP3!”) good grief.

  6. knicksnyny100 - Mar 22, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    I respect Donnie Walsh as a man for taking the blame!however the truth is he has giving D’Antoni more than enough to win and D’Antoni has fail him,and he puts his job on the line for D’Antoni he will probaly lose it!!!

  7. dysraw1 - Mar 23, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    dear mr walsh i sincerly want compliment you, have done a great job,with a few exceptions like hiring dantone.but i wish that right this moment that youd sign at least one tough defender 6 10 & better, i know they dont grow on trees. if you want to salvage what left of this season, you need to be able to give up 6 more fouls in the middle.

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