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Donnie Walsh out as Knicks president in shocker

Jun 3, 2011, 4:00 PM EST

Donnie Walsh AP

UPDATE 4:16 pm: According to Howard Beck at the New York Times, another sticking point of negotiations was Dolan’s insistence that Walsh take a 40 percent paycut, from $5 million down to $3 million. Yes, it’s still a boatload of money, but what if your boss asked you to take a 40 percent paycut? It’s offensive, especially after he slashed the Knicks payroll in half.

The other thing of note is that decision seemed to catch Walsh and pretty much everyone with the organization off guard. It had been expected that he would return for at least another year to finish the rebuilding job.

11:34 am: Donnie Walsh, the man who returned the Knicks to the playoffs while getting them out of salary cap hell at the same time, is out as the president and general manager of the Knicks.

The move was announced in a press release Friday that called the move “mutual.” That’s a loose interpretation of the word, Walsh had said many times he wanted to finish the job he had started with the Knicks. Here is what Knicks owner James Dolan said.

“…Donnie Walsh and I have mutually agreed that he will be leaving his position as president, basketball operations of the Knicks at the end of June. Donnie will remain with the team as a consultant for the 2011-12 season. In a relatively short time with the Knicks, Donnie made a tremendous impact, which will be felt for many years to come. We thank Donnie for his leadership, hard work and many contributions to the revitalization of the team.

Glen Grunwald will step in as the interim GM. (For the record, Grunwald came to the Knicks from Toronto, where he was hired as an assistant GM by Isiah Thomas then brought with Thomas to the Big Apple… just saying). Former Denver executive Mark Warkentien also remains in the Knicks front office, but he didn’t get the main job.

Walsh’s contract was up after this season but he had stayed on since April 30 as two sides were reportedly close to a two-year extension. However, as part of that Walsh demanded autonomy to make basketball decisions — Dolan had come in and taken over the trade for Carmelo Anthony, offering far more than Walsh had wanted and stripping the team of role players. Walsh wanted control. Dolan clearly was not willing to give that up. At age 70, Walsh didn’t need to put up with this.

Walsh was in the right here. He had not been perfect — and in Dolan’s eyes Walsh was unable to deliver LeBron James, even though Dolan is largely the reason James had doubts — but from when he took over Walsh had cut the Knicks payroll in half while getting the team back to the playoffs. Walsh built the foundation of future success for this team, he deserved the chance to build the building.

The search for a long-term replacement is on.

However, Dolan is still tight with former GM Isiah Thomas and this can only be seen as a win for his influence in the organization.

  1. garryfish - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Nooooooooo!!!!

  2. henryd3rd - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    All I can say is Damn! Just when the Knicks were making positive headlines Dolan pushes the most knowledge basketball man around out the door. I just hope that is not Isiah II? Maybe the Angel of Stern will intervene in the best interest of basketball. I don’t even want to hear that Isiah is working at MSG in any capacity!

    • bigdawgg1092 - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:34 PM

      It IS Isiah II (or will be in one way or another, it will a guy Isiah endorses 100%) – Count on it. For a guy with so much money, Dolan really is a bumbling idiot. Isiah will kill this franchise once again & Dolan will let him.

  3. denverhoopdreams - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    Total suprise here.

    @Henryd3rd; “the most knowledge basketball man.” Donnie Walsh?? Really?

    • henryd3rd - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:26 PM

      Okay; the most knowledgeable man in Knicks’ basketball organziation

      • denverhoopdreams - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:42 PM

        That I will agree with. Sad to see him go. Hopefully the consulting for a year help the Knicks build around Statmelo.

    • denverhoopdreams - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:43 PM

      Why are you guys giving me a thumbs down for this? It really is a suprise. Walsh had a good plan coming together… Dolan made a bad move, that is all.

      I also was curious as to what henry meant, and he clarified. Ya’ll are turrible little punks.

  4. SmackSaw - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    Why does Dolan hate success?

  5. skippynj - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    I thought the Wilpon’s owned the Knicks.

  6. denverhoopdreams - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Okay, Maybe all the Knicks fans are standing by Dolan’s decision. Ya’ll really thought Walsh was that bad? He got you guys Melo.

    • bababenny - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:25 PM

      As a Die-Hard Knicks fan I can safely say that Walsh is the best the thing to happen to this organization in over a decade. Dolan is an ass.

  7. emeraldcityfan - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    The Dolans are a plague…. If they hire Zeke again the fans will stage a mutiny.

    • bababenny - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      Damn right we will!

  8. bababenny - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    I’m about as die-hard a Knicks fan as you get—-but if Thomas comes back I’m out! I can’t sit idly by while Thomas tears down everything that Walsh has built up. Dolan is such an ass.

  9. patsandsox - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    Isiah coming back to ruin the knicks again soon

  10. ezwriter69 - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Zeke and Dolan sitting in a tree… they’re in love, don’t hate on ‘em be glad for them, back together again, lol… Knicks are doomed.

  11. sknut - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    If Glen Taylor had any smarts about him, he would fire Kahn, hire Walsh and get out of the way. If a smart basketball man were in charge he would see some intriguing pieces here in Minny.

    • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:22 PM

      I was going to write the exact same thing. Bring him to the T-pups!

  12. purdueman - Jun 3, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    WE WANT ZEKE!

    WE WANT ZEKE!!

    WE WANT ZEKE!!!

  13. virumque - Jun 4, 2011 at 4:51 AM

    I’ll have to give up on the Knicks now that Walsh has been fired especially if Coach D’antoni leaves also. The Knicks seemingly can’t stand success.

    I thought that the acquisition of Carmelo was a big mistake considering what they gave up for him. From what I’ve been reading perhaps that was one more Dolan mistake.

    So long Knicks. Wallow in mediocrity once again.

    Afterthought: Mike D’antoni would make a great coach for the Golden State Warriors if that job is still open.

  14. davidly - Jun 4, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    The news coming out of sources close to the front office is that this move was to make room for a certain – hold on to your hats, Knicks fans – Skibby MaRue!

  15. ocgunslinger - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    Unbelievable ! Not that they wouldn’t bring Walsh back but to hear that Dolan still has Thomas around and taking his advice. I see Thomas influence and fingerprints all over this move. I am so sorry for the Knick’s Fans having that great franchise being owned and run by such a complete failure.

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