New York Knicks Should Pass on Donnie Walsh

Andrew SchiffAnalyst IMarch 24, 2008

It seems inevitable at this point: former General Manager and current team president of the Indiana Pacers Donnie Walsh to the New York Knicks.

But let me make one thing clear: The New York Knicks should pass on this man.

What has Donnie Walsh done in the last five years with the Pacers that warrants him this huge control over the biggest laughingstock in the NBA? Sure, Walsh, at least on the surface of things, will be considered an upgrade over current Knick GM Isiah Thomas.

But even my grandmother would be an improvement over Thomas. 

After all, this is the same man who hired Thomas, a coach who lead a young and talented Indiana team to nowhere. The same Isiah Thomas who made a bad situation in New York worse. Wasn't this the same man who hired Larry Bird to be the GM of his club. What has Bird done in the last several years to deserve to keep his position, one that he will most likely lose at the end of the season?

Walsh hired both of these great players in positions of power. Do Knick fans really want him deciding who the Knicks should draft?

And what of that "talented" Pacers team that Walsh assembled only a few years ago? One that had the likes of Jermaine O'Neal and Ron Artest. O'Neal never really blossomed and Artest is now playing ball in Sacramento, banished there because of his on and even off-court behavior. Punching a fan is never a good idea.

Walsh is smart. And I don't necessarily mean in the talent evaluation sense. He's going to get cash, the likes he's never seen from other owners he's worked for. Sure he's a millionaire now, but getting James Dolan's dough will put him in another tax bracket.

Let's face it—hiring Donnie Walsh, a native New Yorker, is a superficial band-aid for a team that needs a young architect to build the club. 

OK, so he won't make rude comments to female employees (I suppose that's good), but building a championship-caliber team in any sport is an art form. You need a coach to decide what system he wants to employ and bring in the players accordingly, not a mish mash artist like Thomas. Walsh was decent at it at one time, I suppose, but at this stage, I have no confidence in this over-the-hill executive (I guess you figured that out, already).

Truthfully, Walsh wasn't even that good in the first place. How many championships did his teams win? Did he ever compliment the great Reggie Miller with another star player?

At 67 years old, Walsh will be cashing those Cablevision checks with a big smile on his face.

The question is, will Knicks fans be smiling in 2008-2009?