From our “no news is good news” file…
The deadline for Knicks owner James Dolan to pick up the option year on team president Donnie Walsh’s contract came and went Saturday without a word out of Madison Square Garden.
Which is actually a good thing, the New York Post says (and when was the last time the New York Post said anything was a good thing?).
Why? Because it’s a sign that he is about to get a two-year extension instead. We told you that was coming and the Post says he lack of a note on the pickup of the option year is just another sign the extension is coming.
One source said the delay in Walsh’s announcement could be due to him trying to finalize new contracts for several members of his basketball staff, including senior VP Glen Grunwald and pro personnel director John Gabriel. It is unclear if Walsh wants recently hired consultant Mark Warkentien to return. The former Nuggets GM’s pact ends June 30.
The issue in talks between Walsh and Dolan was one of autonomy — Dolan jumped in and hijacked the Carmelo Anthony trade talks, adding several role players to the deal to make sure it got done. Walsh had taken a more patient position under the theory that Anthony really wanted to come there and they could get him as a free agent if not in a trade, all without ripping up the current roster. Patience was tossed out the window by Dolan. Walsh doesn’t want that to happen again.
But for now no news is good news. Expect word of the Walsh extension to become official soon.
NEW YORK (AP) — Craig Sager’s fight with leukemia will prevent the basketball sideline reporter form covering the Rio Olympics for NBC.
NBC said Thursday in a statement that the 65-year-old Sager is preparing for a third bone marrow transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Sager was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2014 and announced in March that he was no longer in remission.
The Rio Games would have been Sager’s fifth Olympics.
Sager has worked for Turner Sports for 34 years. At the ESPY Awards this month, Vice President Joe Biden presented Sager with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.