Here is what you need to know about Donnie Walsh — he’s not the kind of guy who quietly sit around during retirement and watch Criminal Minds reruns. Even at age 71.
Walsh was pushed aside in the Knicks front office but is under a consultant’s contract with them through June 30. Not that they are consulting with him.
So Knicks owner James Dolan has opened the door to allow Walsh to talk to other teams about a job when his contract is up, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.
“Donnie’s very interested in continuing to work on a full-time basis,” Walsh’s agent, Steve Kauffman, told CBSSports.com.
The Portland Trail Blazers already have begun yet another GM search, and it is believed that Walsh will explore that situation first since the job is known to be open. If Larry Bird steps down as Pacers president after the season, there are indications that owner Herb Simon — a longtime friend and proponent of Walsh — would strongly consider a reunion.
Walsh is one of the most respected team executives in the league. He is the guy who came in after Isiah Thomas had put together the most expensive roster in the NBA but couldn’t make the playoffs and shed payroll then went and got Amare Stoudemire to start the turnaround. He did a masterful job, but got pushed aside in the quest for Carmelo Anthony.
Any number of teams would be wise to hire Walsh, who would come in as a team president and likely hire a GM under him. How Walsh would mesh with owner Paul Allen — who has already canned a couple good GMs then gone without one for almost a year — is a valid question, but they should talk. Bird may well be gone after this season and that is Walsh’s old job.
But any owner that wants to set a smart, professional direction for his franchise should reach out to Wash.
The Chicago Bulls are one of the teams getting a D-League affiliate franchise this season. The Windy City Bulls will play in the suburb of Hoffman Estates, and now they have a head coach: North Carolina State assistant Bobby Lutz.
Via Upside & Motor‘s Chris Reichert:
Lutz was previously linked to the Bulls’ D-League job in July but there was confusion as to whether he would actually get the job. Now, it appears he has. And he has familiarity with the coaching staff, having served as an assistant coach at Iowa State under Fred Hoiberg in 2010-11, prior to going to NC State.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.