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.
NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.
Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.
Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.
A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”
Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.
DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.
But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.
DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:
“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.
“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”
This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.
Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.
Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.
I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.