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.