Friday, June 3, 2011
Say It Ain't So!
In typical Knicks fashion, the Donnie Walsh era has come to an unceremonious close and he didn't even get that lousy t-shirt up there. The company line is that both sides agreed to amicably split, but the writing was on the wall at the Garden for a while. He was pretty much forced out by James Dolan's stubborn, pig-headed ways much like Jeff Van Gundy before him.
Donnie (being the patient, wise person he is) didn't want to sign off on the Carmelo trade as it eventually went down, trading half of the team for Melo and a couple other parts. But, Dolan stepped in at the last minute and made sure it happened. I have to admit, I was all for the trade at the time, and those impatient feelings were shared by a lot of Knicks fans. Who cares if we have to give up our mothers, get Melo in New York! Of course, that is why you don't have fans running the team, and you leave it up to a professional to make sound decisions regarding the franchise's future. Dolan is about as short sighted as you can get though, and only saw and heard what most fans were clamoring for; whether it cost him an entire roster that was already a playoff team or not. This power move (essentially minimizing Walsh's power as an executive) is what led to the split. So, ironically, the move that was only made possible because of the shrewd decisions of Donnie Walsh is what eventually did him in. It's kind of like if you somehow got your family out of debt after years of foolish spending and living beyond your means, only to have your brother swoop in and buy a Porsche at the last minute. I'm not saying the deal is a disaster (we still have a chance to scoop up a top notch point guard thanks to Walsh) but the sticking point of keeping one of the Knicks' perimeter players sure made sense in hindsight. He would have come in handy against the Celtics in the Playoffs.
Let's remember Donnie for the job that he did: achieving the impossible miracle of getting the Knicks under the salary cap, landing two superstar players and somehow resurrecting a dead franchise and making them relevant again. Now, if Isiah Thomas returns to run all the good that Walsh has done into the ground, I may just wait for the Brooklyn Nets to come to town to root for an NBA team.