The Knicks’ season has long been reduced to ashes (the NHL Rangers are now earning a TV higher rating than the ‘Bockers), and the only question remaining is when Jim Dolan will replace Isiah Thomas as team president and coach.
The New York papers have concluded that Indiana Pacers emperor Donnie Walsh is Dolan’s primary target to take over the front office, which isn’t all that exciting. What is interesting though is what’s happening in Indiana with the Pacers.
The NEW YORK DAILY NEWS reports that “according to a high-ranking Pacers official, the team’s co-owners, Herbert and Melvin Simon, are hoping to retain Walsh and fire team president Larry Bird. The same source indicated that Walsh has too much respect for Bird to fire him and then reassume full control of the team.”
It’s clear that Bird’s unwillingness to serve as coach of the team and let Walsh handle GM duties, a partnership that led to an NBA finals appearance in 2000, is the prevailing reason for the franchise’s faltering state. Shame these two guys, who are obviously great basketball minds, can’t find a way to work together.
It’s also significant to note that Walsh would rather leave the team than fire Bird. Smart.
If/when Walsh makes his escape to New York, he will bring Mark Jackson with him as coach, which we think would finally give Knicks fans a reason for continuing to renew season tickets at an alarmingly high (91%!) rate. That is, if Dolan keeps his bearded feedbag out of the basketball operation.