HoopsHype Donnie Walsh rumors

November 19, 2012 Updates

Walsh, now the president of basketball operations for Indiana, sat courtside Sunday as the Pacers played the Knicks at Madison Square Garden and witnessed the Knicks’ current roster up close. Even if he does not want, or even expect, credit for the Knicks’ recent success, Walsh knows that the decisions he made during his three years with the team have helped the Knicks improve. “I did what I said I would do and I was happy to be here,” Walsh said before the Knicks’ 88-76 victory over the Pacers. “I enjoyed it and I’m happy for the people of the city because I really felt the desire for New York fans to have a team like theirs now. I’m glad it’s come. I knew I wasn’t going to be here for the payoff.” New York Times

November 18, 2012 Updates

“I’ve said they’re a contending team. But to go any further, you’ve got to do it. You can’t talk about it, you’ve gotta do it. And that’s kind of where all the teams are,” Walsh said. “They have the whole gamut of guys. I think around the league, they’ve got as good (depth) as anybody. “I think Glen has done a wonderful job, got exactly the right guys to add to what was here before. And I’m really happy for the fans. Because during the years when we were breaking the team up, the two years they knew we were going to lose…I’m glad to see they can come here now and say ‘Wow, this is a team that can be really good.’ And I think that they will be. “I’m happy that what I started here is coming to fruition here.” New York Daily News

Donnie Walsh insists he has no regrets about not being able to reap the rewards of the groundwork he laid for the Knicks’ present turnaround. The former team president returned to the Garden with the Pacers on Sunday, and praised the improved Knicks as contenders in the Eastern Conference. “I’ve said before, I think they’re a contending team,” Walsh said. “There’s not that many contending teams…You see the roster, but now they’re playing up to the roster and they’re only going to get better.” New York Daily News

Asked if he regretted his departure from the Knicks, Walsh added: “No, because I knew when I came here that I wouldn’t be here. I did. I knew by the length of my contract…I came here and I wanted to have the challenge of seeing what I could do. When I left, it wasn’t a matter of being satisfied, but I think I did what I said I would do. I had a chance to come back and reconnect with the city I was born in. For me, it was all good, and that’s the way I look at it.” New York Daily News

October 21, 2012 Updates

“All I can say is that Jim Dolan treated me very well, paid me well, and I have no ax to grind,” he said. “With Jim, I think people only get part of the story, and that’s because he doesn’t want to put his being on display. When you’re the owner of a team, and the team hasn’t done well and people are judging you by what you do there, it’s usually not good. I mean, George Steinbrenner — who loved him when the Yankees weren’t any good?” Walsh added: “Jim let me do some things he wouldn’t let other people do, and I think in the end, I did what I said I would do when I got there. I put them in a position so the next guy didn’t have to do the things that Isiah and Scott Layden had to do: try to keep their job by trading sideways, taking the worst contracts.” New York Times

Assisted by the Pacers’ new general manager, Kevin Pritchard, Walsh filled out the bench over the summer but called himself “kind of a caretaker.” Bird’s departure from a promising young team has been attributed to back and shoulder problems or organizational friction, depending on the source. Walsh, 71, said he did not know if Bird was merely on leave or gone for good, but added, “At my age, I’m no long-term solution.” He is, however, walking steadily, requiring only the occasional use of a cane, recovered from all that occurred after his three-year liaison that transported him from the suburbs of the city they call Naptown to a 2,700-square-foot apartment on the Upper West Side and to the Garden’s bright lights, where he was often struck by the thought, “Oh, man, this is the top of the food chain.” New York Times

September 21, 2012 Updates

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. “People wonder, ‘How did you end up with David Kahn?’ ’’ Taylor says. “Well, I knew I had to let Kevin [McHale] go. We had to watch the money. Kevin was not a money-watcher, not that kind of a detail guy. To replace Kevin, we talked to a lot of people, and some were basketball guys and some were money guys, like David, who understood budgets and the salary situation [of players]. It seemed like whichever way we went there was going to be some risk. “The person who convinced me about Kahn was [former New York Knicks President and General Manager and current Indiana Pacers President of Basketball Operations] Donnie Walsh, who was David’s mentor in Indiana and a guy I really like and respect. Donnie told me, ‘I’d take a risk on him. He’s very smart. He doesn’t know all the basketball stuff, but he’ll know how to run your team.’ “So I hired David, and David went out and selected Kurt. I can’t really fault him. We wrote down what we wanted and he looked like that kind of guy: Somebody younger, who could build a team, who came from a winning program. But it ended up that Kurt and David didn’t get along very well, and Kurt didn’t do what he said he would do, which was to be flexible. He wanted to run his [triangle offensive] system even though coaches were telling me he didn’t have the right players to run it.” TCB Mag

September 6, 2012 Updates

Walsh returned for his second stint with the organization, replacing Bird as president, in June. Bird is taking at least the next year off. The 71-year-old Walsh hasn't put a timetable on how long he will remain in his current capacity. "I'm always interested," Simon said. "Reggie would be a wonderful person to have in this franchise." Indianapolis Star

September 4, 2012 Updates

What's next in Miller's story? He enjoys his TNT TV gig but didn't rule out a front-office job with an NBA team. However, it might be tough to pull Miller from his native California. Talking on the phone from his home in Malibu, Miller said, "To the left, I'm looking at the Pacific Ocean. To the right, I've got the canyons where I mountain bike." The one who could possibly convince Miller to join an NBA team? Donnie Walsh, who returned to the Pacers as president this summer after Larry Bird resigned. Walsh could not be reached for comment. "I have an affinity for my Indiana Pacers," Miller said. "This will be a part of my speech. During my 18 years, I only had one general manager-president in Donnie Walsh. … Now that he's back in control with the Pacers, I'm very excited about that." USA Today

August 29, 2012 Updates

Peter Dinwiddie has been promoted by the Indiana Pacers to Vice President of Basketball Operations. Dinwiddie will assist Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Kevin Pritchard and Pacers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh in various capacities, including compliance with the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, assisting in player contract negotiations, salary cap management and compliance with NBA player personnel rules. He is an Indianapolis native who attended Indiana University and has a degree from the New England School of Law. RealGM

The Pacers – obviously – didn’t go and spend big bucks on free agents around the league. They believe they can close the gap with the Heat by keeping their core players (re-signing restricted free agents Roy Hibbert and George Hill) together. They’re going with that mind frame until proven it can’t work. That’s why they got together for workouts last week in Los Angeles. About eight players, the entire coaching staff and the training staff were out there. More players would have shown up if not for prior commitments. “That’s a sign of a team that wants to improve,” president Donnie Walsh said. Indianapolis Star

July 24, 2012 Updates

Was there any hesitation in coming back? Donnie Walsh: "No, not at all. The minute Herb asked me, I told him I'll come back. We didn't discuss terms or anything like that. We'll always have a handshake agreement. I had to talk to Larry first. He told me he was going to go away for a year. I told him, 'I'll be here, and whenever you want to come back, you come back.' I want him to come back." Indianapolis Star

Most front office people bring in their own personnel. But it was pretty obvious that general manager Kevin Pritchard would be elevated in the front office. How much did you know about him before this? Donnie Walsh: "I had dinner with Kevin when I first came back. I really didn't know him when I came in. Larry had already recommended him to Herb, (former general manager) David Morway was already gone, so when I walked in here, I knew he was going to be here. I've really enjoyed working with him. He's exactly the kind of guy I want to work with. I still make some calls, but he's really good at working the phones. I think sharing ideas -- he's been a general manager before -- is great. The way I see myself doing the job now, he's a perfect fit for me. I've got confidence in him. He's somebody I really enjoy talking about basketball with him." Indianapolis Star

July 23, 2012 Updates

Was there any hesitation in coming back? Donnie Walsh: "No, not at all. The minute Herb asked me, I told him I'll come back. We didn't discuss terms or anything like that. We'll always have a handshake agreement. I had to talk to Larry first. He told me he was going to go away for a year. I told him, 'I'll be here, and whenever you want to come back, you come back.' I want him to come back." Indianapolis Star

Donnie Walsh: "We're going to spend the rest of the summer looking to see if there's anything else we can do. The reason is, you have to look at the other teams. I think New York is going to be better. Miami is going to be better. Miami ended up developing into a team. That's why they won the title last season. Brooklyn is going to be better. We have to go up a level. This team has taken a step each of the past two years. This team is together. They are really committed to trying to become a contending team. Indianapolis Star

June 27, 2012 Updates

The Indiana Pacers made it official this morning that president Larry Bird is leaving the team and former CEO Donnie Walsh is returning to the team. "I feel sad to announce that Larry is leaving us," owner Herb Simon said. "Larry could have stayed here as long as he wants, but he has his own reasons." Indianapolis Star

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