Donnie Walsh Rumors

The secondary problem is that the people with knowledge don’t tell them anything of substance. No team official is going to tell a “draft expert” who he’s hoping to take in the draft, and some will tell outright lies to keep other teams away from their choice. Walsh famously did that in his first draft, 1986, when he put out the word he was “going big” to enhance the likelihood his primary target, small forward Chuck Person, would be available. Person went on to become Rookie of the Year. “There’s a lot of lying that goes on, and a lot of gamesmanship,” Carr said. Walsh, like Carr, often accepts phone calls from mock drafters. But he reveals nothing. “I’ll start the conversation by saying, ‘I’m not going to tell you who we’re taking. And if you guess it right, I’m going to lie to you,'” Walsh said.
Amazing as Auerbach’s last admission sounds for the man who’s been making Boston’s draft picks and trades, other general managers say it’s the truth. “I think Red is probably the greatest general manager and coach we’ve ever had in this league up to this point,” says Donnie Walsh, now in his fourth season as the Indiana Pacers’ team president and GM. “I’ve read all his books, but I don’t think I’ve ever personally talked to him.”
Riley also liked that Curry was the son of a successful and respected ex-NBA player. Riley sold then-Warriors coach Don Nelson on Curry as well. Austin and Dell Curry still tried to keep the Warriors away from Stephen Curry. But Austin told then-Knicks president Donnie Walsh that unless they could trade up, he expected Golden State to draft Curry. Austin said Walsh didn’t believe him because the Warriors already had guard Monta Ellis. “I said, ‘Larry, I like you a lot and respect you a lot, but don’t take Steph. This is not the right place for him,’ ” Austin said. “We wanted him in New York.” Said Riley: “Dell was the same way. He was almost cold.”
Carmelo Anthony is well known as one of the top scorers in the NBA. But his detractors say he doesn’t do enough in the other facets of the game — rebounding, defense, passing — to be considered a top all-around player. Ex-Knicks president Donnie Walsh thinks the triangle offense can change all of that. “He can do everything. But most teams look at him to score, so he scores,” Walsh said in an interview with Sirius XM’s Adam Schein. “I think he can rebound. I think he can play defense when he wants to — I’ve seen it. He can rebound. I think he can pass the ball. Pretty much, he can do any of the skills required to play in that offense. And I think that will bring that out in him.”
But Walsh had to head to New York for his new job, so he put it off. With some prodding from his wife, Judy, and the Knicks’ medical staff, he got the biopsy there. It was cancer. And he stood there in his hotel room. “I was scared to death,” he said. “In my mind, I thought they were going to cut my tongue off. I can’t do this job without my tongue. I was taking it all away.”
His career as Indiana Pacers president behind him, he was embarking on a new journey running the New York Knicks. But all he could do, at this moment in 2008, was stare at himself in the mirror. “I was looking in the mirror and I was saying to myself, ‘You are so stupid,’ ” Walsh said. “Because I smoked at that point. I said to myself, ‘You got your lungs checked. You got everything else checked, but you didn’t get the thing that you put the thing on checked.’ ” The thing (tongue) that he put the thing (cigarette) on hadn’t been checked out by a doctor in 50 years of smoking. And now, inside the hotel room, he was staring down a terrifying diagnosis. Walsh had tongue cancer. “How stupid,” he remembers thinking.
The 74-year-old Walsh, back in Indiana as the team’s consultant to basketball operations, is remembered for clearing cap space, bringing in Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, but leaving the Knicks’ cupboard bare. It wasn’t necessarily by his choice, as multiple sources said Walsh didn’t want to give up all those assets to Denver for Anthony in February 2011 but was encouraged by star-struck owner James Dolan. Walsh declined to sign a contract extension, leaving in 2011 after three seasons. “My feeling was we had to build a good team beyond the stars and so I never did that because I left,’’ said Walsh, sitting courtside at Bankers Life Field House. “That’s what will have to be done. Good players and great players. You can’t just get a couple of great players and say, ‘OK, we’re done now.’ ’’
Donnie Walsh, who serves as a consultant for the Indiana Pacers, played college basketball at the University of North Carolina. Before the start of Walsh’s senior year, Dean Smith was announced as the new head coach. That 1961-62 Tar Heels roster also included former Pacers coach Larry Brown. Coach Smith, who coached two NCAA national championship teams and the 1976 Olympic gold medal team, passed away last night at his home in North Carolina. The following is a statement from Donnie Walsh about Coach Smith. “The announcement of the passing of Dean is a sad time for all the members of the North Carolina basketball and University family. He was a wonderful man and mentor and he was one of the largest influences in my life. The basketball world in general will mourn his passing and celebrate the many innovations he brought to the game but his legacy to all of us was as a decent and caring gentleman. Our coach and mentor.” – Donnie Walsh
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Arlena can still recall the elation in his voice the day he called to tell her the Indiana Pacers, a new team in a new league, had made him the franchise’s first player. “From there,” she says, “it was just history.” He averaged 17.6 points a game over an eight-year career and led the Pacers to three titles, winning playoff MVP honors in 1970. His name was later cleared in the gambling scandal, but he refused entry into the NBA near the end of his career. He retired in 1975 among the best in ABA history. “The Pacers were the class of the league, and Roger was the class of the class,” Julius Erving said in Green’s documentary. “He would have been known as one of the greatest players of all-time, but he never got that chance,” longtime NBA executive Donnie Walsh added. “The greatest Pacer ever,” Reggie Miller said.
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Larry Bird: “I feel better. I had some injuries and mentally I felt better. It was nine-straight years. Donnie felt like he wanted to come back and I didn’t know if I was going to come back this year. They continued to call, leave messages, I spoke to the owner and Donnie [Walsh] numerous times and if you’re going to do it better do it now because it’s not going to get any easier down the road.
The Nets head coaching search eventually filtered down to two candidates, Jason Kidd and Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw, said general manager Billy King. In actuality at the end, there was only one, Kidd, even while Shaw went through a lengthy interview on Wednesday. “I’m disappointed because I did not speak to Billy directly but I did give him permission to talk to him and wrote him a note letting him know what I thought [about Shaw],” said Pacers president of basketball operations Donnie Walsh Thursday. “He’s going to be a great head coach. Great head coach.”