Donnie Walsh Rumors
Appearing on Boomer and Carton Friday, Woj said players and their agents are recognizing what’s going on with the Nets and compared it with the Knicks. “I talk to players around the league, agents, people. They like what’s in Brooklyn to send their guys to in the future. The coaching, the organization, everything around it. The Knicks still don’t have that. And it gets back to this: Whether Donnie Walsh is GM, who did a tremendous job, or whether it’s Phil Jackson, it will always be James Dolan’s culture there.”
Walsh said he had normally had three areas he wanted to explore with potential coaches. “Usually before I really interviewed them, I kind of knew enough about them, so I had more specific questions,” he said. “I wanted to know what kind of style they were comfortable with, without telling them what style I thought was best for the team. Usually when you were dealing with experienced guys, you kind of know they knew every style, so you could get more specific and start applying your team to that. “Then, the next thing is, what do you like about the team off the court? What are you rules? Do you have a lot of rules? How do you deal with the rules? I had my answer for that, which is you don’t overreact. If you say ‘be here at 9 o’clock’ and he’s there at 9:01, you fine him. No conversation Don’t make a drama out of it. But I do kind of want to know how they deal with that. “And, the third thing I tried to let them know was, they’re the spokesman for the franchise on a daily basis, which is more than the general manager or the owner or the president. Are they comfortable in that role?
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.”