In a somewhat surprising move earlier this week New York Knicks Owner James Dolan have mutually agreed that Knicks President Donnie Walsh will not return to that post next year. There are some reports that Walsh will stay on with the team through next season as a consultant. We all of course know that anytime someone says something is mutual it really isn’t. On top of that I don’t really understand this move as Walsh has done a fairly amazing job rebuilding the Knicks and making the relevant again.
There are some reports that this is about money. Some news outlets have reported that Dolan expected Walsh to take a 40% pay cut which is beyond ridiculous given the job that Walsh has done rebuilding a roster decimated by former Knicks President Isiah Thomas. I really think that this is more about power within the organization. Dolan stepped in and took over the trade negotiations for Carmelo Anthony, and traded away far more that Walsh wanted to. In many ways that trade stripped the Knicks roster of valuable role players.
It seems pretty clear here that Dolan wanted control of his team, and at 70 years of age Walsh no longer cared to put up with that. Walsh did a great job with the Knicks. He got them out of salary cap hell and helped then return to the playoffs. I am not a big fan of owners not allowing their management to do their jobs, and we have seen overbearing owners fail at this more often than not.