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Walsh embarrassed but not worried about job talk
With the Knicks on pace for their first playoff appearance since 2004, the team president was embarrassed this week to see a few stories about his future with the team. Specifically, that he may not have one.
There have been no discussions with Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan about the option on his contract for next season. And while that may bother fans who don’t want to see Walsh leave, he doesn’t seem at all concerned.
“I really haven’t given it a lot of thought, all right, because it’s not the time to give it thought,” Walsh said Thursday after practice. “I do have an option, but it’s two months from now, three months from now. I don’t think it’s the time when I would expect an owner or myself to be even thinking about it. I’m more worried about the trading deadline, I’m more worried about the team, I’m more worried about a lot of things and I really haven’t thought about it.”
Walsh is in his third season with the Knicks, the one he targeted for the team to be moving forward after two years spent worrying almost entirely about the salary cap. The Knicks are 25-23, sixth in the Eastern Conference, and perhaps even in position to end their franchise-worst streak of nine consecutive losing seasons.
Dolan hasn’t taken questions from the media since giving Isiah Thomas, Walsh’s predecessor, a contract extension in March 2007. Nor did he comment on Walsh last summer after a report that the president was considering retirement. Dolan’s spokesman, Barry Watkins, said MSG does not comment on anyone’s contractual situation.
But it became an issue this week in the media, including a Yahoo! Sports column on Wednesday that claims Dolan still talks regularly with Thomas, a Dolan favorite whom he tried to rehire as a consultant last summer. It quoted a source familiar with their conversations as saying that “Isiah knows more about where Donnie stands with Dolan than Donnie knows himself.”
“I’m looking for a grassy knoll with some of the stuff I’m reading now,” Walsh said. “So the one thing I would like to say is that I don’t believe any of it, all right? And for one reason. The one thing I do know about Jim Dolan is he’s honest. So I don’t believe any of this stuff. I think he’ll deal with me honestly and that’s what I’ve always thought.”
“That’s something that he’ll take care of and management will take care of, and then it’ll work its way out,” D'Antoni said. “I’ve got so many other problems. I need to worry about the rebounding and stuff like that.”
Walsh wants to return, but he’ll turn 70 next month and has battled health problems, so he said his desire is “probably not as important as when I was 40.” The longtime executive said he always received fair deals in Indiana once the Pacers became good, and even worked on a handshake deal and took no money in his final year so the team could afford to pay Larry Bird.
Worrying about a contract is not something Walsh does.
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