Walsh expected to fire Isiah

April 8, 2008
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isthomasDonnie Walsh has spent the last few days in Indianapolis cleaning out his Conseco Fieldhouse office and gathering his belongings to head back to New York where he will begin his post this week as president of the N.Y. Knicks in earnest.

On his agenda later this week is a meeting with Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, who Walsh once hired as the Indiana Pacers coach. Walsh staunchly defended Thomas even while he was under fire in Indiana. But this time, National Basketball Association sources said, Walsh will move to fire Thomas—but not until season’s end. Thomas, sources said, is expected to lobby Walsh for a Knicks front office job. If history is any indicator, Walsh will likely listen. Walsh said at his Knicks introductory press conference that he wanted to talk to Thomas before any decisions are made. That meeting is expected tomorrow or Thursday.

Thomas would appear to have few options outside of New York if he wants to continue working in the NBA. One possibility, league sources said, is Detroit, where Thomas is still beloved by fans. Since his retirement as a player in 1994, Thomas has had a frosty relationship with Pistons owner Bill Davison. But that relationship appears to be thawing. Thomas has remained on good terms with fellow bad boy teammate and current Pistons President Joe Dumars. Thomas is being honored by the Pistons as one of the team’s top 30 all-time players and is expected to be a featured speaker at an upcoming ceremony for the all-time greats.

Walsh, meanwhile, should have a busy off-season in New York, with or without Thomas. In addition to expected coaching changes, Walsh indicated that he is not pleased with the Knicks roster.

“It’s almost like the Knicks have a team that would have been good eight years ago,” Walsh recently told New York Magazine. “Now we’re in the age of high flyers, all these kids shooting up and down the court. The world has changed.”
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  • I'm not convinced Walsh is the guy to overhaul the Knicks. But in the next three to four weeks, I think we're going to see what type of effort he is going to make. He had become ineffective in his later years with the Pacers, so he's going to have to change course, be the guy calling all the shots, and pull the trigger on some pretty big decisions. If he fails, he won't have an ally left in NY within two years.

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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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