Pacers pipeline could be Knicks fix

April 15, 2008
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markjDonnie Walsh is tapping into his old Indiana Pacers contacts to fill key vacancies for the New York Knicks. Since becoming president of the Knicks last month, Pacers scout Jimmy Powell and Brian Winters, who worked under Walsh as the head coach of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, have been named as possible Knicks assistant coaches.

More recently Mark Jackson, who played on some of the best Pacers teams Walsh ever put together, has surfaced as a strong candidate to replace Isiah Thomas as head coach. Jackson, who started his career as a player with the Knicks, did not discount the rumors. But since neither he nor Walsh are publicly discussing the matter, Jackson said all the talk is “pure speculation.” Currently, Jackson serves as an NBA television analyst. That position, he said, has kept him close to the game and the players.

In years past, Jackson also was rumored to be a candidate for the head coaching position for the Pacers and St. John’s University. “I guess I’m 0 for two,” Jackson said with a laugh. Sources within the league said Walsh favored bringing Jackson in to replace Rick Carlisle at Indiana, but Larry Bird sought to go another direction. This time with the Knicks, Walsh will be calling the shots by himself. Those same sources said Walsh and Jackson have had multiple conversations about a position in New York.

But Walsh also said he’s leaving the door open to hiring people with Knicks roots into key positions. That has led to speculation that he could tap former Knicks all-star Patrick Ewing for an assistant coaching position.
  • Will they also take Jermaine and Tinsley??? I'd take their draft pick and a forward. They could have those 2 and our draft pick. We could snag a solid point guard and sever ties with 2 major faces of an era we need to move away from.

    Walsh will turn things around in New York, may take some time, but he can do it. Heck, firing Isiah ought to buy them 10 wins or so.

    As for the Pacers, DJ Augustin or Ty Lawson for PGs, or Hibbert, Thabeet, or that C out of Tex A&M would suit us well. We do not need another SG or SF.
  • I'm afraid what is going to happen with just Bird calling the shots now. I have a feeling the fans of Indianapolis are going to be waitiing a while for another succesfully and longer year. Reggie replace Bird!
  • I would love to see Mark Jackson get the head coaching job in the Big Apple if he wants it. I loved Mark as a Pacer and his leadership was always apparent on the court. I believe he would do an excellent job, certainly better than Isiah. If Donnie can get Mark better players, which I think he will, then I think Jackson can definately lead the Knicks back to the playoffs. As to Bird, we can only hope that he can restore some glory to Indiana so that we might once again be able to have a Hicks vs. Knicks duel. It is almost against my religion to bash Bird because of the player he was, and the job that he did for us as a Coach, but he seems to be stubborn in his new position and not open to the new direction the league is taking. It will be interesting to see what he and O'Brien do this offseason to get the team where they want it to be. Is there any speculation that Reggie would consider coaching or taking on some role other than analyst?

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