Donnie Walsh and the Spoils of Mediocrity
Four years ago the Indiana Pacers won 61 games. That gave them the best record in the NBA that season. Since then, however, the Pacers have won fewer and fewer games. This year, they have a chance to win more games than the previous season for the first time since that 61-win campaign.
This apparently qualifies Donnie Walsh to be the New York Knicks’ chief of basketball operations.
I’m not trying to say the man is unqualified. He oversaw the Pacers when they achieved some great things and ascended to the pinnacle of their sport. He was also in charge when the Pacers had a boatload of problems. The brawl, drug suspensions, players associating with bad company, players almost being killed: he was there for it all.
This makes him both a terrible and a great choice to join the Knicks. He’ll fit right in, but he should also be well equipped to deal with many of the issues the team already has. There’s no guarantee that he’ll fix any of them, of course. In fact, maybe he’ll try, succeed only partially at the expense of winning games, and move on to another project.
I wonder how Isiah feels about all of this. It must be lovely to hear about someone stepping in to take over at least one of your jobs while you’re in the midst of doing a bad job at it. Maybe he’d protest, but deep down he has to know that he’s been working with borrowed time anyway. Also, Walsh has been Isiah’s boss before. Isiah was fired. Just saying…
I’d also like to take this opportunity, amid all of the drama and speculation and poor judgment, to remind all NBA franchises that I am offering my services as a GM free of charge. You may click here for a list of my qualifications. Even if I do a bad job, it costs you nothing. Think it over, get back to me.