Donnie Walsh’s departure (forced exit?) as Knicks president last week created numerous questions surrounding the future of coach Mike D’Antoni, the Knicks’ operation and the perceived up-tick in owner James Dolan’s Meddle-O-Meter.
If nothing else, it made the offseason a lot more interesting than it was leading up to the June 23 draft, in which the Knicks hold the No. 17 pick. The following questions will have to be answered in the near future.
Will D'Antoni keep his job? Dolan tends to get blinded by big names, and with newly retired former Lakers coach Phil Jackson conceivably available, Dolan could order the new general manager to bounce D’Antoni and install Jackson immediately. The Daily News also floated the possibility of D’Antoni beating Dolan to the punch and heading for Toronto, where Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo remembers D’Antoni produced the GM’s best records in Phoenix.
So who will take Walsh's place? Could be Madison Square Garden president Scott O’Neil, who wants a chance to be the personnel dealmaker. Could be VP of basketball operations and interim president Glen Grunwald, whom Dolan loves because of his close ties with Dola buddy Isiah Thomas. Could be a combination of both, with O’Neil running the overall show and Grunwald the day-to-day operation.
Any other candidates? According to the Post, ex-Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard, interim scout Mark Warkentien, Jeff Bower, Danny Ferry, Kiki Vandeweghe, Allan Houston and even John Calipari could be approached.
What, no Isiah? Oh, yeah. Thomas is always lurking in the background. Don’t put it past Dolan to hand Thomas an official job with huge say on player acquisitions. If Thomas isn’t president, he’ll be so close to it that he might as well be. It’s always a possibility.
Madison Square Garden, which controls the Knicks, is run by the same ownership as amNewYork’s parent company, Cablevision.