Posted on: November 29, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: November 29, 2011 12:28 pm
Posted by Royce Young
This might be the biggest season for New York Knicks basketball in 20 years. The team is good, the playoffs are pretty much a lock and there's a chance that the Knicks could be major players in 2012's free agency bonanza which features Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams.
And the man charged with directing them through all of this? Glen Grunwald.
Grunwald was promoted from senior vice president of basketball operations to interim general manager after Donnie Walsh left that position with the Knicks during the offseason. The team intends to hire a replacement GM for Walsh, but that's unlikely to happen until 2012. So as Newsday reports, Grunwald will most likely keep his seat as interim GM for the 2011-12 season.
Who is Glen Grunwald, you ask? He was formerly the Raptors GM from 1998 to 2004, when he was fired. He oversaw the peak of the Raptors with Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady where they had three straight playoff appearances.
He left the NBA in 2004 but returned in 2006 with the Knicks after being offered a position from Isiah Thomas. Funny enough, Thomas was the one that hired him in Toronto as well. You can see a theme here -- Grunwald and Isiah Thomas are boys.
Don't freak though Knicks fans, it's supposed to just be temporary. Assistant GM Allan Houston, who is currently running the Knicks D-League team, is expected to become the full-time GM of the Knicks in 2012.
Posted on: June 3, 2011 2:46 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
On a conference call Friday afternoon after it was announced he would be leaving his position as President of the Knicks, Donnie Walsh pinpointed age and the need fro the President going forward to work under a multi-year deal as the primary reasons why he would be departing the Knicks after three years.
"Jim (Dolan) and I started working on some sort of extension that would be a multi-year deal. The more we talked about it, the more I realized I wouldn't want a multi-year deal. I can understand why he'd want that. I just realized I probably wasn't the guy to go forward with."
Walsh, ever the company man and a man who does business "the right way" denied reports that autonomy was an issue between he and Dolan, with rumors implying Dolan wanted more control over decision-making than Dolan was comfortable with. Still, there were things Walsh said to suggest everything is not peachy within MSG.
"I basically had a good relationship with Jim," Walsh said. "He treated me very well." Walsh spoke about how it's commonplace for owners to be involved in negotiations like what occurred during the trade negotiations for Carmelo Anthony. He denied that Dolan's involvement led in any way to his departure.
"No, it had nothing to do with it. I don't understand why people make a deal about an owner getting involved in a negotiation. I was called and told by (Dolan) before the deal, 'I can't make this decision. This is your decision.'"
Walsh spoke highly of the organization, the fans, his staff, and Mike D'Antoni, saying he had spoken with the Knicks head coach prior to the announcement and given him his support to "finish the job."
As far as the future of the Knicks, Walsh spoke often about "filling in the blanks" or "gaps" on the Knicks' roster with players to support the two franchise superstars, Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire. He said he will relocated to Indiana but maintain an apartment in New York in his role as a consultant to help with "whatever (he) can."
Most forcefully, Walsh denied Isiah Thomas' involvement in the situation.
"I don't think Isiah Thomas had anything to do with basically anything I'm doing right now. I've always had a relationship with Isiah, I'm not going to give that up because everyone's talking and writing about it. I haven't seen Isiah in a long time."
The New York Daily News reports that part of the offer from James Dolan to Walsh to stay on including a 40 percent pay cut.
Posted on: June 3, 2011 11:32 am
Edited on: June 3, 2011 12:51 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
In an absolutely stunning development, the New York Knicks announced Friday that Donnie Walsh would be leaving his position as President of Basketball Operations. Read more on the Knicks' decision from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, who says the Knicks are facing dark days ahead without Walsh. The Knicks' statement from owner James Dolan:
Thomas and Grunwald of course go all the way back to the University of Indiana where they were co-captains on the 1981 NCAA Championship team. Then, while Isiah Thomas was still leading the hopes and dreams of Torontos expansion franchise, he hired Grunwald and after Thomas headed south of the border, Grunwald was left to run the show. Grunwald spent seven seasons with the Raptors and while his contract as GM was not renewed after the Raptors 2003-04 season, he was responsible for many of the Raptors "highs" including three consecutive playoff appearances at one point. However even after his dismissal from the Raptors, Grunwald remained in Toronto taking a job with the Board of Trade and it seemed like Grunwald had found his new calling. But Isiah Thomas move from the front-office back to the bench where he will coach the Knicks this upcoming season changed all that. Thomas decided he needed some front-office help and reached out to his former right-hand man.via The Strange Tale of Glen Grunwald - Raptors HQ.
Grunwald and Thomas' connection is obviously strong, as evidenced by the Knicks' statement from Thomas upon his hiring in 2006:
“Glen is a skilled NBA executive whose expertise will be a great asset to the New York Knicks,” Thomas said. “I know him well from our days as co-captains on the 1981 NCAA Championship team at Indiana University and I hired him in Toronto, where he helped assemble a roster that made three consecutive postseason appearances. I consider him to be a quality evaluator of talent and a skilled communicator.”via KNICKS: Knicks Hire Glen Grunwald.
The obvious question is whether this move leads to a return by Thomas into power of the Knicks. Thomas was rumored to have been the deciding voice in the Knicks' quest to acquire Carmelo Anthony, prompting Dolan to override Walsh and surrender the house, the car, and the baby stroller to get Melo. When asked if Walsh minded Thomas' possible influence on Dolan after the trade, Walsh said he couldn't care less. From CBSSports.com's Ken Berger:
What role did Isiah Thomas have in the Knicks’ successful pursuit of Carmelo Anthony?via Walsh doesn't care about Isiah's role - CBSSports.com.
A May 2010 New York Post report indicated that Grunwald's contract was expiring and he may not even return. Now he's in charge of the Knicks' decision making on personnel until a new GM can be put in place. It's possible Grunwald won't have any impact on decision making, in light of the nearly certain lockout on July 1st. By the time the labor dispute is settled, a new regime could be in place. Still, the move reeks of a storm cloud moving in called Isiah.
The decision also stands out as the Knicks have non-Thomas affiliated personnel who could have taken over in Alan Houston, former Nuggets' exeutive Mark Warkentien, and John Gabriel. Grunwald is said to be a shrewd talent evaluator, but his decision history over the last decade leaves quite a bit of concern.
Ken Berger reports on why this move may have gone down and it's a one-word answer: control.
Throughout Walsh’s discussions with Dolan about his future, it was clear from multiple sources with knowledge of the talks that Walsh would not stay with the Knicks if A) he would not have final say over basketball decisions, or B) there was a chance he could be overruled by the Garden’s many agenda-driven outside influences. The most sinister of those was former team president Isiah Thomas, who remains in close communication with Dolan and in the MSG chairman’s circle of trust – despite running the franchise into the ground and turning the Knicks into a league-wide embarrassment.via Wash's departure means dark days back for Knicks - CBSSports.com.