In a shocking move just weeks before the NBA Draft, the New York Knicks have aannounced that Donnie Walsh is leaving his position as team president. Walsh will stay with the club as a consultant and Glen Grunwald will serve as interim GM while the Knicks search for a new president and GM.
Walsh inherited a battered, bloated and beaten Knicks team in 2008 and quickly started shedding big contracts like those of Al Harrington and Zach Randolph to get New York in a position to make a run at the prized free agent class of 2010, most notably LeBron James and Amar'e Stoudemire.
While the veteran executive was able to reel in Stoudemire with a five-year, $100 million contract, he was unable to lure James to the Big Apple. In fact, Walsh was undermined by owner James Dolan -- a common theme, it would turn out -- when former coach and GM Isiah Thomas attempted to help convince James to come to New York at the last minute.
Dolan also stepped on Walsh's feet when he personally got involved in the Carmelo Anthony trade talk, which pushed the team closer to a deal but also led to the Knicks giving up more than the president was reportedly interested in comfortable with.
With Walsh's contract coming to an end this summer, it was a popular topic of conversation even while the team was attempting to introduce Anthony to New York after the trade that brought him from Denver.
Dolan said in a statement that this was a "mutual" decision and went on to praise Walsh.
"In a relatively short time with the Knicks, Donnie made a tremendous impact, which will be felt for many years to come. We thank Donnie for his leadership, hard work and many contributions to the revitalization of the team."
This move will no doubt reignite talk that Dolan is bringing his friend Thomas back to run the team, even after he failed to deliver any results the first time around.