I’ll say this much for new Knicks exec Donnie Walsh — while he might not have been initially aware of how much the New York public and media despised Isiah Thomas, he eventually figured it out. And in announcing the firing of Thomas as head coach, Walsh made every effort to treat Thomas with some degree of dignity. If only Isiah had thought enough of Don Chaney to do the same. From Newsday’s Alan Hahn.

“Following a lot of discussion and thought, I made the decision that Isiah will no longer coach the team,” Walsh said in his opening statement.

Thomas will not have an official title and will report directly to Walsh. No one will report to Thomas, he said.

Walsh did not name a replacement or offer a timetable to decide the next coach, only saying that a search will begin immediately.

When asked whether Knicks owner Jim Dolan (above, left) had any say in the decision to reassign Thomas, Walsh said, “He absolutely had no input on it. This was entirely my decision.”

Walsh refused to qualify Thomas’ role as that of a ‘personal consultant,’ saying, “I think I’m closer to Isiah than that … This won’t be just a ‘sometimes’ type of thing … We will definitely have a relationship that may be more intensive than it has been lately.”

“It’s very difficult to be the coach and general manager,” he said. “Maybe it was too much.”