Perhaps even more chilling than Donnie Walsh being encouraged to turn the mooted Carmelo Anthony trade into the most lopsided swap since Dallas sent Herschel Walker to Minnesota are the claims of Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, who insists this entire affair has Isiah Thomas’ fingerprints all over it. ““Isiah is calling the shots for New York,” says one of Wojnarowski’s sources, while the columnist insists, “Walsh has never wanted to give away Raymond Felton for an aging Chauncey Billups and throw Danilo Gallinari into the package, too…this is all Isiah, all his influence.”
Eventually, Anthony will likely end up with the Knicks, and Thomas plans to take full credit with Dolan for delivering him. He’s worn out Dolan with the idea that Walsh is too old to recruit the biggest stars to New York, that he can’t connect with them. This is complete nonsense. What sells New York isn’t the GM, but cap space, the Garden and a magnificent teammate and leader like Amar’e Stoudemire(notes). Thomas is forever selling revisionist history and out-and-out lies to an audience of one: Dolan.
For months, Thomas has privately insisted that Walsh was done with the Knicks this spring. His option must be exercised by April 30 and that still hasn’t happened. Thomas believes it’s never happening, and believes he can install a puppet regime through Dolan to replace Walsh. This way he can eliminate the middleman. “He wants his own guy in that office, someone he can have some control over,” a league source said.
Thomas had a plan to run the Knicks again, and it failed a year ago: When Dolan pushed Walsh to bring back the disgraced executive as the Knicks general manager, Walsh reacted with the threat of resignation. This was pure lunacy, a plan hatched out of the incompetence of Dolan, out of the deviousness of Thomas.
Wojnarowski predicts that after leaving his team president to twist in the wind, Dolan won’t exercise a contractal option on Walsh, and a Thomas-selected successor will emerge. Even the most casual observers are aware Isiah’s already done incalculable damage to the Knicks’ reputation ; not only has this escaped Dolan’s notice, but if Wojnarowski’s reports are credible, the Cablevision heir’s continued relationship with the “Love & Basketball” fan in no mere matter of loyalty towards a troubled ex-employee. It suggests — not for the first time — that Dolan is mentally unfit to own an NBA franchise.