Knicks name Donnie Walsh president of basketball operations
James L. Dolan, chairman of Madison Square Garden and president and chief executive officer of Cablevision Systems Corporation, today announced that Donnie Walsh has been named president, basketball operations of the New York Knickerbockers, in charge of all basketball operations. Both Mr. Walsh and Steve Mills, president and chief operating officer of MSG Sports, will report directly to Mr. Dolan.
"Donnie Walsh is one of the most respected and admired executives in the NBA, and we are happy to announce that he has agreed to become the Knicks’ new president. In this role, Donnie will have complete control over all basketball operations, and I am confident that he is the right person to reestablish the Knicks as one of the League's elite teams," Mr. Dolan said. "I appreciate the loyalty and patience our fans have shown over the last few years and strongly believe this change will put us back on track to become the successful basketball team that Knick fans everywhere deserve," Mr. Dolan concluded.
Mr. Walsh has spent the previous 23 seasons with the Indiana Pacers, most recently as the franchise’s president. His hard work and dedication helped earn the team one trip to the NBA Finals, six berths in the Eastern Conference Finals and four Central Division crowns. Over a 10-year span, from 1995 through 2005, the Pacers boasted the best regular season record among teams in the Eastern Conference, and fourth-best in the entire NBA.
"I consider it a privilege to be working with one of the charter teams in the NBA, and to come back to the city I call home," the Bronx native said. "New York is a very special place for me and it is an honor to be joining this franchise. Knicks fans are among the most loyal and knowledgeable group anywhere in the League, and we will be dedicated to giving all New Yorkers a winning team."
In addition to his impressive acumen with the Indiana’s NBA team, Mr. Walsh also oversaw major projects for Pacers Sports & Entertainment, including the building of one of the country’s premier basketball venues, Conseco Fieldhouse, and the creation of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever.
Mr. Walsh played collegiate basketball at the University of North Carolina, under Frank McGuire and Dean Smith, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, followed by North Carolina Law School. He went on to become a graduate assistant coach at UNC and then an associate head coach at South Carolina. From 1977 through 1984, Mr. Walsh was an assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets and Pacers, before becoming the Pacers’ general manager in 1984.