"I didnt really know what was going on

  • Donnie Walsh dedicated three years to fixing the New York Knicks, all the while knowing the job would take much longer. Maillot Ezequiel Lavezzi Paris Saint-Germain . At first he wanted to stay on as the guy who finished it, to see them really contend for a title. But at age 70, Walsh realized he wasnt up for the task. So when Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan wanted Walsh to commit to a multi-year extension, the longtime executive decided it was best not to return as Knicks president. "I just to myself thought, I dont know that Im going to be up to that, I dont think that I can commit to that, because Im getting older and I do this job only one way and that is full forward ahead," Walsh said Friday on a conference call. "Its 24-7 with me and I think thats what it takes, to be honest." The Knicks announced in a statement that Walsh and Dolan mutually agreed that Walsh will not return when his contract expires at the end of June, a somewhat surprising departure and major loss for a team coming off its best season in a decade. "The more I got into it, the more I realized the commitment is going to be at my age probably too much more than I want it to be and I dont think I can do that, and thats where I came from," Walsh said. So he leaves the Knicks with a playoff team again, one with two all-stars under contract but still far from a championship level. "Im not bailing," Walsh said. "I wanted to see if I could get it closer to contending before I left, but I just dont think I can commit the amount that I would have to commit here and I understand the franchise needs a commitment for more than one year." His departure opens questions about whether coach Mike DAntoni will return for the final year of his deal, though Walsh indicated DAntoni would stay. "I know that he is the guy that can take this team to the next level," Walsh said. "Mike wants to see the job through." Walsh apparently would have been back had he been willing to agree to stay for at least a couple of seasons, especially since the next one is in jeopardy because of the NBAs labour situation. But he has battled health problems and was separated from most of his family, who remained in Indiana when he came to New York. "I do miss my wife and my family, and this is a 24-7 situation, as a lot of GM situations are. This is even more intense," Walsh said. "Im running out of energy." Walsh spent three seasons in New York, leading a massive rebuilding effort that got the Knicks back into the playoffs this season following the acquisitions of Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. But Dolan didnt pick up his option for next season, and the two couldnt agree on terms of an extension. "In a relatively short time with the Knicks, Donnie made a tremendous impact, which will be felt for many years to come," Dolan said. "We thank Donnie for his leadership, hard work and many contributions to the revitalization of the team." The Knicks said Walsh, who plans to move back to Indiana, will be a consultant next season. Senior vice-president Glen Grunwald will serve as interim general manager. Grunwald was the GM of the Toronto Raptors between 1998 and 2004. Walsh arrived in New York following the 2007-08 season and immediately went to work cleaning up the mess left by Isiah Thomas. That meant spending two seasons reducing one of the leagues highest payrolls, getting the Knicks far enough under the salary cap to afford two top players last summer. The Knicks got only Stoudemire but traded for Anthony in February and finished 42-40, their first winning record in a decade. They were swept by Boston in their first post-season since 2004, and the roster needs significant upgrades to compete with the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Walsh had said he wanted to return to make them, but his desire lessened as time went on, realizing that he couldnt do the job at less than 100 per cent. But hes satisfied that he made enough steps to get the Knicks moving forward again. Walsh denied any friction with Dolan or Thomas, whom the owner has remained close with and was nearly hired last summer as an adviser. "I dont think Isiah Thomas had anything to do with basically anything Im doing now," Walsh said, calling reports of Thomas involvement "an annoyance." The highly respected Walsh came to his hometown team after spending 24 years with the Indiana Pacers. He joined their front office as general manager in 1986, became team president in 1988 and CEO in 2003, turning the franchise into a perennial Eastern Conference contender that reached the NBA finals in 2000. He brought professionalism to a Knicks organization that had become an embarrassment on and off the court during Thomas reign, unloading some of the burdensome contracts that hindered them for years and relaxing the teams media policies. His draft record in New York was underwhelming -- high lottery picks Danilo Gallinari and Jordan Hill are already gone, though Gallinari was used in the Anthony trade -- but Walsh always said his focus was free agency, believing that was the quickest way to rebuild a team. "I think I did that," Walsh said. "I think I did the first step of that." Maillot Blaise Matuidi Paris Saint-Germain . -- Von Miller is back -- and bigger than ever. Maillot Blaise Matuidi . The Boston Celtics hadnt played since the All-Star break. So the Suns 100-94 victory over Boston Wednesday night was an uphill affair, with Phoenix relying on balance rather than its trademark high energy.WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets didnt know Thursday whether theyd have Evander Kane for the St. Louis Blues this week, but they were still relieved their star forward wasnt seriously injured. "It turned out to be a day-to-day injury, not severe, lets put it that way," coach Claude Noel said after practice. Kane went down during practice the day before, after getting tangled with Anthony Peluso on the boards, and had to be helped off the ice favouring his right leg. It looked like Peluso fell on the leg and it might have been Kanes knee that was injured. Noel said the left wingers status for Fridays game was uncertain but he hadnt been ruled out. "Potential yes, well have to wait and see." If he doesnt play, he will be missed. Kane has been one of Winnipegs more reliable forwards this season, with three goals, two assists and a team-leading 34 shots on goal. His energy and more physical game has seen him move from the second to the top line. He isnt the only injured player as the Jets play their eighth game Friday. Winnipegs forward lines in particular have been taking a beating over the intense early schedule. Centres Bryan Little and Jim Slater missed practices this week for what Noel termed "maintenance," although he says it looks like both would be ready Friday. Right wing Chris Thorburn, however, has been placed on the injury list and the Jets have called up Patrice Cormier from the St. Johns IceCaps in case hes needed. Whether he sees any ice time likely depends on who else is fit enough to play. Cormier played 10 games but not a lot of minutes with the Jets last season and was happy to get the call, although he didnt answer it. He said he was in a movie theatre and when he left he noticed he had missed 14 calls. Maillot Youssouf Sabaly Paris Saint-Germain. "Excited but surprised," is how he described his reaction. "I didnt really know what was going on. I watched the game against Montreal, I didnt see anyone -- usually you see guys get hurt." The Blues (4-1-0), meanwhile, are the kind of team the Jets (3-4-0) need to measure themselves against if they want to be competitive in the Western Conference, suggested centre Olli Jokinen. "I think its a good challenge, I think its a good test for our team," he said. "They probably feel that theyre close to winning the Cup. Every year for the last two years theyve been right there." The Blues have never won the Stanley Cup. They missed the playoffs in 2010 and 2011 but with new coach Ken Hitchcock in charge they won the Central Division in 2012, losing the conference semi-final to Stanley Cup winner Los Angeles. Last season they finished second in their division to eventual Stanley Cup winner Chicago but lost in the quarter-finals to the Kings again. The Blues will be coming to Winnipeg after playing in Chicago Thursday night, but Jokinen didnt think that was going to make much of a difference. "They dont take any teams lightly," he said. "They play the same way every night." Noel, meanwhile, was Hitchcocks assistant with the Columbus Blue Jackets and replaced Hitchcock on an interim basis when he was fired. St. Louis will be coming to Winnipeg without forward Maxim Lapierre, who is meeting with NHL officials over a hit Tuesday to San Joses Dan Boyle that sent him off on a stretcher. Its expected that Lapierre will be fined and receive a lengthy suspension for the hit that drove Boyles head into the boards. cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys ' ' '