Donnie Walsh is closing in on a multi-year contract extension to remain the team president for the New York Knicks, and one of the reasons is because he feels confident that Isiah Thomas is out of the picture, according to a report by Marc Berman of the New York Post. Berman reports that owner James Dolan has "given up" on the idea of hiring Thomas in any capacity.
Walsh, who is close to finalizing a new deal with the Knicks, is confident he no longer needs to be threatened by the dark cloud of Thomas, according to two people familiar with the situation. Walsh is expected to be granted permission to hire his successor as a central part of a new agreement that should be formally announced shortly. A two-year contract extension has been discussed. The sources told The Post Dolan has remained friendly with Thomas but no longer trusts him to the point of giving him another basketball job.
Last summer, Dolan tried to hire Thomas as a part-time consultant, but the NBA shot it down due to Thomas' status as the head coach at Florida International University. During the winter, Thomas was reportedly one of the strings that eventually pushed Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks. Thomas' status with Dolan has always been a sore spot with Walsh, so this is an encouraging sign for those who want Walsh back and in complete control of the team.
Walsh has helped shepherd the Knicks out of the disastrous years under Thomas, and despite a four-game loss to the Celtics in the playoffs, he has them on the right track.