Veteran NBA executive Donnie Walsh is stepping down from his position as a Pacers consultant, league sources tell Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Walsh confirmed the news to Matthew VanTryon of The Indianapolis Star.
“I’m getting older and don’t have the energy,” said Walsh, who is 79. “It’s a young man’s sport. This job has always occupied a great deal of my time. The Pacers were always in my head. This gives me an opportunity to pay attention to my children, my grandchildren and my wife (Judy) of 58 years.”
According to Agness, team employees were informed of the news on Wednesday during a company conference call.
Walsh, who first joined the Pacers in 1984, has been a crucial part of the franchise over the last few decades. He became the club’s general manager in 1986 before being promoted to president of basketball operations in 1988.
Walsh held that role for 20 years, overseeing a period in which Indiana made the playoffs in 16 of 17 seasons. Although the Pacers never won a championship during that time, they appeared in the Eastern Conference Finals six times and represented the East in the NBA Finals once.
Following a four-year stint with the Knicks from 2008-12, Walsh returned to the Pacers as the team’s interim president of basketball operations when Larry Bird took a one-year sabbatical. Since 2013, Walsh has been a consultant, working with current president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard, GM Chad Buchanan, and the rest of the Indiana front office.
“The best period of my life was running the franchise,” Walsh told The Indianapolis Star today. “I accomplished every dream I had. We established a winning tradition and I got the opportunity to work with really good people. The Simon family has been great ownership. I liked everybody that we had in the franchise. We worked well together and strove to make it one of the better franchises in the league.
“As I’ve come back as a consultant, I believe we’ve gotten better. I’m happy with my part in it, but I’m also happy that the franchise has continued to improve.”
5 thoughts on “Pacers’ Donnie Walsh Stepping Down From Consultant Role”
Knicks need him
Knicks need to sign good free agents offseason then trade them for stars at TD
Let’s say Knicks now have VanVleet Wood Harrell and others, they would have enough assets to trade for Harden
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Assets collecting is the most important for Knicks
“How to not understand”, the new book by Sillivan.
Donnie has always been a class act and was one of the people most responsible for making the Indiana Pacers consistently competitive in a market where that was far from a given. He has always been a shrewd judge of talent and knew how to construct a roster when many other teams didn’t. He acquired good players and held onto them so they could develop continuity. All the best to him in retirement.
Donnie was good at what he did. He cleaned up the Isiah Thomas mess and then Dolan did what Dolan does. He should certainly be considered for the HOF for management.