Donnie Walsh’s days as president and general manager of the New York Knicks are over.
In a surprising announcement Friday morning, the Knicks announced that Walsh would be leaving his position as team president when his contract expires at the end of June.
Owner James Dolan announced that Walsh leaving his position as team president was a mutual agreement. Dolan said Walsh will stay with the franchise as a team consultant for the 2011-12 season.
“In a relatively short time with the Knicks, Donnie made a tremendous impact, which will be felt for many years to come,” Dolan said in a statement released this morning. “We thank Donnie for his leadership, hard work and many contributions to revitalization of the team.”
The Knicks announced that their search for a new general manager and team president will beginning immediately, with current senior vice president of basketball operations Glen Grunwald serving as the interim GM beginning in July.
Grunwald will be overseeing all player transactions, Dolan said.
Walsh replaced former general manager Isaiah Thomas in 2008. After deaing with a team full of pricey contracts, Walsh immediately announced that his goal was to get the Knicks under the salary cap. He dumped the salaries of former players Jamal Crawford and Al Harrington, among others, and opened the door for the Knicks to be players in the free agent summer of 2010. He is responsible for the signing of All-Star power forward Amar’e Stoudemire to a five-year, $100 million contract. Walsh also traded for Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets in the 2010-2011 season, bringing the Knicks backs to the post season for the first time since 2004.
“With some of the NBA’s premier players, an outstanding coach and one of the league’s most passionate and loyal fanbases, we are extremely confident about the future of the Knicks franchise,” Dolan said in the statement.