When the team hired Walsh to be President of Basketball Operations on April 2, 2008, it was in the midst of the worst run in franchise history. They weren't even competing most nights, and the level of basketball was so bad the filth made you want to take a shower when you got home after going to Madison Square Garden. That is, if you were the one who drew the short straw for those free tickets.
I remember as Walsh sat in the stands for the rest of the season evaluating the players and situation that he was now a part of, that Knicks fans wondered if this was the man who was going to make things better.
Walsh really wasted little time in the 2009 season in building towards the goal that he set on that April day, to put the team in the best position to be players in a free agent market. Superstars win championships in the NBA, and Walsh knows that fans, whom he's asked to be patient, will be devastated if LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Joe Johnson all decide not to make 2 Penn Plaza their permanent address in July.
All that remains to be seen, but Walsh has a very important decision to make as the NBA's trade deadline approaches, February 18th.
First of all, if you haven't been paying attention, the Eastern Conference has really improved. Yes, the Bulls, the current 8th seed, are still several games under .500, but we're talking about a team that pushed the Boston Celtics to the limit last year. They are tournament tested.
Larry Brown, co-director of Sanitation at MSG several years ago, has the Charlotte Bobcats playing really solid basketball. So the Knicks are no lock to make the playoffs, which if you ask is everyone's main goal, as it should be. To me, two of those three teams (including the Knicks) will be the 7th and 8th seeds come playoff time.
As the trade deadline approaches, Walsh needs to decide who stays and who goes, if anyone. If the team has the chance to move Jared Jeffries' contract, once thought to be job one this year before Jeffries stopped getting booed and started to anchor the team's vastly improved defense, do they do it if it lessens the chances at the playoffs? More.