Donnie Walsh joins Woj
NBA legend Donnie Walsh joins The Vertical Podcast with Woj to cover one of this generation’s most accomplished basketball lives. From the building of the Pacers franchise around Reggie Miller to the challenges of navigating the New York Knicks under owner James Dolan, Walsh details the triumphs and tribulations of a quarter of a century of running NBA front offices. Walsh covers fascinating territory in his life, including how he nearly accepted a job in Richard Nixon’s law firm, and his memories of playing and coaching under Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina. Here are some key moments: 2:44: Did Walsh ever think the NBA would get as big as it is? 4:12: His current role with the Pacers and working with multiple ownership groups. 10:22: The value of Reggie Miller playing his entire career in Indiana. 16:23: The changing nature of front office interactions in the last 20 years. 18:22: How important the draft is to building a team. 20:15: Going to law school and nearly working with Richard Nixon. 25:00: Playing for Dean Smith at North Carolina and why he never came close to leaving for the NBA. 29:07: Smith creating the modern college program and quietly making stands on social issues. 32:45: Walsh’s role in helping Metta World Peace during his tumultuous early years in the league. 35:10: Deciding to take over his hometown Knicks. 40:07: The focus on the 2010 free agent class during his time with the Knicks. 48:50: Jim Dolan’s role in negotiating the Carmelo Anthony trade with the Nuggets. 53:01: Dolan wanting to bring Isiah Thomas back to the franchise. 55:29: Walsh’s legacy as a front-office executive. 58:28: Working with Larry Brown.
Bobby Marks on free agency
About The Show
Adrian Wojnarowski, the most dominant force in NBA reporting, brings you inside the league with The Woj Pod. Woj is probing the biggest newsmakers in the sport – from the commissioner, to general managers, coaches and star players – to bring listeners inside the processes, personas and stories that impact the NBA. Beyond longer sit-down interviews in our New York studios, Woj will deliver real-time podcasts with league personnel built around breaking news.