Donnie Walsh’s free-agency warning to Phil Jackson, Knicks fans

Written By kom nampuldu on Jumat, 10 April 2015 | 18.18

Citing how the siren song of South Beach lured LeBron James to Miami in 2010, Pacers adviser Donnie Walsh warned Thursday that Knicks president Phil Jackson can only do so much to convince free agents they should want to play in New York.

Walsh, the former Knicks president, said New York City doesn't have the same allure for everyone. Walsh signed Amar'e Stoudemire, who was damaged goods, to a max contract after his top four free-agent choices — James, Joe Johnson, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — all rejected the Knicks.

"That's one of the most misunderstood things in the NBA, to be honest with you, that you can talk a veteran NBA player into coming to a city just by sitting down with him, talking to him and offering him the most money," Walsh said on SiriusXM radio. "These guys know what they want to do. They have their own agendas, and they know whether they want to go to New York or they don't want to go to New York. And there are a lot that want to go to New York, so it isn't like there aren't people out there.

"But if you pick out, let's say, LeBron James, you don't know like what he wants to do. If you think you can go up and talk to him for a while and he's going to come flying down there, that's not going to happen. They see their careers in certain ways and what they want to do, they want to do.

"I don't think it's really up to Phil Jackson to talk them into it. They know if they get the salary they want, they know what New York's all about, if they want to get into that, a big city like New York and live in it and an exciting city with good fans, then they're going to do it. If they don't like that, and not everybody likes that, they'll go somewhere else."


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