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Donnie Walsh departing Knicks

Donnie Walsh's tenure as president and general manager of the New York Knicks is ending, team owner James Dolan said Friday.

"Following a long series of discussions regarding his future role with the New York Knicks, Donnie Walsh and I have mutually agreed that he will be leaving his position ... at the end of June," Dolan said in a statement.

Walsh will work in a consultant's capacity for the team next season.

The stunning piece of news comes four weeks before Walsh's contract is due to expire, and after several weeks of face-to-face discussions between Walsh and Dolan. The team had imposed a news blackout around the discussions, and neither Walsh nor his agent had commented on his job status since the first round of the playoffs.

Walsh's departure opens questions about whether coach Mike D'Antoni will return for the final year of his contract.

The Knicks had an April 30 deadline to pick up the fourth-year option on Walsh's contract, which he signed in 2008 following the troubled tenure of former team president and coach Isiah Thomas. But that date passed with no action being taken, and Walsh and Dolan were discussing a new contract that would keep him with the team at least through the 2012-13 season. Walsh's desire to have full autonomy was reportedly one of the sticking points.
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