The New York Knicks is one of the marquee franchises in the NBA. It’s New York, after all, and the team plays its home games in the world-famous Madison Square Garden. So it’s hard to believe that the Knicks have only won two league championships – in 1970 and 1973. In fact, they’ve only won five division crowns. Still, many of basketball’s greatest players wore Knicks uniforms. We came up with our own (very) subjective All-Time New York Knicks Team. We then asked big-time Knicks fan Gary Dickman to give us some of his thoughts. Check it out:
(NOTE: Players marked with an asterisk are in the Basketball Hall of Fame.)
F – DAVE DEBUSSCHERE* (1968-74) – A master defender who earned 6 NBA All-Defensive First-Team selections. An 8x NBA All-Star and key member of New York’s two championship teams.
F – BERNARD KING* (1982-87) – A scoring machine and 2x First-Team All-NBA selection. On Feb. 1, 1984, became the first player in nearly 20 years to record back-to-back games of at least 50 points. Injuries curtailed the latter part of his Knicks run.
C – PATRICK EWING* (1985-2000) – Generally regarded as the greatest Knick of all time. The franchise’s career h leader in points, rebounds, free throws, blocked shots, games played and total minutes. One of the most imposing defensive centers in the history of the game.
G – EARL MONROE* (1971-80) – “The Pearl.” Tormented the Knicks as a member of the Baltimore Bullets, then joined the team and helped them win a second league title. He and Walt Frazier formed one of the great backcourts in league history.
G – WALT FRAZIER* (1967-77) – One of the greatest defensive guards in NBA history, as evidenced by his 7 NBA All-Defensive First-Team selections. “Clyde” is also the franchise’s all-time leader in assists (4,791) and second in scoring (14,617). The floor leader for the team’s two league titles.
F – CHARLES OAKLEY (1988-98) – The team’s career leader in offensive rebounds (2,580). After being traded to the Knicks from Chicago, became the team’s rebounding and defensive enforcer. Helped the Knopicks reach the NBA Finals in 1994.
F – CARMELO ANTHONY (2011-17) – The New York native returned home in 2011 and led the Knicks in scoring for seven seasons. Averaged 24.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in his tenure in the Big Apple. On Jan. 24, 2014, he went off for 62 points against the Charlotte Bobcats – a career high and the Knicks’ singlegame scoring record.
F – BOB McADOO* (1976-79) – In three seasons in New York, McAdoo averaged 26.7 points, 12 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. Was a dominant player at a time when the Knicks struggled. Later won two league titles with the L.A. Lakers.
F – LATRELL SPREWELL (1998-2003) – The volatile guard arrived in New York with a questionable reputation but quickly proved to be a dependable performer, first as a backup and then a starter. Averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists in his five seasons as a Knick. Averaged 26.0 points per game in the 1999 NBA Finals, where the Knicks fell to San Antonio in five games.
C – WILLIS REED* (1964-74) – “The Captain.” Ranks second among the team’s all-time rebounds (8,414) and third in points (12,183). The 1970 league MVP and 2x NBA Finals MVP. A hobbled Reed limping onto the court before Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals remains one of the most iconic moments in basketball.
G – MICHEAL RAY RICHARDSON (1978-82) – For a while, was considered the east coast version of Magic Johnson. Averaged 14.2 points, 7.1 assists and 6.0 rebounds in 315 games as a Knick before being traded to the New Jersey Nets. Sadly, his NBA career was cut short by drug problems. He was banned from the league in 1986.
G – MARK JACKSON (1987-92) – The 1988 NBA Rookie of the Year helped turned the Knicks into a solid playoff contender. Is second among the team’s all-time assists leaders (4,005), second only to Walt Frazier.
THE HEAD COACH:
”RED” HOLZMAN* (1967-77, 1978-82) – Coached the Knicks to their only two league titles. In 1996, was named one of the 10 greatest head coaches in NBA history. Coached the team for to 613 victories in 15 seasons.
KNICKS SUPER FAN GARY DICKMAN RESPONDS
“I think any Knick fan will tell you that “The Captain,” Willis Reed, is the Knicks’ number one center. Ewing was really good, but he never brought them a championship. Willis Reed coming out of the tunnel in Game 7 on May 8, 1970, is one of the few times a New York team has won a championship, and maybe this was the most dramatic. Reed hit the first shot of the game, and only one more basket after that. But the emotional lift him coming out for the fans and players, he’ll always be No. 1. Plus, he’s a two-time Finals MVP and was on the 50 Greatest NBA Players list when it first came out.”
”Charles Oakley is one of my favorite players of all time. Blue collar all the way. He didn’t have a ton of talent, but nobody played harder.”
“I would also put John Starks on this team over Micheal “Sugar Ray” Richardson. Starks had one of the best NBA dunks of all time, over Michael Jordan in the playoffs. He had great games, although sometimes he would disappear (like the Finals vs Houston in 1994, game 7, shooting 2-18). But the fans loved him, he exemplified what a Knicks player should be: again, blue collar all the way, played hard, physical, and never backed down from Jordan, Plus, Richardson had attitude with me when I asked why he always wore Converse sneakers during NBA games.”
Below is a video feature on Willis Reed’s defining moment as a New York Knickerbocker:
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