Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Since the inception of the team in 1946, the Knicks have taken fans on a wild ride that has included eight trips to the NBA Finals, two championships, some runs of dominance, and some dry spells.
When it comes to putting together the Knicks' All-Time team, some of the names can be added to the roster by simply glancing up at the rafters at Madison Square Garden. Other players are much tougher to decide on, and choosing who's on the first team and the second team is no picnic.
Without further ado...
PG: Walt Frazier
This one was probably the easiest pick of all. Frazier helped lead the Knicks to their championships in 1969-70 and 1972-73, and is simply one of the best point guards in the history of the NBA. A seven-time All-Star during his 10 seasons in New York, Frazier is still dazing and amazing as a color commentator for the club.
SG: Earl Monroe
The nine years Monroe spent with the Knicks were during the second half of his career, but he was tremendous nonetheless -- with his run from the beginning of the 1974 season to the end of the 1977 season his best. Monroe was also a big part of the Knicks' title team in 1972-73.
SF: Carmelo Anthony
Anthony's time with the Knicks featured more downs than ups for the team, and there are some who never came around on him at all due to his isolation game. But Melo was a seven-time All-Star with the Knicks and an incredible scorer (his best season scoring-wise coming in 2012-13, when the Knicks won 54 games). That he didn't have a good-enough supporting cast around him shouldn't hurt his case here.
PF: Dave Debusschere
Debusschere, who provided the Knicks with Hall-of-Fame play and incredible leadership during his six years in New York, gets the spot. One of the greatest power forwards of all time and one of the best defenders of his era, Debusschere was instrumental during the Knicks' two title runs.
C: Patrick Ewing
Wills Reed certainly has a case here, but the pick is... at center, at 7 feet from Georgetown, No. 33, Patrick Ewing.
A prolific scorer and all-around force during his 15 seasons with the Knicks, some harp on what Ewing wasn't able to do -- help deliver the Knicks a title. But when you recall who stood in Ewing's way most of those years, it's easy to understand why that task was so difficult.
That Ewing's Knicks teams came so close to winning it all in 1994, were robbed of a chance in 1996-97, and had to carry on without him in the 1999 NBA Finals will always leave a sour taste. But his legacy is cemented.
PG: Dick McGuire
A Hall-of-Famer who was a five-time All-Star during his time with the Knicks from 1949 to 1957, the Bronx native was a master of his craft. During his rookie season, he led the league with 386 assists, which at the time set a new NBA record.
SG: Allan Houston
The sweet-shooting Houston, who signed as a free agent before the 1996-97 season (with Chris Childs also signing and the team trading for Larry Johnson), was one of the biggest reasons the Knicks remained one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference through the second half of the '90s. Oh, and he hit some big shots, including that little series-winner in Miami in 1999.
SF: Bernard King
King only played four seasons with the Knicks (losing another to injury), and his years there (1982-1987) didn't include any big playoff triumphs. But King was a sight to see, especially in 1984-85, when he led the NBA in scoring by averaging 32.9 points per game.
PF: Charles Oakley
On the court, Oakley was a warrior. And his arrival from the Bulls before the 1988-89 season gave the Knicks an enforcer whose presence helped mold New York into one of the toughest teams in the NBA.
C: Willis Reed
As noted above, a case can be made for Reed being on the Knicks' first team ahead of Ewing. But since we're not putting two centers in the starting lineup, the second team will have to do.
G: Dick Barnett
With Frazier and McGuire handling the point guard duties, the bench will go heavy on shooting guards, including Barnett and the two players below.
G: Richie Guerin
A Hall-of-Famer who was a six-time All-Star with the Knicks during his time there from 1956-1964, a case can be made for Guerin being on the second team over Houston. But Houston's explosiveness gives him the nod.
G: John Starks
A tremendous story, Starks went from bagging groceries to a spark plug for the Knicks from 1990 to 1998, making the All-Star team in 1993-94 and winning the Sixth Man of the Year award in 1997. If only Starks had been able to get off his three-point attempt a second sooner at the end of Game 6 of the 1994 Finals against the Houston Rockets...
F: Bill Bradley
A Hall-of-Famer who played all 10 of his NBA seasons with the Knicks and was a key member of their two title teams, this list would not be complete without Bradley on it.
F/C: Anthony Mason
Along with Oakley, Mason was one of the '90s Knicks who gave that team its identity. Won the Sixth Man of the Year award in 1994-95.