2 players from the 1990s the Knicks need on the roster right now
The New York Knicks surprised the league last season. After years of uncertainty, drama, and overall toxicity, the team under coach Tom Thibodeau had an amazing year. With every analyst stating they are still a lottery team, the Knicks won 41 games, enough for the 4th seed in the East. Unfortunately for Knicks fans, the eight-year Playoff wait ended in a five-game loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
The fans still saw some great things, mostly the absolute rebirth of Derrick Rose and Julius Randle who led the squad for the season. After the season ended, the roster was still improved in the summer, with the addition of Kemba Walker, who was bought out by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now, the team seems more balanced, with quality players in most positions. However, there are two glaring holes.
If the Knicks had the ability to take two players from the 1990s, the ones they should be taking would be for these two glaring holes. Adding Scottie Pippen on the wing and Alonzo Mourning in the middle would make the Knicks a possible contender for the title.
Knicks 1990s Dream Signings For Today
Scottie Pippen – wing scorer and leader
The roster right now has a lot of things. Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker will run the point for the season, with Evan Fournier supporting them and providing backcourt scoring. Julius Randle will be the focal point of the offense, mostly from inside the three-point line. However, what is severely lacking is scoring from the wings. Going with Michael Jordan would be easy, as every team would snatch up His Airness in a heartbeat. Thus, going with Pippen seems like the logical choice.
Pippen did not have a lot of luck running the team on his own. He led the Bulls during Jordan’s first retirement and only managed to reach the Eastern Conference Semis, while his stints in Houston and Portland are not something he can be too proud of. However, in terms of pure leadership, his style would be great for this era. Additionally, his playing style describes someone absolutely perfect for the Knicks.
His numbers are not elite, as he only went over 20 points per game four times in his career, two of which came when Jordan was not there. However, that has to be taken with a pinch of salt. First of all, the defenses in that era did not give up that many points per game. Secondly, Pippen was also guarding the best opposing guard or wing, a responsibility that he needed to take care of for the sake of his team. Should he not have that many defensive obligations, Pippen would be able to dominate more on the offensive end.
While he would have to share the offensive load with Randle, Walker, and Fournier, Pippen once shared it with Jordan and still made a heck of a career out of it. The former Bull has a great resume and he is the type of star that this roster of great role players, veterans, and a potential star in Randle needs.
Alonzo Mourning – defense and inside scoring
While Knicks fans do not remember Mourning for well, due to the Larry Johnson incident in 1998, he would be an excellent addition to this team. Mourning is the type of center that made mouths water in the era he was in. He was strong, tough inside, a great finisher with good footwork, and a defensive tower. All of these things can still be relevant in this era and Mourning would absolutely thrive.
There are centers in the league who are not sharpshooters but earn their paycheck through old-school skills and do that in a great way. Rudy Gobert is a part of the great Utah Jazz team and he plays a defensive game without any range in the offense. Mourning was a defensive stalwart and still averaged 21.1 points on 52.6% shooting from the field in the 1990s. He would do it with his great attacking awareness, finishing around the basket, and overall athleticism.
On the defensive end, it is clear that the Knicks roster is lacking there. Walker is a solid defender who is limited due to his size and stature, while Fournier was always more concerned with the attacking side, rather than being a good defender. Randle has a nice frame but is still not the defender he could be with his physical tools. Mourning would slide right in and would be able to run the defense from the paint. As it is known, Thibs is a defensive coach and he would love a player of Mourning’s skills, especially in defense.
Without these two superstars, the Knicks are still a team that will be in Playoff contention, with the obvious fact that the 4th seed from last year was more a product of the weaker Eastern Conference. However, with Mourning and Pippen, they would have their first and second attacking options and defensive leaders that would make their team gel better. With the duo, they might even be contenders for the East and possibly for the whole league.