Honorable Mentions

  • Willie Naulls averaged 19.3 points and 11.7 rebounds over seven seasons (1956-62) for putrid squads.
  • Larry Johnson hit maybe the biggest shot in Madison Square Garden history, but his prime came in Charlotte. He played his final four years in New York, averaging 12.3 points and 5.5 boards per game.
  • Harry “The Horse” Gallatin an original Knicks member, made seven All-Star games and averaged 12.1 rebounds from 1948-57.
  • Carmelo Anthony would be here if he played more power forward, and Bernard King might’ve played the four in 2020.

4. Kristaps Porzingis

Like Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis insisted on playing slightly out of position (he’s a center), but was nevertheless a highly productive stretch four and a rare glimmer of hope during his brief time in New York.

After being drafted fourth overall in 2015 by then-president Phil Jackson, Porzingis laced up for 186 out of a possible 330 games. When he did play, he averaged 20.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per 36 minutes, plus 36.1 percent from deep, making the All-Star team in 2018. Shockingly, the organization was unable to make him happy, and he was dealt to the Dallas Mavericks.

3. Amar’e Stoudemire

Stoudemire’s Knicks apex was short-lived, too, though he did inject life into the franchise when he signed a five year, $99.7 million deal in 2010. He was a surprise MVP candidate in his debut season in New York, until the Carmelo Anthony trade shook things up.

2010-11 would mark Stoudemire’s lone great Knicks year. His scoring average dipped from 25.3 to 11.9 over the next three seasons, he never quite gelled with Anthony, and his most memorable playoff moment may be punching a fire extinguisher.

Having said that, Healthy Stoudemire is probably the most talented power forward in Knicks history.

2. Charles Oakley

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The heart, soul, and primary enforcer of the ‘90s teams that nearly won the 1994 title, and a cherished alum to all but one Knicks fan. Oak put up 10.4 points and 10.0 rebounds over his decade in New York, and the Knicks won 60.4 percent of their games (including playoffs) during that span.

1. Dave DeBusschere

The Knicks leveled up after acquiring DeBusschere from the Detroit Pistons in 1968, leading to titles in 1970 and 1973. Big D made the All-Defensive First Team each year from 1969 and 1974, and admirably slowed down the Los Angeles Lakers’ Wilt Chamberlain in Game 7 of the 1970 Finals in Willis Reed’s absence.

DeBusschere averaged 16.1 points and 10.7 rebounds as a Knick. His no. 22 jersey is hanging in the Garden, and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983. His greatest Knicks achievement, though, may have come as director of basketball operations: “winning” the 1985 draft lottery.