The 5 greatest New York Knicks of all time
There’s no denying that the New York Knicks are in an absolute rut at the moment. Their front office is a mess, they’re ranked 12th in the East with a 21-45 record (and are probably hoping that this season just gets canceled altogether), and the fans want the ownership out as soon as humanly possible.
There have been brighter days in the history of this storied franchise, though, as the Knicks were not always this terrible. Today we take a look at some of the greatest players in New York Knicks history, as well as the contributions they have provided to the franchise.
It has been a roller coaster ride for Carmelo Anthony over the past few years, but he seems to have recently found a home with the Portland Trail Blazers. It seems so long ago now that the 10-time All-Star was dominating the league as one of the most potent scorers in the entire NBA.
Anthony came to New York in 2011, and it is safe to say that he made an instant impact, lifting the team to new heights upon his arrival. After a six year hiatus, the Knicks were able to make three consecutive postseason runs with Melo at the helm. This also happens to be the last time New York got a taste of the playoffs, so in this respect, it is probably safe to say that Anthony was the team’s last legitimate superstar to date.
In seven seasons, Anthony averaged 24.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 1.8 triples per contest.
Willis Reed made his mark in the league during the 1960’s. A seven-time All-Star, the 6-foot-9 big man was a crucial piece for the Knicks as they won the NBA title in 1969 and again in 1973. To date, these are the only two championships in this team’s history, and they definitely have Reed and his dominance down low to thank for this.
Unfortunately, Reed’s outstanding career was cut short by a variety of injuries, with the one-time MVP winner being forced to retire at the early age of 31. Reed holds career averages of 18.7 points, 12.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game.
Another Knicks giant is four-time All-Star Earl Monroe. The combo stood at just 6-foot-3, but this did not prevent him from making a significant impact in this team’s history.
Monroe was a highly-touted prospect entering the draft, going second overall in the 1967 NBA Draft. He was traded by the Baltimore Bullets to the Knicks in 1971, and was also pivotal in New York’s 1973 championship run. Monroe, along with the great Walt Frazier (more on him in a bit), is widely considered as one of the best backcourt pairings not only in Knicks history, but in the entire NBA as well.
Monroe played nine seasons with the Knicks before retiring in 1980, averaging 16.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.0 steals per game during this span.
Both Willis Reed and Earl Monroe were huge for the Knicks during their most successful era, but there’s little doubt that Walt Frazier was the team’s main man in both of their championships. One might even go as far as saying that Frazier is the greatest point guard in team history, and not many would be willing to argue against this notion.
Frazier is a seven-time All-Star, a six-time All-NBA team member, a seven-time All-Defensive team member, and a one-time All-Star MVP. Now a member of the esteemed Basketball Hall of Fame, Frazier holds career averages of 19.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 2.0 steals per ballgame.
There have been a handful of great players that have dawned the New York Knicks jersey, but perhaps none greater than Patrick Ewing. The 7-foot big man was one of the most dominant centers during his time in the league and was the main reason why the Knicks were perpetual contenders in the East during the late 80s and throughout the 90s. This was probably the best Knicks team of the modern era, and Ewing was at the very center of this side’s consistency during this period.
Unfortunately for Ewing, his success was overshadowed by the greatness of one Michael Jordan. Ewing’s Knicks were able to reach the Finals twice, however, but sadly, they ended up as runners-up in both occasions.
Ewing has one of the most decorated careers in Knicks history, being a former Rookie of the Year winner, an 11-time All-Star, a seven-time All-NBA team member, and a three-time All-Defensive team member. We’re honestly comfortable placing Ewing as one of the Top 10 centers in NBA history.