Oh, how the mighty fall. The New York Knickerbockers (I always love calling them that) won two NBA titles — one in 1970 and one in 1973. Since then, they have made two failed Finals appearances. Their last run in 1999 left them empty-handed after their star player, Patrick Ewing, was forced to watch from the sidelines due to injury. If you don’t know who beat the Knicks in those Finals, well, that’s what we’re here for...
Although no one from this site wants think about the tables turning, but a 1999 NBA Finals with Ewing against David Robinson in the paint would have been a contest worthy of repeated viewings. That said, the Knicks fell and 1999 and have never fully recovered.
The list of players who have their jerseys retired by the organization include Dick McGuire, Willis Reed, Dick Barnett, Walt Frazier, Bill Bradley, Dave DeBusschere, Earl Monroe, and coach Red Holzman. The only player with his jersey retired who played after 1980...Patrick Ewing.
No impact player exists for the modern-day Knicks. Sure, a few stars have passed through — Carmelo Anthony, Mark Jackson, Jalen Rose — but none have spent enough time in New York or had their best years while part of the franchise.
The Knicks have instead enlisted some choice names as coaches. Pat Riley, Jeff Van Gundy, Mike D’Antoni, Jeff Hornacek, and Tom Thibodeau have all taken a stab at the leadership role. Their names tend to outshine their players.
The Knicks even plucked Phil Jackson from the west coast adding him as president of basketball operations. His inability to significantly move the needle married with his public strife with Kristaps Porzingis led to his five year contract being cut short.
What do you say, Pounders? Call it Patrick Ewing and move on? Or does a franchise as marred with bad luck deserve an apropos face? Maybe a coaching shot of Derrick Fisher would say all that needs be said.
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