- For the 19th century baseball team, see New York Knickerbockers.
|New York Knicks|
|Founded|| 1946 |
(Charter member of the BAA, later NBA)
|History|| New York Knicks |
|Arena||Madison Square Garden|
|City||New York City|
|Team Colors||Blue and Orange|
|Head Coach||Larry Brown|
|Championships||2 (1970, 1973)|
|Conference Titles||8 (1951, 1952, 1953, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1994, 1999)|
|Division Titles||8 (1953, 1954, 1970, 1971, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994)|
- Primary logo design: The words "NEW YORK KNICKS" (with "KNICKS" being larger than the other two words) above a basketball on top of an upturned isosceles triangle. The design is featured on the Knicks uniform shorts. This is a modernized version of the "roundball" logo the Knicks have used since 1964.
- Other logo designs: The Knicks also use a circular emblem, with the letters NYK, designed to look like a subway token. From the late 1960s to 1990, the Knicks used an orange interlocking NY logo — the same design as on the New York Yankees' jerseys — on their warmup jackets and later their shorts (sometimes within an "apple" silhouette, sometimes by itself); it remains on their throwback-uniform shorts.
- 2005-06 Record: 23-59
- Main Rival(s): Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.
- Madison Square Garden III (1946-1968)
- Madison Square Garden IV (1968 - Present)
The Knicks are one of only two teams of the original National Basketball Association still located in its original city (the other being the Boston Celtics). The Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League merged in 1949 to form the NBA.
The early years編輯
The Knicks' (and the BAA's) first game was on November 1, 1946 against the Toronto Huskies at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens, where the Knicks won by the score of 68-66. The Knicks were consistent playoff contenders in their early years, thanks to players like Harry "The Horse" Gallatin, Dick McGuire and Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton, one of the first black players in the league. During the first decade of the NBA's existence, the Knicks made the NBA Finals in three straight years (1951-1953), and they were respected by basketball players and fans. For the remainder of the 1950's, the Knicks would field decent, if not spectacular teams, and made the playoffs in 1955, 1956 (where they lost a one-game playoff to the Syracuse Nationals) and 1959.
The lean years編輯
From 1960 to 1966, the Knicks fell on hard times, and they finished last in the NBA's Eastern Division each year. Some of the biggest losses in Knicks history occurred during this time. One such game occurred on November 15, 1960, where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers by a score of 162-100. Another notable loss occurred on March 3, 1962, as the Philadelphia Warriors' Wilt Chamberlain scored a NBA-record 100 points against the Knicks, and the Warriors won the game 169-147.
The championship years編輯
During the Knicks' slide into futility, there were signs of better things to come. In 1964, the Knicks drafted Willis Reed, who went on to become 1965's NBA Rookie of the Year. In 1967, right after the Knicks made it to the playoffs for the first time since 1959, the Knicks hired Red Holzman as their head coach. With Holzman at the helm, and young players such as Bill Bradley and Walt "Clyde" Frazier, the Knicks were playoff teams again in 1968. The next season, the team acquired Dave DeBusschere from the Detroit Pistons, and the team went 54-28. In the ensuing playoffs, the team made it past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 1953, sweeping the Baltimore Bullets in three games, before falling to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Division finals.
In the 1969-70 season, the Knicks had a then-NBA record 18 straight victories en route to 60-22 record, which was the best regular season record in the team's history. After defeating the Bullets in the Eastern Division semifinals and the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Division finals, the Knicks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games to capture their first NBA title. Without question, the defining moment in the series occurred in Game 7, where an injured Reed limped onto the court right before the start of the game. He scored the game's first two baskets before sitting out for the remainder of the contest. Despite his absence for most of the game, Reed's heroics inspired the team, and they won the game by a score of 113-99. The entire starting line up for the 69-70 Knicks had their jerseys retired by the New York Knicks. The jersey's of Walt Clyde Frazier #10, Willis Reed #19, Dave DeBusschere #22, Bill Bradley #24, and Dick Barnett #12 all hang from the rafters at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks' success continued for the next few years. After losing to the Bullets in the 1971 Eastern Conference finals, the team, aided by the acquisitions of Jerry Lucas and Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, returned to the Finals in 1972. This time the Knicks fell to the Lakers in five games. The next year, the results were reversed, as the Knicks defeated the Lakers in five games to win their second NBA title. The team had one more impressive season in 1973-74, as they reached the Eastern Conference finals, where they fell in five games to the Celtics. It was after this season that Reed announced his retirement, and the team's fortunes took turn for the worse.
The Knicks After The Championship Years編輯
In the 1974-75 season, the Knicks posted a 40-42 record, their first losing record in eight seasons. However, the record still qualified them for a playoff spot, though the Knicks lost to the Houston Rockets in the first round. After two more seasons with losing records, Holzman was replaced behind the bench by Reed. In Reed's first year coaching the team, they posted a 43-39 record and made it to the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they were swept by the Philadelphia 76ers. The next season, after the team got off to a 6-8 start, Holzman was rehired as the team's coach. The team did not fare any better that season, finishing with a 31-51 record, their worst in thirteen years.
After improving to a 39-43 record in the 1979-1980 season, the Knicks posted 50-32 record in the 1980-1981 season. In the ensuing playoffs, the Chicago Bulls swept them in two games. Holtzman retired the following season as one of the winningest coaches in NBA history. Ironically, the team's record for that year was a dismal 33-49. However, Holzman's legacy would continue through the players he influenced. One of the Knick's bench players and defensive specialists during the 1970s was Phil "Action" Jackson. Jackson went on to coach the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers to 9 NBA championships, tied with Red Auerbach for the most in NBA history. Jackson has always cited Red Holzman as the best coach he ever played for and a major influence on his coaching philosophy.
Hubie Brown replaced Holzman as coach of the Knicks, and in his first season, the team went 44-38 and make it to the second round of the playoffs, where they were swept by the eventual champion Philadelphia 76ers. The next season, the team, aided by new acquisition Bernard King, improved to a 47-35 record and returned to the playoffs. The team beat the Detroit Pistons in the first round with an overtime win in the fifth and deciding game, before losing in second round once again, this time in seven games to the Celtics. The team's fortunes again turned for the worse the next season, as they lost their last twelve games to finish with a 24-58 record. The first of these losses occurred on March 23, 1985, where King injured his knee and spent the next 24 months in rehabilitation. Some figured that his career would end from this injury, but he proved them wrong and resumed his career near the end of the 1986-87 season.
The Patrick Ewing era編輯
As a result of the Knicks' dismal performance in the 1984-85 season, the team was entered into the first-ever NBA Draft Lottery. The team ended up winning the number one pick in that year's NBA Draft, selecting star center Patrick Ewing of Georgetown University. To this day, there are some who believe that the lottery was fixed, as each of the seven non-playoff teams in the lottery were given an equal chance of receiving the first pick, and the prevailing theory is that the Knicks won based on the fact that they play in the biggest media market in the United States.
In Ewing's first season with the Knicks, he led all rookies in scoring (20 points per game) and rebounds (9 rebounds per game), and he won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. The team wouldn't fare as well, though, as they posted a 23-59 record in his first season, and a 24-58 record in his second season.
The team's luck changed in the 1987-88 season with the hiring of Rick Pitino as head coach, and selection of point guard Mark Jackson in the draft. Combined with Ewing's consistently stellar play, the Knicks made the playoffs with a record of 38-44, where they lost to the Celtics in the first round. The team would do even better the next season as the team traded backup center Bill Cartwright for power forward Charles Oakley before the season started and then posted a 52-30 record, which was good enough for their first division title in nearly twenty years. In the playoffs, they defeated the 76ers in the first round before losing to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Before the 1989-90 season began, a couple of major changes occurred. Pitino left the Knicks to coach the University of Kentucky's basketball team and Stu Jackson was named head coach. The Knicks went 47-32 and defeated the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, winning the final three games after losing the first two. They went on to lose to the eventual NBA champion Detroit Pistons in the next round. In the 1990-91 season, the team, who hired John McLeod as head coach early that season, had a 39-43 record and were swept by the eventual NBA champion Bulls.
Sensing that the team needed a better coach in order to become a champsionship contender, new Knicks president Dave Checketts hired Pat Riley prior to the 1991-92 season. Riley, who coached the Lakers to four NBA titles during the 1980's, taught the Knicks hard, physical defense, and immediately gave them a boost. That season, the team, which now included fan favorite John Starks, posted a 51-31 record, good enough for a first place tie in the Atlantic Division. After defeating the Pistons in the first round of the playoffs, the team battled with the Bulls for seven games, before once again letting the Bulls get the best of them.
The 1992-93 season proved to be even more successful, as the Knicks won the Atlantic Division with a 60-22 record. The team made it to the Eastern Conference finals, where once again they met the Bulls. After taking a two games-to-none lead, the Knicks lost the next four games.
After the Bulls' Michael Jordan made what would be his first retirement from basketball prior to the 1993-94 season, many saw this as an opportunity for the Knicks to finally make it to the NBA Finals. The team, who acquired Derek Harper in a midseason trade with the Dallas Mavericks, once again won the Atlantic Division with a 57-25 record. In the playoffs, the team defeated the New Jersey Nets in the first round before finally getting past the Bulls, defeating them in the second round in seven games. In the Eastern Conference Finals, they faced the Indiana Pacers, who at one point held a three game-to-two lead. They had this advantage thanks to the expoits of Reggie Miller, who scored 25 fourth quarter points in Game 5 to lead the Pacers to victory. However, the Knicks won the next two games to reach their first NBA Finals since 1973.
In the finals, the Knicks would play seven low-scoring, defensive games against the Houston Rockets. After splitting the first two games in Houston, the Knicks would win two out of three games at Madison Square Garden and came within one game of winning their first NBA title in 21 years. In Game 6, however, a last-second attempt at a game-winning shot by Starks was tipped by Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon, giving the Rockets an 86-84 victory and forcing a Game 7. The Knicks lost Game 7 90-84, frequently credited to Starks's dismal 2-for-18 shooting performance and Riley's stubborn refusal to bench Starks, despite having bench players renowned for their shooting prowess like Rolando Blackmon available.
The next year, the Knicks were second place in the Atlantic Division with a 55-27 record. The team defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers before facing the Pacers again in the second round. The tone for the Knicks-Pacers series was set in Game 1, as Miller once again became a clutch nuisance to the Knicks by scoring eight points in the final 8 seconds of the game to give the Pacers a 107-105 victory. The series went to a Game 7, where Ewing's last-second layup attempt to tie the game missed, giving the Pacers a 97-95 win. Riley resigned the next day, and the Knicks hired Don Nelson as their new head coach.
During the 1995-96 season, Nelson was fired after 59 games, and, instead of going after another well-known coach, the Knicks hired longtime assistant Jeff Van Gundy, who had no prior experience as a head coach. The Knicks ended up with a 47-35 record that year, and swept the Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the eventual champion Bulls (who had an NBA record 72 wins in the regular season) in five games.
In the 1996-97 season, the Knicks, with the additions of such players as Larry Johnson and Allan Houston, registered a 57-25 record. In the playoffs, the Knicks swept the Charlotte Hornets in the first round before facing the Miami Heat (coached by Riley) in the second round. The Knicks took a 3-1 lead in the series before a brawl near the end of Game 5 resulted in suspensions of key players. Many of the Knicks suspended Knicks players, Ewing in particular, were disciplined not for participating in the altercation itself, but for violating an NBA rule stipulating that a benched player may not leave the bench during a fight (the rule was subsequently amended, making it illegal to leave the "bench area"). With Ewing and Houston suspended for Game 6, Johnson and Starks suspended for Game 7, and Charlie Ward suspended for both, the Knicks lost the series.
The 1997-98 season was marred by a wrist injury to Ewing on December 20, which forced him to miss the rest of the season and much of the playoffs. The team, which had a 43-39 record that season, still managed to defeat the Heat in the first round of the playoffs before having another meeting with the Pacers in the second round. This time, the Pacers easily won the series in five games, as Reggie Miller once again broke the hearts of Knicks fans by hitting a three-pointer in the final seconds of regulation in Game 4, en route to a Pacers victory. For the fourth straight year, the Knicks were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.
Prior to the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season, the Knicks traded Starks in a package to the Golden State Warriors for superstar guard Latrell Sprewell (whose contract was voided by the Warriors after choking Warriors' head coach P. J. Carlesimo during the previous season), while also trading Charles Oakley for Marcus Camby. After barely getting into the playoffs with a 27-23 record, the Knicks started an improbable postseason run. It started with the Heat's elimination in the first round after Houston made a running one-handed shot with 0.8 seconds left in the deciding game. This remarkable upset marked only the second time in NBA history that an 8-seed had defeated the 1-seed in the NBA playoffs. After defeating the Atlanta Hawks in the second round four games to none, they faced the Pacers yet again in the Eastern Conference Finals. Despite losing Ewing to injury for the rest of the playoffs prior to Game 3, the Knicks won the series (aided in part to a four-point play by Larry Johnson in the final seconds of Game 3) to become the first eighth-seeded playoff team to make it to the NBA Finals. However, in the Finals, the San Antonio Spurs, with superstars David Robinson and Tim Duncan, proved too much for the injury-laden Knicks, which lost in five games.
The 1999-00 season would prove to be the last one in New York for Ewing, as the Knicks, who had a 50-32 record that season, lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Pacers. After the season, Ewing was traded on September 20, 2000 to the Seattle SuperSonics, and the Ewing era, which produced many playoff appearances but no NBA titles, came to an end.
Post-Ewing Era Decline編輯
Despite the loss of Ewing, the Knicks remained successful in the regular season, as they posted a 48-34 record. In the playoffs, however, they fell in five games to the Toronto Raptors, failing to get past the first round of the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
Soon, the Knicks began suffering through a steep decline. After starting the season 10-9, the team was stunned on December 8, 2001 by the sudden resignation of Van Gundy. The team, which hired Don Chaney as their new head coach, ended up with a 30-52 record, and for the first time since the 1986-87 season, they did not qualify for the playoffs.
After posting a 37-45 record in the 2002-03 season and a 15-24 start to the 2003-04 season, the Knicks underwent a massive overhaul. Isiah Thomas was named the Knicks' president on December 22, 2003, and eventually replaced Chaney with Lenny Wilkens behind the bench. At the same time, Thomas orchaestrated several trades, including one that brought star point guard Stephon Marbury to the team. The team qualifed for the playoffs that year with a 39-43 record, but were swept by the Nets in the first round.
The Knicks fared worse in the 2004-05 season, as they ended up with a 33-49 record. Wilkens resigned during the season, and Herb Williams served as interim coach for the rest of the season. During the offseason, the team signed Larry Brown to a five-year contract worth about $50 million, hoping he would lead the Knicks back to the playoffs.
The Knicks Today編輯
The Knicks' payroll is currently the highest in the league at over $130 million, but the team is one of the worst in the NBA. The hiring of Hall-of-Fame player Thomas to replace as general manager the unpopular Scott Layden — best known for his continual effort to bring almost every single undersized, underachieving, overpaid and long-term contracted players of the league — was seen as a chance for redemption, but Thomas's tenure has not lived up to expectations. To his credit, he has traded aging veterans and expiring contracts for talented players, such as star point guard Stephon Marbury, talented guard Jamal Crawford, and talented inside scorer Eddy Curry. However, Thomas has also accepted many questionable players in trades: Penny Hardaway, an oft-injured swingman with a massive contract; Jerome Williams, an excellent and hardworking defender but also saddled with a large contract; Malik Rose, a backup forward with a large, long-term contract; Maurice Taylor, a disappointing power forward with a huge contract; and Tim Thomas, an athletic player but known as a career underachiever who has an enormous contract as well. Furthermore, Thomas signed center Jerome James to a 5-year $30 million contract, a move widely considered wasteful and foolish since James has career averages of 4.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, and has never averaged more than 5.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. James currently averages less than nine mintues a game. Thomas's trades have also been questioned for the number of draft picks and young players given up, as two 1st round picks and two promising young players were given up for Marbury, and talented forward Mike Sweetney and several draft picks were traded for Curry. In addition, the talents Thomas has added are also somewhat questionable. Marbury has a reputation as being both selfish and a locker room pest, while Crawford and forward Quentin Richardson still have not lived up to their potential. Curry as well, has not lived up to his full potential and has a heart ailment that could be life-threatening.
Thomas has managed to trade away Hardaway and Tim Thomas, and also cut Williams on favorable terms. He has managed to take a roster full of old veterans and transformed it into a young and talented team, as underperforming as it is. New optimism was initially instilled in Knicks fans at the beginning of the season from the hype stemming from the Curry trade and Brown's hiring. The first half of the season was a disaster, as the Knicks struggled to adjust to a new coach and had a 15-37 record two weeks into the 2006 calendar year. In addition, a potentially top 5 draft pick from their record had been traded to the Chicago Bulls before the season started, exacerbating a disappointing season. In an attempt to rejuvenate the team, the Knicks traded Antonio Davis to the Toronto Raptors for small forward Jalen Rose, and later acquired All-Star guard Steve Francis from the Orlando Magic in exchange for the injured Hardaway and second-year player Trevor Ariza on February 22, 2006. There are concerns that these trades give the Knicks too many ball-hungry players who are ineffective without it while inflating the payroll for several years into the future. Rose is due $15 million next season and Francis $13 million. Only time will tell the truth about Thomas's trades.
From media and fans, Brown has faced heavy criticism despite his successful past. News reports have stated that the players have "quit" on Brown and are tired of him berating them through the media. Also questioned is his continuous shuffling of the starting lineup and bizarre in-game rotations.
Larry Brown left one of the final games of the 2006 season in 3rd quarter due to sudden stomach pain. He was taken to a hospital for observation and cleared to coach the next day. He sat out the next three games as a precaution.
With 23 wins and 59 losses, the Brown-coached 05/06 Knicks finished as the second worst team in the league. However, they avoided losing 60 games in a season, which would have set a franchise low. They are one of only 5 current NBA franchises (Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers, Rochester/Cincinnati Royals/Sacramento Kings, New Orleans/Utah Jazz, and Seattle Supersonics being the others) to have never lost 60 games in a season.
Many in the media view the current state of the New York Knicks as being one of the worst-run franchises in professional sports. A common, tongue-in-cheek statement is that the Knicks have replaced the Los Angeles Clippers as a Leno/Letterman punchline, as the Clippers' formerly inept team is now a playoff contender with young and talented players, while the Knicks have become the poorly-run team of perennial losers.
As of May 17, media reports out of New York suggest that the remaining money on coach Larry Brown's contract would be bought out, effectively firing Brown. It would amount to over $40 million dollars if it went through. Sources say that Brown, however, says that not only are the Knicks not interested in negotiating a buy-out, but that there is there is "no question in his mind" that he will, instead, be fired.
Players of note編輯
- Walt Bellamy
- Bill Bradley
- Dave DeBusschere
- Walt Frazier
- Harry Gallatin
- Tom Gola
- Jerry Lucas
- Dick McGuire
- Earl Monroe
- Willis Reed
- Greg Anthony
- Carl Braun
- Marcus Camby
- Bill Cartwright
- Chris Childs
- Doug Christie
- Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton
- Hubert Davis
- Patrick Ewing
- Richie Guerin
- Anfernee Hardaway
- Derek Harper
- Allan Houston
- Mark Jackson
- Phil Jackson
- Larry Johnson
- Bernard King
- Stephon Marbury
- Anthony Mason
- Xavier McDaniel
- Antonio McDyess
- Willie Naulls
- Charles Oakley
- Micheal Ray Richardson
- Cazzie Russell
- Charles Smith
- Latrell Sprewell
- John Starks
- Kurt Thomas
- Trent Tucker
- Charlie Ward
- Gerald Wilkins
- Buck Williams
- Kenny Walker
- Charles Smith
- Rod Strickland
- 10 - Walt Frazier, G, 1967-77; Broadcaster
- 12 - Dick Barnett, G, 1965-74
- 15 - Earl Monroe, G, 1972-80
- 15 - Dick McGuire, G, 1949-57; Head Coach, 1965-68; longtime Scouting Director
- 19 - Willis Reed, C, 1964-74; Head Coach, 1977-78
- 22 - Dave DeBusschere, F, 1969-74
- 24 - Bill Bradley, F, 1967-77
- 613 - Red Holzman, Head Coach, 1967-77 & 1978-82 (won 613 games as Knicks coach)
- 33 - Patrick Ewing, C, 1985-2000
Coaches and others編輯
- Red Holzman
- Hubie Brown
- Isiah Thomas (team president 2003- ; enshrined for his playing career with the Detroit Pistons)
- Lenny Wilkens
- Larry Clown
Not to be forgotten:編輯
- They are the brother team to the WNBA's New York Liberty.
- They have lost 59 games in a season 3 times, but have never lost 60.
- Knicks-Heat rivalry
- Bulls-Knicks Rivalry
- For the history of the expression "Knickerbocker," see Knickers.
- New York Knicks official web site
- New York Knicks Coverage
- New York Knicks Coverage/Forum/Downloads
- New York Knicks Blog
- New York Knicks Fan Site (News/Forum/Multimedia)
- New York Knicks FanSite
- New York Knicks Fan Page/Forum
- NBA Fantasy Basketball Stats - New York Knicks
- NBA home page
- Website dedicated bankrupting the Knicks organization