On This Date: Clyde & McAdoo combine for 71 to stay alive in the playoff race

March 31st 1977: Walt “Clyde” Frazier & Bob McAdoo combine for 71 points to keep the Knicks in the playoff hunt

Walt “Clyde” Frazier & Bob McAdoo combined for 71 points to help lead the Knicks past the Pacers 135-131. Clyde scored a season high 41 points on 12-20 from the field and 17-20 from the free throw line. He also had 11 assists, 7 rebounds, and 6 steals.

McAdoo scored 30 points on 12-18 from the field and had 11 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. 6 Knicks combined for double figures in scoring to help the Knicks achieve victory.

The victory temporarily kept the Knicks alive in the playoff race. Unfortunately, their final record, 40-42, was not enough for the Knicks to reach the playoffs. After the season ended, the Knicks replaced Red Holzman with Willis Reed and traded Clyde to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

On This Date: Ewing scores 37 to squeak victory against the Pacers

March 30th 1999: Patrick Ewing scores 37 points to lead the Knicks past the Pacers

Patrick Ewing led the Knicks with 37 points, 15 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots to help the Knicks secure a 94-93 victory at home against the Indiana Pacers. The 37 points were the most Ewing scored since March 1997, before he tore his Achilles. The game was very close over the the entire game, with neither team securing more than a 5 point lead.

With less than 2 minutes left, the Knicks trailed 93-90. Latrell Sprewell, who scored 18 points off the bench, scored the final 4 points in the game to help the Knicks secure the victory. Spree first scored a layup off a Miller miss to cut the deficit to one. After the Pacers missed their next 3 shot attempts, they fouled Spree after grabbing a rebound to send him to the line to hit the go-ahead free throws.

In what was just another norm in the Knicks/Pacers rivalry, Ewing got into an altercation with Jalen Rose. The two players tussled with each other grabbing a rebound. Ewing pushed Rose down after grabbing the board and Rose subsequently tripped Ewing as he ran up the court. The two went to confront each other with referee Dick Bavetta attempting to mediate. Rose went to throw a punch, but instead accidentally struck Bavetta in the nose, requiring surgery. Ewing didn’t throw a punch. The NBA only fined Ewing $2,500 for the altercation, but suspended Rose for 1 game and fined him $5,000.

The win put the Knicks at 17-14 as they continued to fight for a playoff seed. The loss still kept the Pacers 1.5 games behind the Orlando Magic with the best record in the Eastern Conference. As we know quite well, the Knicks would face the Pacers again in the playoffs and would upset them on the way to an unprecedented NBA Finals trip.

The Blame Game: On David Fizdale and his role in Frank Ntilikina’s lost season

With the unsurprising news dropping today that Frank Ntilikina is done for the year, it’s a good time to reflect on just how responsible he is for a season gone awry for the Knicks young guard.

Let’s start here, because starting anywhere else would be disingenuous:

I like David Fizdale.

I like him for a lot of reasons, some of which have nothing to do with basketball. He just seems like someone I’d enjoy grabbing a beer with. This probably shouldn’t matter as much as it does in my assessment of his coaching. Or maybe it doesn’t matter enough. More on that in a bit.

More than anything, I like David Fizdale because I’ve watched this team lose a lot of games over a lot of years, and I’ve seen coach after coach look like they’re out on their guys, the season and their job before the All-Star break. Larry Brown looked like he was out before camp broke. Don Chaney looked and sounded so miserable that I’m convinced he and that prick principal from Dangerous Minds are the same person. Jeff Hornacek made the color beige seem exciting in comparison.

When you’re a fan hanging on by a thread, searching for reasons to believe in bigfoot things might get better, if the guy in charge doesn’t even believe it, well…that’s pretty fucking depressing.

David Fizdale has been the opposite of that. He is the best type of salesman – the one who won’t only sell you the blue ray player that’s been sitting in the corner of his stock room since last Christmas, but who’ll make you think you got a great deal in the process. God bless a man who can walk in front of a group of reporters and say, with a straight face, that a team mired in a stretch of 7 wins and 46 losses just had its best practice of the season, as he did last weekend.

That doesn’t just take charisma. It takes balls. The Knicks needed a man with more than a bit of both to head up the operation this season, because it was always going to be ugly.

But even in an acknowledged tank job, a) it wasn’t supposed to be this ugly (more on that next week) and b) everyone was supposed to come out in one piece on the other end.

With today’s news that Frank Ntilikina is done for the year, that is officially not going to be the case.

One thing I can say for certain after this season is that having one foot on Frank Island and another in Fizdale’s bandwagon is a lonely combination, filled with more self-loathing than is usually associated with Knicks fandom. It is not recommended.

Other than obvious stars, I don’t know that I’ve ever believed in a Knick as much as Ntilikina. He represents all the things we’ve wanted so badly through the years – prototypical size, unselfishness, defense, intelligence, boyish good looks1 – and at a position that’s been filled with ineptitude, imposters or Pablo Prigioni since Clyde was traded to Cleveland.

Because of the offense he wants to run, Ntilikina was quite decidedly not what David Fizdale sought in a point guard. That much is pretty clear at this point. But hiring Fiz to run a particular style of ball was the intention of Scott Perry and Steve Mills from jump street. They knew exactly what they were signing up for, and telegraphed as much when they told an anecdote before this season about attending a Laker game last year and deciding they needed to get more athletic.

This was always going to be an offense predicated on ball handlers being able to break down a defense and opening up shots less with finesse and more by brute force.

Enter Emmanuel Mudiay.

There have been many critiques levied at Fiz, but most come back to the same place: his dogged insistence on playing Mudiay through thick and thin, seemingly at Ntilikina’s expense. To many people, after all the preseason talk of defense and ball movement, it proves he’s either clueless or full of shit.

Doesn’t it?

Of all the questions that have been asked about Fizdale this season, this is the fairest. It calls into question the very essence of teambuilding: is it better to set a tone by employing players who are already good at the trait you want to emphasize, or do you give weaker guys repeated opportunities to fail as long as they’re trying their best?

On one hand, I want to give Fiz the benefit of the doubt here. If he prioritized playing his better defenders, Mitchell Robinson never would have gotten an opportunity to learn on the fly, and Kevin Knox probably sees the floor for all of 13 minutes this season (and Trier ain’t far behind).

On the other hand, sometimes enough is enough. Mudiay may be a reasonable facsimile of the type of guard Fiz envisions running his offense, but there comes a point where you know what you have in a guy, and we reached that point with Mudiay a while ago. Yet the leash on him continues to stretch the length of the court, as it has for all of the young Knicks.

All but one, that is.

And that, more than anything, is what has so many in the fan base annoyed. Why the double standard? Why the seemingly harsher treatment for the only guy consistently doing the things Fiz himself professed were important to the development of this team? And to benefit someone with a very limited, not particularly high ceiling?

Fizdale told us why, again, and again, and again.

This was never about Frank vs Mudiay…or Frank vs Trey Burke…or Frank vs Dennis Smith Jr…or Frank vs anyone. It was always about Frank vs Frank, or more specifically, Frank vs the version of Frank Fiz so desperately sought.

Repeatedly, Ntilikina committed the one sin Fiz absolutely would not tolerate: he was hesitant. Frank knew that to play, he needed to shoot. He started to force it, his shooting got worse, and a vicious cycle began.

Next, Fizdale tried tough love, and it worked…for a hot second. The three-game stretch Frank had after his three-game benching was the best of his young career. The next game, vs Charlotte, he left early with an injury, and watched from the bench as Emmanuel Mudiay had perhaps the best night of his career in leading the Knicks to victory. Is it a coincidence that another downward spiral started from that point forward?

Ntilikina shot 28% from the field over the Knicks next nine games, which included another benching, this one on Christmas day. Then, after Frank missed three games with an injury, he bounced back with a six-game stretch where he was the head-and-shoulders leader in net rating amongst Knick regulars, the last two of which were starts. It looked like he had turned a corner. Maybe, after everything that happened, Ntilikina had gotten to a place where he could toe the line between being true to himself and being the guy Fiz wanted.

That was over two months ago. He’s played 32 minutes since then thanks to the groin injury he suffered in that final start vs Miami. They ended up being his last minutes of the season. And we are, of course, left with questions.

Was it Fizdale’s initial demotion from the starting lineup way back in November that hastened Frank’s shooting woes? Maybe, although he was 29% from the field and 17% from deep in the five games prior to his demotion.

Should Fizdale have known that the change would further shake up Ntilikina’s confidence? Maybe, although the results following the later, week-long benching would seem to indicate the opposite.

Was it wrong for the coach to prioritize playing a highly imperfect guard who happened to be better suited to run his offense of choice, even if it torpedoed the team’s defensive ceiling in the process? My guess is that Fizdale would have loved nothing more than to keep playing Frank and eek out a few more wins, but swallowed his pride and did otherwise because he thought it was more important to get his players used to playing in his offensive system – a system where there is zero room for hesitancy.

This has led many to claim that Fiz doesn’t care about defense, which never made any sense to me and still doesn’t. Anyone who’s coached on a championship staff knows the value of defense…when you’re trying to win games. That was never the goal of this season, or at least not above development. Does playing a better defender over a worse one impact the culture in such a way as to inspire poorer defenders to up their game? This would seem to be the philosophy of many, but I’d just as soon argue that giving bad defenders the chance to improve is an equally valid path, especially when they’re trying hard, as the Knicks have largely done this season.

The bottom line is that Frank’s increased presence on the defensive end would have been great for the bottom line this year, but the long-term gains would be uncertain at best.

So what should Fiz have done? Benched Tim Hardaway Jr. instead of Frank back in November? Try selling that to the locker room. Move Knox to the four? We’ve seen him get manhandled in that spot all year. Insert Frank back as the starting point guard when it became apparent Mudiay was who we thought he was, offensive preferences be damned? That’s exactly Fizdale did back in January, albeit due to Mud’s injury.

Then Frank got hurt. And now we’re here.

It’s our instinct to keep asking these questions because it’s impossible not to look at Ntilkina’s season and try to find someone to blame. Fiz became a natural target because he’s the guy trotting out the turnstile who makes a half-dozen head scratching decisions every game. I get it, especially when the alternative is to look at the delightful kid who does nothing but try his ass off and play the right way and say “it’s your fault.”

The sad fact is that Frank Ntilikina is quite literally the worst shooter in the NBA who didn’t come out of the gate like we would have hoped. Some of that has to go on his shoulders.

I still believe in him, of course. How could you not? I mean, look at that smile…

I just don’t know if it’s going to happen for him in New York.

The reality is that Ntilikina was drafted to play in an offense very different than this one. That the man who drafted him was fired 10 days later is an unfortunate part of that reality.

He can function in this system, in a role slightly different than the one originally envisioned, as Fizdale talks about in the clip above. As the coach has alluded to repeatedly, Frank and DSJ should theoretically make beautiful music together…if our French son can hit is shots. Maybe that can happen here. Maybe his confidence isn’t so shot that it requires a change of scenery to resuscitate. Maybe surviving the summer and starting next season on the Knicks roster will restore Frank’s faith that, yes, the organization who drafted him does still want him around.

Or maybe not.

A lot will depend on what happens in July, or, better yet, what the Knicks’ brass thinks will happen in July, and whether they’ll need every ounce of cap room available. The best chance to trade Ntilikina might be on draft night. That’s over a week before free agency begins.

And just how confident should they be? I’ll have more thoughts on that soon.

In the meantime, I will probably be the only one who remains neither in the “Fire Fiz” camp, nor the “Frank stinks” one. It’s a lonely place to be.

But hey, at least I got a kickass blue ray player to keep me company.

On This Date: Revisit the Knicks 1971 NBA Draft

March 29th 1971: Revisiting the Knicks 1971 NBA Draft

In the spirit of the NBA Draft Lottery and the road to Mt. Zion2, I had a fun time revisiting the earlier days of the NBA Draft. Back in 1971, the draft was held in March and at the same time as the playoffs were happening in the current season. The draft was held over 2 days and there were only 17 teams. Unlike now, college players had to finish 4 years of eligibility before being selected in the upcoming draft. Additionally, the first 2 picks in the NBA Draft were determined based on worst record in each respective conference. The winner of the coin flip received the #1 pick.

The Knicks had 3 picks in the draft, beginning with the #16th overall pick. The Knicks drafted Dean Meminger with their 1st pick and subsequently drafted Gregg Northington with their 2nd round pick (#34 overall) and Kenny Mayfield with their 3rd round pick (#50 overall).

Meminger, known locally as “Dean The Dream,” was a local basketball legend before going to Marquette and before the Knicks drafted him. His college coach, Al McGuire, was Knick scout Dick McGuire’s brother and influenced the selection. Meminger received a championship ring in 1973, but only played 6 seasons in the NBA.

 

 

On This Date: Chris Dudley throws a basketball at Shaq

March 28th 1999: Chris Dudley throws a basketball at Shaq

In a generally frustrating, nationally televised 99-91 loss against the trio of Kobe Bryant, Glen Rice, and Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Dudley had one of his most memorable moments as a Knick. Shaq gave Dudley many problems on the defensive end. During one stretch, Shaq received the ball in the post and easily dunked over Dudley. After the dunk, Shaq inadvertently pushed Dudley to the floor. Dudley immediately threw the ball, like a quarterback, at Shaq’s back and was immediately ejected from the game. In a truly Shaqtian manner, he didn’t realize Dudley hit him and laughed off the moment.

The game was a bit chippy earlier in the game. Kurt Thomas was ejected after tussling with Dennis Rodman attempting to box out for a rebound, as shown below:

For some reason, Kurt decided to push Rodman to the floor and ripped his jersey in the process. In typical Rodman fashion2, he walked away knowing that he just ejected another player.

Fortunately this was not the only fight between both teams as Chris Childs would show Kobe Bryant the art of the jabs next season.

Knicks Film School Podcast: Year End Recap with Chris Iseman

Jon is joined by Chris Iseman, the Knicks beat reporter from The Record & NorthJersey.com, to give a recap on the soon-to-be-completed season. They talk about whether the team feels any of this year’s objectives have been achieved, whether the culture has actually improved, how to grade David Fizdale, if Frank Ntilikina has played his last game as a Knick, and the encouraging signs he’s seen from some of New York’s young players.

LISTEN:iTunes /Google

On This Date: Knicks broke 6 game losing streak as Ewing hit his first career 3 pointer

March 27th 1990: Knicks break 6 game losing streak as Ewing hit his first career 3 pointer

The Knicks defeated the Washington Bullets 119-100 to break a 6 game losing streak. Ewing led the way with 41 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots. He was 14-22 from the field and 12-14 from the foul line. More impressively, Ewing made his first career three pointer. The three put the team up 18 with 1:44 remaining in the 3rd quarter. He would only make 18 more three pointers over the remainder of his career, the bulk of which occurred between the 1993-94 season and the 1995-96 season.

The game marked another matchup against former Knick Bernard King. King led the Bullets with 23 points, but it wasn’t enough to stop Ewing and the Knicks.

 

Fan Moments: Knicks Nation Germany Austria takes on London

We are nearing the end of a long season, so we thought it would be fun to look back at Knicks fans favorite experiences. This article was written by member if New York Knicks Nation Germany Austria. They attended the Knicks game in London together.

The article is translated from German, so forgive any minor grammatical mistakes.


Part I – Wednesday

“Even a day before the actual game I already know that this London trip isn’t primarily
about watching the Knicks play basketball, this is about friendship.” By Fabian

BONN, GERMANY. The alarm clock rings at 3:00 am, it takes just a few seconds and I’m
wide awake. The big day is here. I’m about to board a plane to London where I’m going to
watch the New York Knicks face the Washington Wizards. There’s just one more aspect
about this: I’m going to make this trip being part of a group of 52 Germans and I haven’t seen any of them in person before. I’m aware that this might sound desparate or insane to you, but let me explain.

There’s just one thing you need to know about sports in Germany: Soccer.

This is a country where parents make their kids join the local soccer club as soon as they’re
able to walk without help. This is a country where you discuss the latest Bundesliga news
with your friends, your colleagues, even with your dentist or your mailman. This is also a
country where a majority of the population probably has never heard of LeBron James. So, if you’re born and raised in Germany and you happen to be a die hard New York Knicks fan,
F*CK YES, you’re boarding this plane to London to watch the game with 52 strangers that for whatever reason share the same passion as you.

It’s hard to believe, but during the one hour flight from Cologne to London and the following transfer to the hotel, I am – for the first time in my life – speaking to other Knicks fans face-to-face. The entire crew comes together at a burger restaurant in London, where we’ve agreed to have lunch.

For me, this is the opportunity to finally get to know these guys. Everybody is in a great mood and enjoying the moment despite supporting a team that has been trash for two decades. After an hour of conversations, discussions, jokes and fun, it almost feels as if
we’ve known each other for years. Although we’re all coming from different areas of
Germany with diverse backgrounds, we’re united in orange and blue. I realize how much this franchise means to every single one of them.

After lunch, about 15 of us meet at the hotel in London, where the Knicks stay for their trip. Practice has just finished and we hope to get a glimpse of some players when they arrive back at the hotel. Unfortunately, the team bus needs another two hours to make it through traffic and – of course – it’s freezing cold and raining the whole time.

That’s the moment where my body reminds me that I’ve only slept 3 hours. In the end, the wait was worth it. As soon as the players see these chilled through and rain-drenched fans in Knicks gear, they come over and take time to take some pictures and write autographs.
The first day in London ends with dinner and beer at a local pub. Everybody fights their
tiredness, because it’s just fun to be around each other. Even a day before the actual game I already know that this London trip isn’t primarily about watching the Knicks play basketball, this is about friendship.


Part II – Thursday

“Like a little kid at Christmas, I am happy about each one, about every welcome,
about every hug. Now I know what it feels like to be part of something great.“ By Daniel

Good morning, London! Getting up knowing we’re gonna see the New York Knicks players
live in a few hours within the circle of the Knicks Nation family: Can there be anything better?

A few months ago, it was just an idea. The idea became reality. The fan club was born and
barely a few months later, we’re flying to London with 52 members. That’s incredible and this afternoon, I will finally realize how unbelievable it really feels.

We start the day in proper style with an English breakfast at the Breakfast Club (literally a
breakfast club at Canary Wharf) with bones, french fries, roasted sausages and coffee. Not
necessarily my preference to start the day but ok … Strengthened and motivated, we make
our way to the city center of London to hit the Mitchell&Ness store, the Nike store and the
Footlocker store. By the way, The new Nike lace-less shoes are amazing.

Shortly after, it’s finally time: We’re going to meet Tray and Terry from the United States! You all know them. In the middle of the Tower Bridge, in freezing cold and stormy wind, we fall into each other’s arms, happy about our first meeting. For me, this is the first highlight that day – meeting these two in person. During the following interview session at the City Hall, Terry and Tray ask questions about the founding of the fan club, our opinions on the current squad and expectations for the future.

Still, the absolute highlight was yet to come: The gathering of all New York Knicks Nation
Germany/Austria members who came to London!!!

Why a highlight? Well, I’ve never met the majority of them, including many founding
members. Like a little kid at Christmas, I am happy about each one, about every welcome, about every hug. Now I know what it feels like to be part of something great. We, the NY
KNICKS NATION GER/AUT, made history with our group photo. The first and only official fan
club of an American basketball franchise in German-speaking countries set an example,
paving the way for the future.

Many thanks to all participants, who made this trip a personal highlight in my life!


Part III – Thursday / The Game + Friday

“Hard to believe, but our next appointment is the game […] it’s really the game.“
By Thorsten

Hard to believe, but our next appointment is THE GAME, I‘m just saying to Daniel, it’s really THE GAME. After all we’ve done in the last 36 hours in London, it’s THE GAME. We just met Terry and Trey, maybe the nicest Americans I’ve ever met – by the way, they are mother and son – we took the group picture in front of the tower bridge (with all 52 German Knicks fans), and now a group of us is walking to the underground station. Next stop: the o2.

As we’re leaving North Greenwich station my heart begins to beat a bit faster. I’m getting
nervous – for the first time I’m gonna see my Knicks in an NBA game. I’ve been to summer
league in vegas 2014, but this is an NBA game and I’m really about to see Frank Ntilikina,
Mitchell Robinson, Tim Hardaway Jr. and all the other players play. Entering the o2, I can’t
help myself but feeling like I’m in a giant mall. If you’ve ever been to the o2, you probably
know what I mean. 5.30 pm.

Great news even before the game: Our president Joe has finally managed to arrive at the arena. Just six hours ago, he missed his flight in Salzburg, Austria and had to drive to Munich to take a flight there to be in London in time. And there he is … in the arena. In time! 6 pm. As appointed, our group begins to prepare for the interview with the
German sports TV station DAZN. The interview was fun, our two executives Daniel and
Daniel talked about the club.

I still remember the time at the arena right before the game as an accumulation of bizarre incidents: us meeting the French Knicks, some of us taking a picture with the former German soccer player Per Mertesacker, me eating all my cookies at once – because I couldn’t take them inside the arena, Fabian making an interview for
Hungarian TV.

6.30 pm. We’re inside the actual arena – finally! As we’re taking the escalator, which
apparantly never gonna end, I feel excited … and hungry. So Daniel and I decide to buy a
hotdog and a beer. The beer was great!

So there we are, all 52 members on our seat in section 420 D. A feeling hard to capture with words. It turns out that I sit between Daniel and Daniel. The game can begin.

The o2 arena is very quiet! So we decide to start some chants like Go NY, Go NY, Go! or
Defense!. We even start some Happy Birthday- chants for Allonzo Trier. The Knicks play well in the first half – they get nervous in the second an as it comes down to the final shot for the Wizards, everyone of us is standing nervously. We all know the result. Admittedly, it was close – but still goaltend.

On Friday, our last day of the trip, we decide that it is time for a good old fashioned
sightseeing tour. So Fabian, Muhammed, Sven and I visit Big Ben, Buckingham Palace,
Picadilly Circus before we wind up in sports stores on Oxford Street, where Sven buys some
shoes for his girlfriend.

It was a great trip. I’m really thankful for all we have experienced in London, for all the Knicks fans I met. Big thanks to all the other members who’ve been part of the trip! One thing is sure: we will come back!

Written by:
Fabian Sürdt – twitter: @swish_fa
Daniel Hartmann – twitter: @hombre4life
Thorsten Andratschke – twitter: @ThortschMann
New York Knicks Nation Germany Austria – twitter: @ny_germany

On This Date: Trey Burke explodes for a career high 42 points

March 26th 2018: Trey Burke explodes for a career high 42 points

Only months after joining the Knicks roster, Trey Burke exploded for a career high 42 points and 12 assists in a 137-128 loss against the Charlotte Hornets. Burke scored 42 on 19-31 from the field and 3-9 from three. Burke hit shots from all over the court, including layups, threes, and a midrange shot which he hit at a ridiculously high 57% from long 2.

Burke joined the Knicks roster in January after the team cut Ramon Sessions. Rather than joining the Oklahoma City Thunder, Burke decided to sign with the Westchester Knicks to further develop his point guard skills. One of the biggest knocks on Burke’s game to that point was whether he could be a rotation point guard on a competitive team. After having a stretch of solid offensive outputs since the All Star Break, he received his first start the day before against the Washington Wizards.

Burke averaged 13 points/game and 50% from the field with the Knicks in 36 games in the 2017-18 season. He was not able to maintain the high efficiency this season as his FG% from long 2 regressed from 57% to 43% and consequently decreased his overall FG% to 41%. The three headed PG rotation with Emmanuel Mudiay & Frank Ntilikina also reduced his opportunities with the team. The Knicks traded Burke to the Mavericks in the Kristaps Porzingis trade.

 

On This Date: Knicks set NBA home attendance record with victory

March 25th 1972: The New York Knicks set a new home attendance record in a victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers

The Knicks went on a pursuit to break the home attendance record with a resounding 98-83 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The sold-out crowd of 19,588 fans set a new regular season record of 785,298 fans. The number broke the record set last year, by the Knicks, of 763,487 fans.

With Earl Monroe sidelined due to injury, Walt “Clyde” Frazier and Dick Barnett shouldered the offensive load for the team. Clyde scored 23 points while Barnett scored 19 in 35 minutes of action.

The game also featured one of the rare fights during the 1971-72 season between Jerry Lucas and Rick Roberson. Punches were thrown (but missed), but the scuffle ended without further conflict or suspension. Before the David Stern era, the penalties for fighting in a game were either rare or nonexistent at best.

NYC Basketball legend and former Knick Cal Ramsey passed away today

NYC Basketball legend and former Knick Cal Ramsey passed away today at the age of 81. Beyond being a former Knick, Ramsey was a New York City basketball legend who left his legacy from all areas of the city’s basketball spectrum, from the courts in Rucker Park to NYU and Madison Square Garden.

Before spending a couple years playing professionally with the St. Louis Hawks, Syracuse Nationals & the New York Knicks, Ramsey made his mark on the NYC basketball courts. Beginning in his teenage years, Ramsey dominated the courts in Rucker Park alongside basketball legend Thomas “Satch” Sanders. Ramsey was a rebounding machine and the duo formed one of the most fierce front-court duos. Ramsey also had his fair share of battles against Connie Hawkins & longtime friend and NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain.

At NYU, Ramsey received a bachelors degree in business administration from the School of Commerce (now known as Stern School of Business). Cal was an All-American senior at NYU and still holds school records in all the rebounding categories.

After his playing career, Cal continued to make an imprint on and off the court. Ramsey was one of the first few African Americans to play in the NBA. He, like many of his contemporaries, suffered through discrimination as an African American basketball player. Teams would set a quota for the number of African Americans that were on the roster. Ramsey likely only played 3 seasons in the NBA due to discrimination.

In 1963, Ramsey accompanied Wilt Chamberlain down to DC for the March on Washington. He witnessed Martin Luther King’s historic “I have a Dream” speech in person.

In 1972, Ramsey joined the Knicks as a television color analyst. He became the first African American TV analyst for the Knicks organization. He remained in that role for 10 years before he returned to NYU in 1983 as an assistant coach on the basketball team. He remained an assistant coach until his death.

In addition to all the achievements above, Ramsey spent more than half his living life as a member of the Knicks community. He’s served as a “goodwill ambassador” for the organization for the last 35+ years. He spent a lot of time working within the Garden of Dreams foundation and interacted with various community groups over the years. He’s made appearance at various Knick-related events over the years including basketball camps, fan appreciation nights, press conferences, and the opening of basketball courts across the New York City playgrounds. He was seen everywhere and his legacy will forever be remembered.

On This Date: Ewing scores a career high 51 points

March 24th 1990: Patrick Ewing scores a career high 51 points in a loss against the Boston Celtics

Despite losing 115-110 to the Boston Celtics in MSG, Patrick Ewing exploded for a career high 51 points in the effort. Ewing scored 51 on 20-29 from the field and 11-13 from the free throw stripe. Ewing also grabbed a ridiculously absurd 18 rebounds. The 51 points and 18 boards amounted to nearly half of the team’s total efforts on both ends.

Ewing simply put on a clinic in the post. He got almost any shot he wanted with a wide array of moves including turn around baskets, fade aways, and layups within the post. It seemed as if he would score any time he touched the ball. A complete dominant effort on the offensive end.


March 24th 1981: Knicks retire Dave DeBusschere’s number

The Knicks retired Dave DeBusschere’s #22 on this date. DeBusschere spent 6 seasons with the Knicks and was part of the team’s 2 championships. He was known as a very tenacious rebounder and defender, making 5 straight NBA All-Defensive Teams from 1969 until his retirement. He was selected to 4 straight NBA All-Star games from 1970-1974.

After his tenure in the NBA, DeBusschere spent his time working in the front office for the Nets in the 1970s before re-joining the Knicks front office in the 1980s. His lasting moment was winning the 1985 draft lottery to select Patrick Ewing with the #1 pick.

On This Date: Knicks-Suns Brawl

March 23rd 1993: Knicks and Suns brawl

The Knicks got involved in one of the more infamous brawls in team history in a tussle against the Phoenix Suns. The tensions began between both Doc Rivers & Kevin Johnson. As the 2nd quarter wound down, KJ began to pressure Doc on an inbounds pass. KJ drew an offensive foul before the pass and both players confronted one another. Both benches cleared, but there were only offsetting technical fouls and no punches thrown. Pat Riley held John Starks back as he had a few words for Danny Ainge.

On the next play, KJ had the ball in his hands, but Doc drew a charge as he was driving into the lane. With 5 seconds left in the half, Doc had the ball for the final play. Doc drove past half court as Ainge guarded him. While he handed the ball off to Starks, KJ bulldozed into him to to end the half and the brawl began.

Doc steamrolled towards KJ and began to throw punches. None of the punches connected however. Ainge & Mason also got entangled in the scuffle. Both benches heavily cleared. The coaches thought they resolved everything temporarily until Greg Anthony showed up.

Anthony, dressed in the ever-so-typical 90s streetwear due to injury, sucker punched Kevin Johnson to reignite the brawl. More shoves were thrown and it got extremely ugly. Eventually, KJ, Ainge, Doc, Anthony, Starks, and Mase were ejected.

Unfortunately, the repercussions after the game hit the Knicks hard and forever altered the NBA’s treatment of altercations. The NBA suspended Doc & KJ for 2 games each, but decided to suspend Greg Anthony for the rest of the season for re-instigating the brawl. The NBA additionally fined 21 players for a combined $160,000, a then record at the time.

The league significantly changed the rules for addressing fights after the season. Players that threw a punch would automatically be ejected and suspended for a minimum of 1 game. Additionally, any player who leaves the bench during an altercation would be suspended for 1 game. The latter rule came to hurt the Knicks several times, including their infamous 1997 playoff matchup with the Miami Heat.

For Greg Anthony, this turned out to be one of the most famous moments in his NBA career.

On this date: Bernard King scores 45 in victory against the Indiana Pacers

March 22nd 1985: Bernard King scores 45 points in a 118-113 victory against the Indiana Pacers

Bernard King dominated for the Knicks once again with 45 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals in a 118-113 victory on the road against the Indiana Pacers. King scored 45 on 16-29 from the field and 13-15 from the foul line.

The Knicks held a 17 point lead in the 1st half, but the Pacers, led by Clark Kellogg, Vern Fleming, & future Knick mainstay Herb Williams, cut the lead to 7 by the end of the 3rd quarter. Ultimately, King proved to be too much for the Pacers to handle and the Knicks held onto victory.

This game was part of King’s historic season where he averaged 32.9 points per game. King’s efforts were remarkable despite the fact that the Knicks were 24-46. Unfortunately, this was the last full game King played as he suffered a devastating knee injury in the next day against the then-Kansas City Kings. The injury would sideline him for nearly 2 seasons and ultimately marked the end of his run with the franchise.

Knicks Film School Podcast: Rolling Stone’s Alan Sepinwall on the Knicks & The Sopranos

Jon is joined by the chief television critic for Rolling Stone and a lifelong Knicks fan, Alan Sepinwall. They talk about the ups and downs of this season and life as a Knicks fan before getting into Alan’s new book, “The Sopranos Sessions,” and drawing some comparisons between everyone’s favorite mafia family and the team we love.

LISTEN:iTunes / Google

A Knick Fan’s Spiritual Guide to the Offseason

These are tense times for supporters of the Knicks. With arguably the most pivotal offseason in franchise history now three weeks away from getting underway, fans may be tempted to turn to a higher power to help guide them through the difficult months ahead. Our own Jonathan Macri offers some spiritual guidance in an easy to use Q&A format…

I’m not a very religious person. Can I still use this guide?

Yes, although you are probably going to hell.

What if I don’t believe in hell?

You’re a Knicks fan. Hell exists whether you believe in it or not.

It seems like God hates us. How else can you explain what we’ve had to deal with for the last two decades?

Contrary to popular belief, God is actually a Knicks fan, He’s just been taking some time off for load management.

Is there a benefit to watching any more games this year?

Many religions believe that acts of sacrifice are necessary for a positive experience in the afterlife. Some of these sacrifices, like Muslims fasting during Ramadan or alter boys assisting a priest in the rectory, can often be quite painful. Certain sects of Buddhism have practiced self-immolation – arguably the ultimate in painful sacrifice – for centuries. So yes, watching games may indeed have some benefit.

Is repeatedly watching Emmanuel Mudiay dribble into traffic and put up contested 15-foot fall-away jumpers more or less painful than lighting oneself on fire?

What a horrible thing to say. Did you see the Laker game? Mud has been a revelation this year.

Wait…Fiz, is that you?

Sorry, new phone…who dis?

Is a future with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Zion Williamson the closest I will get to heaven?

Almost certainly.

Which possibility is more likely to exist?

Let’s start with the 14% chance that the Knicks get the first pick. From there, we can add in a few percentage points to account for the possibility that a team in some undesirable destination wins the lottery, the Knicks get the 2nd spot, and Zion’s people strong-arm him to New York2. So let’s up it to 18%. If we put KD’s odds of coming at 50/50 – more than fair – that takes us down to 9%. Then it’s on Kyrie, who is a literal crazy person. I’ll give it a one in three chance he wants in at that point. That leaves us at 3%. Getting back to the original question, I guess we’ll call it even.

What if I can’t endure any more Knicks games in their totality…does watching highlights of the games count as “church,” and might this have some benefit?

It depends on the highlights. Simply watching Mitchell Robinson highlights is akin to walking into church during the Eucharist, chugging the wine, grabbing the contents of the collection basket and then leaving. God would frown upon this. Highlights must include at least four Noah Vonleh post-ups, three Allonzo Trier isolations, two Hail Mary’s and one Our Father to receive credit.

If I show up to Madison Square Garden or a JD & the Straight Shots concert and start chanting “Sell the team,” is this heresy, and will I be smote for my evildoing?

Possibly. Turning your back on Dolan might very well be akin to turning your back on Jesus Christ himself.

The parallels are there. Most obviously, they each got to where they are in life by pure genealogical chance. Jesus didn’t “earn” the right to be anyone’s Lord & Savior any more than Dolan “earned” the Knicks. There’s a reason that, in Psalms 2:13, Jesus states “No, no, no, no…the guy with the hammer is my stepdad. Get it right.”

Second, like Jesus is one person but actually three people (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), Dolan is the owner of the Knicks, Rangers and MSG all at the same time. As Sister Thomasine and her wooden ruler made quite clear to me in 3rd grade, no, you cannot cut up Jesus into three pieces, like a Jesus pie. Similarly, you cannot differentiate Dolan into three different owners. He is all of them, all at once, all the time.

Finally, JD is only one letter off from JC. This can’t be a coincidence

Wow, you’ve really lost your mind this season.

That wasn’t a question.

I’m starting to get concerned for the draft lottery. On the 86% chance all of this losing is for not, I don’t think I’ll be able to get through the evening without drinking to excess, and gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins. I feel like my lack of self-control might be frowned upon by the man upstairs when free agency rolls around. Will I be punished in July for the sins of May?

No. Aside from the fact that Jesus turned water into wine, there are nearly 250 references to wine or “strong drink” in the Bible. Of these, alcohol is seen as an accepted part of normal culture 58 times, 27 times it is called it a blessing from God, and the loss of wine is referred to a curse from God 19 times. Conversely, there are only 13 warnings of the abuse of alcohol and 16 instances of actual abuse. This is Word of the Lord. Bottoms up.

I’m Jewish, and have been kvetching about Zion all year. Am I a schmuck for thinking that we have a chance at getting him, especially since I’ve been not-so-subtly taught since birth to always expect the worst?

Mishagas. You have every right to believe Zion is coming to the Knicks. In fact, it might as well be written in scripture. As I’m sure you remember from Temple, Zion is synonymous with the Jewish homeland, which is New York. He is destined to be a Knick.

It’s a little late in the game, but I want to give up something for lent that will help our chances of winning the lottery. Do you have any suggestions?

Pride. You can give up pride in any number of ways that tie in directly with your Knicks fandom. Simply being a Knicks fan is a good first step. Some additional suggestions include2:

  • Wearing an Andrea Bargnani jersey outside of the home
  • Defending Lance Thomas on Twitter.
  • Purchasing this, pop it in your ride, put the top down and blast the smooth sounds of a classic blues band steeped in the quiet fire of Americana3.
  • Letting Tim Thomas call you fugazi
  • Getting the pipe.
  • Continuing your workout even after you know Phil has fallen asleep.
  • Reading everything Frank Isola writes.
  • Siding with an Enes Kanter burner account in an argument.
  • Growing a Lou Amundson man bun
  • Becoming a Nets season ticket holder.

That last one seems harsh; the Nets are actually good.

You should get season tickets then. There are plenty available.

I understand the concept of having “faith,” but trading away the best young player the team has had in over three decades for the mere chance at a successful July seems like equal parts greed, lust, pride and sloth all wrapped into one. Is this a bad sign?

You’re getting really close to having your head end up in a box in the middle of nowhere.

July 1 is a Monday. I’m a Catholic, but not normally a church-going person. On one hand, I feel like if I don’t go to mass on the day before free agency officially begins, I’m basically sealing the deal on four years of Boogie Cousins and Jimmy Butler. On the other hand, this would be pretty blatant and shameless pandering. What should I do?

When’s the last time you’ve been to church?

My daughter’s baptism. She’s now a sophomore in college.

Yeah, don’t go to church. Instead, you should go to confession, but in addition to confessing your own sins, you should confess all of the Knicks’ sins as well, starting with the trade of Patrick Ewing, continuing through the Isiah Thomas and Phil Jackson eras, and concluding with the Tim Hardaway Jr. contract.

I don’t want Kevin Durant that badly. Can I just convert to Latvian Orthodox and call it a day?

Sure.

 

 

On This Date: Patrick Ewing dominates the Charlotte Hornets again

March 19th 1991: Patrick Ewing dominates the Charlotte Hornets for the third time this season

After scoring 50 and 38 points in the previous 2 meetings against the Charlotte Hornets, Patrick Ewing dominated once again with 41 points in a 97-79 victory on the road. Ewing scored 41 on 18-25 from the field, but also grabbed 8 rebounds, dished 7 assists, and blocked 3 shots in the dominant effort. Ewing led or tied the team in all 4 categories.

Ewing was the sole dominant force for the Knicks as he scored nearly half the team’s points. Only he and Kiki Vandeweghe scored in double figures for the team. Outside of Vandeweghe, Ewing scored nearly as many points as the rest of the roster. Most of the team struggled to shoot from the floor outside of Ewing. The win gave the Knicks 17 road wins, which surpassed their total from the previous season.

On This Date: Knicks hire Phil Jackson

March 18th 2014: Knicks hire Phil Jackson as President of Basketball Operations

The Knicks brought back Phil Jackson into the organization as the new President of Basketball Operations on a 5 year $50 million contract. The Knicks previously courted him on several occasions (back in 1999 and 2005) to coach the team, but was rejected due to a myriad of reasons (mostly related to the fact that the team wasn’t as talented). Phil spent most of his playing career with the Knicks where he won 2 championships as a player.

Ever since the team relieved Glen Grunwald of his duties, James Dolan went into full pursuit to find a full-time President of Basketball Operations. Steve Mills returned to the organization to become the interim President of Basketball Operations. At the same time, Madison Square Garden recently acquired the Great Western Forum for the main purpose to renovate the arena to serve as an entertainment venue rivaling the nearby Staples Center.

Through the entertainment business and his own musical ambitions, Dolan maintained a long-standing friendship with Irving Azoff. In 2013, both Azoff and Dolan formed a joint venture – Azoff MSG Entertainment LLC – that served to fuel MSG Entertainment’s presence in the live event industries.

It was at one of Azoff’s parties in late 2013 where Dolan met Phil Jackson. Azoff setup the courtship beforehand to help broker the relationship. Phil advised Dolan on certain basketball transactions (including not trading anymore 1st round picks and nixing the Kyle Lowry/Iman Shumpert trade) over the course of the next few months. Things further progressed in March and the team finalized the hire on March 18th.

Phil Jackson’s hire brought massive expectations to the organization. Many expected the team to re-establish their winning culture and use the influence of Phil’s 11 rings to get back to the NBA Finals. Others expected the Knicks to bring back the triangle offense.

In the months after the hire, Phil had several looming questions to answer. After Phil fired Mike Woodson and traded both Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler, he was left with a major decision involving Carmelo Anthony. Melo unsurprisingly opted out of his contract at the end of the season. It was assumed that Dolan told Phil that Melo had to be a part of the long-term future of the organization. Therefore, Melo signed a 5 year $124 million extension with a no-trade clause.

Unfortunately, the Melo signing was one of many ill-fated decisions that destroyed Phil’s tenure with the team. Phil hired Derek Fisher with the intention to run the triangle offense. However, the team was not able to grasp the offense and immediately spiraled out of contention before the new year hit. Phil quickly went on a firesale and JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Amare Stoudemire were all gone from the team before the All Star Break. Additionally, Melo suffered knee soreness that required surgery. Due to his desire to play in the All Star Game, he postponed the surgery to after the ASB. The injury and surgery severely impacted Melo’s game to this date on both the offensive and defensive end.

Phil seemed to strike gold in the 2015 NBA Draft with the Kristaps Porzingis selection. However, Phil made a rash decision to fire Derek Fisher midway towards the 2015-16 season after only 1.5 years with the team. Phil later hired Jeff Hornacek as the new head coach.

Phil decided to embark on a win-now mission during the 2016 offseason and traded for Derrick Rose while signing Joakim Noah to a massive 4 year $72 million contract and Courtney Lee to a 4 year $50 million contract. The 2016-17 season also proved to be a mess, but it was mainly due to the fact that Phil publicly criticized Melo throughout the entire season. The side-effect to the Melo drama was that Kristaps Porzingis became disenchanted with the organization and decided to skip the exit meeting.

The final straw occurred during the 2017 NBA Draft where Phil tried to trade Porzingis to various teams and seriously considered to buyout Carmelo Anthony. Dolan rejected both ideas and ultimately both parties agreed to part ways. Phil’s last move was drafting both Frank Ntilikina and Damyean Dotson in the 2017 NBA Draft.

The remaining remnants of Phil’s tenure are Lance Thomas, Ntilikina, Dotson, and Joakim Noah’s contract that has been stretched until 2022. Phil did not trade any 1st round picks during his tenure, though he did give up several 2nd round picks in miscellaneous trades. Ultimately it seemed that Phil was never prepared to handle the responsibilities required to be President of Basketball Operations. His mindset was stuck on being a coach and that overshadowed what everyone else was doing within the organization. His public feud with Melo and the Noah free agent signing added dark stains to his professional legacy within the NBA.

Celebrating Swin Cash

This article is written by Tiffany Salmon.

I often think about women in sports and what it takes to excel in their field while also being a friend, a supporter, a patron, a sister, and of course, in many cases, a mother.

No matter the profession or class, playing all of those roles offers both fulfillment and stress. It’s not easy being something for everyone. And in 2019, with 24/7 news coverage of our favorite celebrities, balancing responsibilities as a female athlete seems more challenging than ever before.

Growing up, all we knew about basketball players, men or women, was how many points they scored, or if their team could count on them for a defensive stop at the end of a tight game. Now, we have seemingly unlimited access, learning about who our favorite players are as people off the court.

When I think of someone who sets an amazing example as both a female athlete and role model, I think of Swin Cash. Swin has ingrained herself in the New York basketball scene over the last five years, which has helped me become not only a fan of her game, but also a fan of her as a person.

Tuning into MSG Networks on Knicks game nights, I always look forward to watching the pre and post game shows. Beginning during the Melo era, I’ve enjoyed  the on-air team which has comprised of Alan Hahn, Wally Szczerbiak, Al Trautwig and Bill Pidto.

Around 2015, with the exit of Tina Cervasio, I was worried we had lost a strong female presence on the telecast. Soon that would change when the brilliant Rebecca Haarlow was bought on board to replace Tina as the live in-game reporter, and later when Swin Cash was hired to bring her basketball expertise to the pre, post, and halftime telecast.

Knicks fans who are meeting Swin for the first time through her presence on MSG have quickly learned that she has a keen eye for breaking down Knicks games on a highly basis, but might not know how much of a beast she was on the court, herself. For all the NBA players she reports on for MSG, Cash’s basketball resume most likely trumps theirs ten times over, and that isn’t an exaggeration.

Being a life long fan of the Lady Vols, I always looked up to Queens product Shemequa Holdsclaw, fell in love with soon-to-be Vol Candace Parker in high school, and, of course, Tennessee had the greatest college basketball coach ever (in my humble opinion), Pat Summit. So to put it lightly, growing up, Swin was a foe to my favorite college basketball team.

Anybody who knows women’s NCAA basketball, knows Tennessee vs. UConn was the ultimate rivalry during the 2000s. Because of this, I’ve always known Swin Cash because she always helped lead to heartbreak in me and many lady Vols fans hearts, alike.

After graduating from McKeesport Area High School in Pittsburgh, Cash was a WBCA All-American and netted a spot on the UConn Husckies 1998 team. During her UConn career, Swin continued to rack up the accolades: in 2000, she won the National Woman’s Division I Basketball Championship, needing to beat my Lady Vols on the way; she also led the 2002 Lady Huskies to an undefeated 39-0 season and another championship with the help pf Queens stand-out Sue Bird, and Diana Taurasi. Cash won the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player that year.

In the WNBA Draft, in 2002, Swin was chosen 2nd overall by the Detroit Shock. Known for her rebounding and defense, her impact was almost immediately felt on the franchise. It took only one year for Cash to help the Shock win their first WNBA title in 2003. If you know about how competitive the early 2000s WNBA was, you know Swin and the Shock had to defeat some of the most prominent teams of those early 2000s. Becky Hammond and The New York Liberty and Tamika Catchings and Indiana Fever just to name a couple.

Under Bill Laimbeer, a coach whom she would play for again in the future, the Shock would go on to win three titles in six years. During that time she even helped stop a 3-peat attempt by the dominant Los Angeles Sparks in going against one of the most notable players in the sport and future basketball Hall of Famer, Lisa Leslie.

Beyond the WNBA, Swin also played in Russia during the off season for a year. After finding success with the Shock, she would move West to Seattle to play with the Storm where she joined forces with NYC basketball legend and former UConn teammate Sue Bird, along with Sheryl Swoopes and Lauren Jackson in 2008. That year, the Storm finished with their best record in franchise history at 22-12, but eventually lost to the Sparks in the Western Conference Semis.

Cash earned four WNBA All-Star appearances and also won All-Star MVP in 2009 and 2011 while playing for the Storm.

Along with her many accomplishments in the WNBA, Swin is a 2-time Olympic gold medalist, winning gold in 2004 and 2012 with the US Women’s basketball team.

After her run with the Storm, Swin played with the Chicago Sky and Atlanta Dream from 2012-2014. In her final stint in the WNBA, Swin signed with my beloved New York Liberty in 2014. As a fan of the team, I knew having her would make a great impact, and it did.

Being a fan of the Liberty in the summers of 2016 and 20017 reminded me of the old days, but this time I was able to attend some of the games. In those two seasons, the Liberty finished 1st in the East and earned playoff appearances in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2011-2012. In 2016, under the leadership of Swin’s former Detroit Shock coach, Bill Lambeer, the Liberty made it within one game of making the WNBA finals. I was there for that game, Tamika Catchings, a Lady Vols rival, and the Fever killed the Liberty down the stretch and New York lost a tough one. I will always give thanks to that series because as fan of the Knicks and Liberty I was able to experience playoff basketball in the Garden again for Games 1 + 3 during those Eastern Conference finals.

On June 7, 2016, Swin cash announced she was retiring at the end of the season. One year later, the New York Liberty named her Director of Franchise Development.

For all of her professional success and accolades, Swin is also a generous philanthropist for people in need. In May 2011, she was awarded with an honorary degree of Doctorate of Public Service from Washington and Jefferson College in honor of her charity work. She is also an activist against police brutality and gun violence. Swin, along with other WNBA players in 2016, wore #BlackLivesMatter warm-ups following the continued police brutality of young African American men and women across the United States.

Swin is the founder of Cash for Kids charity and holds basketball camps and clinics throughout the year. In the summer of 2017, Swin gave birth to her first child, a son, Saint, with husband Stave Canal.

Between Swin’s on-air appearances for MSG Networks, she also does analyst spots for Yahoo, ESPN, and CBS, as well as her own podcast, She’s Got Time.  While the sports profession, whether on-air or on the court, can be a tough job to juggle, Swin makes it look easy. She’s just another example of woman doing the work on the field, behind the screen and at home, too.

On This Date: Knicks broke team record for most 3s made in a game

March 17th 2011: Knicks set record for most threes made in a game

On St. Patrick’s Day 2011, the Knicks broke a team record with 20 three pointers made in a 120-99 blowout victory against the Memphis Grizzlies at MSG. Leading the way for the Knicks was Toney Douglas, who led the Knicks with 29 points and 9 three pointers made. The 9 threes tied John Starks & Latrell Sprewell for most threes made in a game. JR Smith eventually broke the record 3 years later with 10 three pointers made.

The 20 team three pointers made broke the record of 19 set in the 2008-09 season ironically against the Memphis Grizzlies on the road. It’s not a coincidence that Mike D’Antoni coached both those teams as the Knicks emphasized high paced scoring and high volume threes.

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the Knicks wore green uniforms. The team eventually discontinued those uniforms after the 2011-12 season.

Knicks Film School Podcast: Pre-Tourney Prospect Review & Knicks Draft Board with Spencer Pearlman

Jon is joined once again by Spencer Pearlman of The Stepien and Knicks Film School for a draft deep dive before the tourney begins. They go through what the Knicks draft board should look like, first considering the current roster and then factoring in a certain free agent forward. They also discuss how likely a trade might be, what prospect might jump up over the next three weeks, why Spencer is still low on Ja Morant and how that could change.

On This Date: Allan Houston scores 50 points in victory

March 16th 2003: Allan Houston scores 50 points in a victory against the Milwaukee Bucks

In what amounted to be the 2nd straight disappointing season for the Knicks, Allan Houston brought a slight positive moment with his 2nd 50 point game in a 120-111 victory at home against the Milwaukee Bucks. Houston scored 50 on a very impressive 13-25 from the field, 6-14 from three, and 18-18 from the free throw line. The 18 free throws were even more impressive since Houston was known more as a perimeter scorer.

With this scoring outburst, Houston scored 50 points both at home and on the road. Before the season, Patrick Ewing was the last Knick to score more than 50 points in a game. Houston posted career high numbers of 22.5 points a game while playing all 82 games in the season. While Latrell Sprewell posted career-low numbers and Antonio McDyess sidelined for the entire season, Houston was the Knicks’ lone consistent offensive option. Unfortunately, injuries saddled Houston for the final 2 years of his career while his $100 million contract burdened the Knicks.

On This Date: Harry Gallatin grabs a Knick-high 33 rebounds in a game

March 15th 1953: Harry Gallatin grabs a Knick-record 33 rebounds

Harry Gallatin ended the 1952-53 season with a bang, scoring 30 points and grabbing 33 rebounds in a 81-69 loss against the Fort Wayne Pistons. While rebounds weren’t tracked fully until 1973, the 33 boards remain a Knick record to this date. Willis Reed later tied his record in the 1970-71 season.

While his height of 6’6 would make him more of a shooting guard or point guard in this era, Gallatin was instead a rugged and tenacious rebounder. He averaged more than 12 rebounds a game while with the Knicks.

On This Date: Mike D’Antoni resigns

March 14th 2012: Mike D’Antoni resigns

Mike D’Antoni resigned from the team on this date, days after the Knicks lost another close game on national TV on the road against the Chicago Bulls. D’Antoni, in the final year of his contract, was on the hotseat for most of the season. The NBA Lockout significantly reduced the amount of time D’Antoni could spend to create an offensive system and strengthen team chemistry. Because of the lockout, the team had little practice time and often had bouts of back-to-back-to-back games.

D’Antoni could never find a way to successfully mesh the trio of Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler. Melo & Amare in particular did not come into the season in great shape (due to the lockout) and D’Antoni was not able to find a way to build an offensive system that could take advantage of their strengths.

Additionally, the team lacked a point guard for most of the season. After the team amnestied Chauncey Billups, the team relied on Mike Bibby & Toney Douglas to reign in the point guard duties for the early stretch of the season. Both players struggled (for obvious reasons) and consequently led to Melo & Amare’s struggles.

Furthermore, the rise of Jeremy Lin added additional pressure on the team to mesh in the 2nd half of the season. Once Melo returned from injury, both he and Lin could not seem to complement each other and the team continued to lose games.

Most of the attention focused on the clash in styles between Carmelo Anthony & Mike D’Antoni. While neither of them had a public outburst, it seemed that there just was not enough time to successfully build proper synergy between the two of them. After the big trade in February 2011, the entire team basically flipped over and there just was not enough time to develop a system. D’Antoni had an uptempo offensive system while Melo preferred a system that favored more isolation-heavy options.

At the time of his resignation, the Knicks were 18-24 and just suffered a 6 game losing streak (their 2nd 6-game losing streak of the season). Mike Woodson took over interim duties and the team reverted more to an isolation-heavy offense with an emphasis on defense. The Knicks went 18-6 to end the season to reach the playoffs. The Heat defeated the Knicks in 5 games.


March 14th 1992: Dick McGuire’s jersey retired

Dick McGuire’s number 15 was retired for the 2nd time on this date. The Knicks previously retired the number in 1986 for Earl Monroe. McGuire spent more than 8 decades with the Knicks as a player, coach, scout, and team executive. He was responsible for discovering various draft picks, including the point guard duo of Mark Jackson and Rod Strickland.