June 2nd 1993: The Charles Smith game
With the Knicks down 95-94 at home in Game 5 of the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals, Charles Smith miraculously missed 4 point blank layups to give the Bulls a surprising upset victory in Madison Square Garden for a 3-2 series lead. With around 10 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter, Patrick Ewing drove to the paint. He lost the ball and it went directly to Smith. Smith was not able to get a shot off on 4 attempts before the Bulls recovered the ball.
The Knicks never recovered after the disappointing home loss. After taking an initial 2-0 series lead, the Bulls won 4 straight games to head to their 3rd straight NBA Finals. As for Smith, he isn’t shy to discuss the missed opportunities in public occasions. As a Bridgeport, CT native, he couldn’t avoid those conversations either. After having a relatively successful business career upon retirement, Smith transitioned into a role serving as president of the National Basketball Retired Players Association. His main objective was to improve the welfare for retired players in the form of benefits, pensions, etc. He also established the transition assistance program to provide financial counseling to former basketball players to transition into the second phase of their life. The impetus of this program was the increasing number of players that filed for bankruptcy.
Knicks Film School Historian, amongst other things