December 17, 1978: Bob McAdoo returns from injury to score 41 points off the bench.
Bob McAdoo returned from injury to score a then-Knicks record 41 points off the bench in 42 minutes. McAdoo’s performance led the Knicks to a 111-105 victory against the Atlanta Hawks. McAdoo missed the previous 12 games with an injured toe. The scoring record off the bench lasted until the 2009-10 season when Al Harrington scored 42 points off the bench in a Halloween matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers.
McAdoo spent around 2 full seasons with the Knicks. The Knicks acquired him in the December of 1976 in a trade with the Buffalo Braves.1 The Knicks traded center John Gianelli and 2.5 million to the Braves for McAdoo & Tom McMillen.
McAdoo remained a prolific scorer for the Knicks, averaging nearly 27 points a game during his tenure with the team. However, hi offensive dexterity did not correlate to wins with the team. The Knicks expected McAdoo to mesh with Spencer Haywood, Earl Monroe, & Walt “Clyde” Frazier. However, the team lacked chemistry and the Knicks dealt Clyde to the Cavaliers in the summer of 1977.
As the losses piled up during the 1978-79 season, the Knicks traded McAdoo to the Boston Celtics for three 1st round picks in the 1979 NBA Draft. Those picks turned out to be Bill Cartwright (picked 3rd overall), Larry Demic (drafted 9th overall), and Sly Williams (drafted 21st overall). Both Demic & Sly Williams had nondescript tenures with the Knicks. Cartwright played 7 full seasons with the Knicks before the team shipped him to Chicago for Charles Oakley.2
McAdoo eventually won an NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1982 and 1985.