February 13th 2007: Eddy Curry hits a game-winning alley-oop to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers in the Staples Center
The Knicks pulled off a surprising 107-106 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers, courtesy of an Eddy Curry alley-oop. After David Lee secured the offensive rebound with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation, he fed a pass to Jamal Crawford. Crawford drove into the lane and floated an alley-oop pass over Andrew Bynum to Curry for the go-ahead dunk. Spike Lee was in attendance (wearing a Nate Robinson jersey) and taunted fellow Lakers fan Denzel Washington after the Knicks took the lead and the victory. The victory in Los Angeles was a rare sight as the team normally struggled there during most of Kobe Bryant’s tenure with the organization.
January 26, 2007: Jamal Crawford scores a career high 52 points against the Miami Heat
In one of a few bright spots of the 2006-07 season, Jamal Crawford exploded for a career high 52 points in a 20-point blowout against the Miami Heat in Madison Square Garden. Crawford was unstoppable from the field, hitting 20-30 from the field and 8-10 from three.
December 15, 2006: David Lee defies basketball odds with the game-winning and buzzer-beating tip in
On Trent Tucker’s birthday, David Lee not only defied the Trent Tucker rule, but also most basketball odds with an unbelievable tip in with 0.1 seconds left in double overtime to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 111-109 in double overtime.
Lee flashed to the top of the key and immediately reversed back to the basket and juked out Gerald Wallace to receive the tip courtesy of a sidelines out-of-bounds pass from Jamal Crawford. Lee, being ambidextrous, deftly reversed and used his right hand to tip the shot in, sending Madison Square Garden in a state of paranoia.
The MSG broadcast crew of Gus Johnson & Walt “Clyde” Frazier previewed the Trent Tucker game and reminded the viewers of the rule. Once Lee hit the shot, Gus Johnson went in his usual state of frenzy.
The MSG camera crew focused onto Michael Jordan1 then-minority owner and president of basketball operations for the Bobcats and close friend Ahmad Rashad as Knicks fans heckled them after the victory. Additionally, Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley attended the game with Jordan. Ironically all three players were active in the Trent Tucker game and re-witnessed history made again courtesy of David Lee.
December 20, 1997: Patrick Ewing suffers broken wrist in an injury that significantly alters the remainder of his career
In a franchise-altering move, Patrick Ewing suffered a broken wrist after attempting to receive an alley-oop pass in a matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks. Bucks center, and future Knick, Andrew Lang fouled Ewing mid-air and sent him into a dangerous fall. Ewing suffered a dislocated bone and a few torn ligaments in his right wrist, his shooting hand. He immediately had surgery days after and expected to miss the remainder of the season.
This marked the first time Ewing spent a significant amount of the season injured since his sophomore campaign. Over the course of his Knick career to date, Ewing was always reliable and durable. This injury forced the Knicks to quickly consider life without Ewing and to build a foundation not dependent on him.
Despite the injury, the Knicks went 43-39 and made it to the Eastern Conference Semifinals to face the Indiana Pacers in another rivalry matchup. Defying most odds, Ewing made a remarkable comeback to return in Game 3 back home at MSG.
Ewing’s return resulted in a triumphant victory in Game 3, but wasn’t enough to withstand the feisty Pacers roster. The Knicks lost the series in 5 games.
The wrist injury forever altered Ewing’s career. He was not able to regain his adept shooting much post-wrist injury. He suffered exponentially on offense and later suffered a torn Achilles in the 1999 playoffs. The Knicks acquired Sprewell & Marcus Camby before the 1998-99 season to prepare for life without Ewing.
December 18, 2006: Stephon Marbury goes coast-to-coast to hit the game-winning finger roll against the Utah Jazz
Stephon Marbury lifted the undermanned Knicks team to an improbably 97-96 victory against Deron Williams and the Utah Jazz. The Knicks dressed only 8 players for the game due to the suspensions from the melee against the Nuggets only 2 days prior. 4 players – Nate Robinson, Jerome James, Mardy Collins, & Jared Jeffries – were suspended for the game. Additionally, starters Steve Francis & Quentin Richardson were sidelined due to injury. Continue reading →
December 16, 2006: The New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets engage in the worst brawl since the Malice in the Palace
A game that was seemingly heading into a blowout loss for the Knicks turned into one of the most infamous days in team history. With 1:15 left in the game and the Nuggets up 19, Knick rookie Mardy Collins flagrantly fouled future Knicks JR Smith by the neck as he was driving to the hoop for a dunk. Continue reading →
April 7th 2007: Eddy Curry scores a career high 43 points to help the Knicks defeat the Milwaukee Bucks
Eddy Curry scored a career high 43 points, and hit a game-tying 3 pointer to force overtime, to help the Knicks defeat the Bucks on the road 118-113. The Knicks ran a masterful SLOB2Sidelines Out of Bounds Play where Nate Robinson curled and cut from the three point corner to the top of the three point arc. (via screens set by Curry & Channing Frye) The tiny room of space allowed Curry to be wide open at the three point corner. Knick rookie Mardy Collins inbounded the ball and threw it to him for the game-tying 3 point swish, the first of the season.
Curry scored 43 on 17-20 from the field, 25 of which was earned after halftime. He also had 13 rebounds and 2 steals. Both Nate Robinson & Mardy Collins received significant minutes due to injuries to Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, & Jamal Crawford (who was out for the season). Nate had 34 points – on 5-13 from three – and had 7 assists and 2 steals in the start.
Collins had an even more impressive statline for the night. In nearly 51 minutes of action, Collins had a near triple double with 19 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists, and 5 steals.
March 12th 2007: James Dolan gives Isiah Thomas a contract extension
After leading the Knicks to a 29-34 record and barely staying afloat at the #8 seed in the Eastern Conference, James Dolan surprisingly decided to give Isiah Thomas a multi-year contract extension. After the disastrous 2005-06 season that led to Larry Brown’s firing, Dolan gave Isiah Thomas an 1 year ultimatum to show “evident progress” otherwise he’d be fired. Somehow a 29-34 record was adequate enough.
In Knicksian fashion, the team won 4 of the remaining 19 games to fall well out of playoffs. Both Jamal Crawford & David Lee had their seasons end early due to injuries. The next season proved to be disastrous due to the verdict from the sexual harassment lawsuit and a very public feud with Stephon Marbury. The Knicks were deemed an “embarrassment” by David Stern. Stern coerced Dolan to hire Donnie Walsh and subsequently fired Isiah at the end of the season.
February 16th 2007: David Lee wins the NBA Rookie-Sophomore All Star Game MVP
In one of the more prouder moments in Knicks Rookie-Sophomore Game history, David Lee earned MVP honors after scoring 30 points on 14-14 shooting from the field and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Lee dazzled the crowd his his ability to score off the pick-and-roll. The pick-and-roll buckets eventually became a household staple during his NBA career. He also had a lot of breakaway dunks in this one. The dunks were of no surprise to fans of his, especially those who remember his talents winning the 2001 McDonald’s All American Slam Dunk Contest.
Lee average a double double off the bench during his sophomore season. He later blossomed under Mike D’Antoni’s fast paced system which allowed him to receive an $80 million contract from the Golden State Warriors.