On This Date: The Chris Smith era ends

December 31, 2013: The New York Knicks waive Chris Smith

As perhaps an auspicious start to a new year, the Knicks waived Chris “Da Gawd” Smith, the brother of JR Smith, to re-sign Jeremy Tyler.

Da Gawd initially joined the Knicks 2012 Summer League team. The team gave him a training camp invite, but was cut before the season after suffering a season-ending left patella injury that required surgery.

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On This Date: Earl Barron has a career night

April 6th 2010: Earl Barron has a career night

In the waning moments of what the Knicks expected to be the last losing season before the Summer of LeBron, it was relative newcomer Earl Barron who had a night to remember. Barron had a double double with 17 points and 18 rebounds in the 104-101 victory against the Boston Celtics.

The Knicks signed Earl Barron to a contract for the remainder of the season to see what he could bring to the team. Barron last played significant minutes with the Miami Heat in the 2007-08 season before going overseas in Italy. In the 7 games he played with the Knicks, he had 4 double digit rebounding games, including this 18 rebound night. Barron would bounce around and play sporadic minutes with several teams before having a 2nd cup of coffee with the Knicks near the end of the 2012-13 season.


April 6th 2014: JR Smith sets Knick record for most 3s in a game

JR Smith breaks John Starks & Latrell Sprewell’s Knick record for the most 3s in a game. JR hit 10-22 from downtown to score 32 points. Unfortunately, the Knicks lost the game 102-91 on National TV.

On This Date: Melo scores 62

January 24th 2014: Carmelo Anthony breaks Bernard King’s scoring record with 62 points

Carmelo Anthony cemented his way into Knicks folklore as he broke Bernard King’s scoring record with 62 points against the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) in MSG. Melo simply destroyed the Bobcats in every way possible, from threes, mid-range shots, free throws, post-ups, signature jab-steps, and dunks.

Melo started the game with 20 points in the 1st quarter alone. He nearly outscored the Bobcats on his own in the first quarter as the Knicks led 30-21 after the 1st. Melo ended the 1st half with 37 points as the Knicks led 67-46. His signature moment was hitting a buzzer-beating three pointer at half court to end the half. After he hit that shot, I, along with the Knicks faithful, knew we are witnessing history.

The Knicks continued to increase their lead in the 3rd quarter. Melo broke his own career high of 50 points with 4 minutes left in the quarter. By the end of the quarter, the Knicks led by 35 points, but Melo had 56 points.

Understanding the history of the moment, coach Mike Woodson left Melo in the game in the beginning of the quarter to break the record. Melo tied King’s record with less than 10 minutes to go in the 4th with a pair of free throws. Finally, Melo broke King’s record with a leaner and received a roaring ovation from the fans.

Melo’s 62 points not only broke King’s record, but also broke Kobe Bryant’s scoring record of most points scored (61) in MSG. The game was special because Melo idolized Bernard King growing up. Similar to King, Melo had a King-like approach on the offensive end. He scored 62 points on 35 shots (23-35), hit 6-11 from the three point arc, and hit all 10 of his free throws. To my surprise, the Bobcats mostly guarded Melo in single-man coverage.

As a Knicks fan, I only bore witness to the end of the Knick playoff run in the 1990s and the minimal playoff success in the early 2010s. Melo’s offensive performance remains one of the greatest games I’ve watched in my young lifetime.