January 10, 1995: John Starks ties a then-team record with 8 three-pointers to beat the Indiana Pacers
In the first game since the contentious 1994 Eastern Conference Finals matchup, John Starks tied a then-team record with 8 three-pointers made to stun Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers by a score of 117-105. Starks led the Knicks with 31 points and hit 8-11 from downtown and 10-16 overall from the field.
December 28, 1994: Grant Hill makes his MSG debut, but the Knicks prevail with the victory
The New York Knicks spoiled Grant Hill’s MSG debut with a 101-93 victory against the Detroit Pistons. Patrick Ewing led the Knicks with 30 points and 11 rebounds. Charles Smith also had a double double with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
November 6, 1992: Knicks open 1992-1993 season with 106-94 win on the road against the Atlanta Hawks
Patrick Ewing led the Knicks with a double-double, scoring 22 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. The trio of Anthony Mason, Charles Oakley, & John Starks each scored in double figures with 15, 10, & 18 points, respectively. Continue reading →
September 21st 1992: The Knicks acquire Doc Rivers & Charles Smith
Shortly before training camp began for the 1992-93 season, the New York Knicks acquired Bo Kimble, Charles Smith, and Doc Rivers in a three-team trade with the Los Angeles Clippers and Orlando Magic. In return, the Knicks traded a 1993 1st round pick to the Magic and hometown point guard Mark Jackson and a 1995 2nd round pick to the Clippers. Continue reading →
September 13th 1992: The New York Knicks acquire Tony Campbell
Fresh off Xavier McDaniel joining the Boston Celtics, The New York Knicks proceeded to fill the gaping hole at the small forward position when they acquired Tony Campbell from the Minnesota Timberwolves for a future 2nd round pick. Campbell previously played for coach Pat Riley during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers between 1987-89. Additionally, Campbell was also a native of New Jersey and got his wish to come play at home. Continue reading →
June 29th 1994: The New York Knicks draft Charlie Ward & Monty Williams
Fresh off an NBA Finals run, the Knicks went into the 1994 NBA Draft trying to find role players who could play meaningful minutes on a playoff squad. With the 24th pick in the NBA Draft, the Knicks first drafted Monty Williams out of Notre Dame. Monty’s basketball career nearly ended before stepping foot on Notre Dame’s campus because of a heart condition. Midway through his college career, he realized all of his symptoms reversed and he was ready to resume his playing career. Monty did not play basketball in college for two seasons because of his heart ailments.
The Knicks also had the 26th pick in the draft due to a 1991 trade with the Atlanta Hawks that sent Maurice Cheeks off to Atlanta. The Knicks received Tim McCormick and the Hawks’ 1994 1st round pick. The Knicks drafted Charlie Ward from Florida State. Ward was not only the starting point guard for FSU, but was a Heisman winning quarterback.
Williams played more, albeit relatively sparingly overall, than Ward during their rookie campaigns. Williams made 23 starts in 41 games mostly due to a toe injury that sidelined Charles Oakley for nearly 30 games. However, Ward started received more minutes as Williams’ playing time dwindled under Don Nelson. Due to the lack of playing time and a subsequent trade request, the Knicks shipped Williams, along with Charles Smith, to the San Antonio Spurs in February 1996.
Ward eventually received consistent minutes as the team’s backup point guard and took over the starting role beginning in the 1997-98 season. He remains the only Knick rookie in the last 25 years to receive a contract extension after his rookie deal.
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.