November 29, 2008: Chris Duhon sets a Knicks record with 22 assists in a high-scoring affair against the Golden State Warriors
Defense was optional in the high octane matchup matchup featuring Mike D’Antoni’s speedball Knicks team and Don Nelson’s “Nellie Ball” Warriors roster. The Knicks scored 138 points in the victory at home against the Warriors. New York shot better than 51% from the field and connected on 13-27 from three. They scored 82 points in the first half to propel the team to victory. Continue reading →
October 18th 2009: The New York Knicks face Maccabi Tel Aviv in a rematch of their 2007 exhibition matchup
The New York Knicks hosted Maccabi Tel Aviv for a second time in 2009. Unlike their previous matchup, this one was a matinee affair. It allowed for fans in Israel to watch the game in the evening. Continue reading →
July 9th 2010: The New York Knicks signed-and-traded David Lee to the Golden State Warriors
In response to the Amare Stoudemire signing, the New York Knicks signed and traded David Lee to the Golden State Warriors. In return, the Knicks received Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike, Ronny Turiaf, and a 2012 and 2013 2nd round pick. Lee signed a 6 year contract worth near $80 million.
Lee was a rare Knick that lasted through his original rookie contract and his qualifying offer. Lee made the NBA All Star Team in the prior season and proved to be a double double machine with the capability of hitting the midrange basket at ease. Ultimately, the Knicks’ pursuit of superstars made Lee expendable.
Lee had 4 solid seasons with the Warriors including an All Star berth in 2013. A strained left hamstring during the 2014-15 preseason completely changed the fortunes for the Warriors team. The injury opened up an opportunity for Draymond Green. After that, the rest was history. Lee won a championship in 2015, but spent his final 3 seasons between the Boston Celtics & San Antonio Spurs.
As for the Knicks acquired in the trade, Turiaf made an immediate impact as both a starter and as a backup center. Randolph played sparingly with the Knicks and Azubuike missed the entire season due to a knee injury he suffered in the previous season. He never played with the Knicks as the team waived him shortly after the trade deadline.
Randolph was sent to the Timberwolves as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade. The two 2nd round picks acquired went to the Denver Nuggets in the trade. The Knicks dealt Turiaf in the Tyson Chandler sign-and-trade.
June 8th 2010: Amare Stoudemire agrees to sign with the New York Knicks
The Knicks are back! The 4 words that undeniably changed the trajectory of the Knicks franchise heading into the next decade. With the Knicks’ back against the wall in the LeBron James sweepstakes, the team agreed to a 5 year $99.7 million contract. The hope was that Amare would be the second piece needed to lure LeBron to NY. The Knicks spent basically two years doing whatever was possible from a salary cap perspective to lure LeBron. Unfortunately, the Knicks didn’t foresee the Miami Heat, who ended up freeing up enough space to team LeBron with Dwyane Wade & Chris Bosh.
The Phoenix Suns, then run by General Manager Steve Kerr, were hesitant to offer Amare a 5 year contract due to his previous knee issues from 2005. Kerr believed that there was a minimal shelf life for players that underwent microfracture surgeries like Amare did. Kerr also wanted to fully insure Amare’s contract. Donnie Walsh, on the other hand, didn’t find his knee issues to be much of an issue and gave him a full 5 year maximum contract uninsured.
At the same time, the Knicks spent 2 years dumping assets and salaries all for the pursuit of LeBron. Striking out on all the star free agents was not a good look for the franchise. The team needed to sell sponsorships and tickets. Amare could do that and, no offense, bringing back David Lee wasn’t the answer anymore.
As Kerr predicted, the Amare era didn’t last that long on the court. After having a near MVP first season with the Knicks, multiple injuries limited Amare to only 76 of a possible 148 games over the next 2 seasons. Back injuries first surfaced during the 2011 playoffs during a pregame dunk. He then suffered a bulging disk in his back during the lockout campaign that kept him out for almost a month. To add insult to injury, Amare injured his wrist after punching a fire extinguisher in the playoffs against the Miami Heat. A knee injury suffered in training camp eventually forced Amare to miss most of the 2012-13 season.
By the time the 2013-14 season began, Amare (at the age of 31) was essentially a shell of his former shelf. His presence as a dominating #1 or #2 option were long gone. He was not a 30+ minute player anymore. His offensive explosiveness was reduced to occasional dunks and the more routine midrange buckets. Although Amare played 65 games in the campaign, he was seen as an albatross as the Knicks missed the playoffs for the first time in his Knicks tenure.
The 2014-15 season proved to be a dumpster fire from the get-go. After the decision to tank early in January, Amare’s days with the Knicks were just about finished. The Knicks eventually bought him out well before the deadline for him to sign with a playoff contender. Amare signed with the Dallas Mavericks and played limited minutes with the team. He spent his final NBA season in his native state of Florida with the Miami Heat.
Amare left two lasting legacies with the Knicks: his MVP-esque season and Carmelo Anthony. Amare had an undeniably historic start with the Knicks. The streak of 30 point games electrified the Garden. Amare literally carried the team. He was also instrumental in convincing Carmelo Anthony to come home in New York, even if it meant trading most of the young assets and draft picks. With Melo, the Knicks reached the playoffs for 3 straight seasons, the first such-standing streak since the late 1990s.
However, Amare was never a true fit on the floor with Carmelo Anthony. Amare’s offensive game suffered as Melo’s prospered over time. The acquisition of Tyson Chandler also hurt Amare’s role on the team on both ends of the floors. In the end of the day, Amare did help bring the Knicks back to a level or relevance missing for nearly a decade.
June 28th 2005: The New York Knicks 2005 NBA Draft – Channing Frye, Nate Robinson, David Lee
Isiah Thomas’ first draft with 1st round draft picks turned out to be quite a haul for the Knicks organization. With the 8th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, the Knicks drafted Channing Frye out of Arizona. Frye was a relatively safe selection and filled an important need for the Knicks in the frontcourt. While Andrew Bynum & Danny Granger were both on the board, neither player warranted a selection in the top 8 picks before the draft.
The Knicks acquired the 21st overall pick from the Phoenix Suns on a draft day trade. The Knicks traded Kurt Thomas and the 54th overall pick (Dijon Thompson) to the Suns for Quentin Richardson & the 21st overall pick. The Knicks used the pick to select Nate Robinson. Robinson was a supreme athlete even though listed at below 5’9. He originally played football at Washington, but focused solely on basketball beginning his sophomore season. Richardson developed into a premiere three point shooter in his lone season in Phoenix, winning the three point competition and making 226 three point shots.
The Knicks acquired the 30th overall pick earlier in the year during a trade deadline trade with the San Antonio Spurs that also netted them Malik Rose. The Knicks used the pick to draft David Lee from Florida. Lee won the SEC’s men’s basketball tournament with Florida in his final season. Lee was an athletic forward who was also ambidextrous and could rebound with dexterity.
The three rooks provided the Knicks with a good return during their tenures. Frye had a successful rookie season, earning Rookie of the Month in November and earning a selection to the NBA All Rookie First Team. He suffered a season ending injury in March which cut his season short. Lee’s minutes were sporadic throughout the season, but he had a stretch of 13 starts between December and January. He became a double double threat during that short stretch. Robinson had more exciting stretches, but also showed inconsistency and immaturity during his rookie campaign with various locker room altercations. He did hit a game-winning three pointer against the Philadelphia 76ers after Thanksgiving. Additionally, Nate won the 2006 Slam Dunk Contest.
Quentin Richardson never regained his elite three point touch in Phoenix. As we learned later in a touching piece with the Players Tribune, Richardson’s brother was shot and killed in Chicago during his first season with the Knicks. The tragedy led to a bout of anger, depression, and binge drinking. His Knicks tenure was scarred by team dysfunction, injuries, and personal tragedies.
The Knicks dealt Frye to the Trailblazer on the 2007 NBA Draft. Lee & Robinson both remained with the team near the end of their first rookie contracts. Lee became a double double machine in his sophomore season and won the Rookie/Sophomore game MVP. Under Mike D’Antoni he became an All-Star in 2010. Robinson became into a scoring threat off the bench that excited fans with occasional in-game dunks. Under D’Antoni, Nate even became a 6th man of the year candidate after he averaged 17 points/game. Unfortunately, tensions with D’Antoni and overall immaturity led to his trade during the 2010 Trade Deadline.
April 2nd 2000: Chris Childs two-pieced Kobe Bryant
In another round of the Knicks-Lakers rivalry, it was Kobe Bryant & Chris Childs who entered into the spotlight. Chris Childs guarded Kobe throughout the game. The matchup got chippy as the game progressed as Childs received a few inadvertent elbows Kobe. As the 3rd quarter was ending, Kobe went to headbutt Childs and the fight ensued.
Childs butted Kobe’s head and Kobe threw a left forearm at him. Childs then two-pieced Kobe before the team and coaches were able to separate both players. Eventually both Childs & Kobe were ejected from the game. Ultimately, the Knicks were blown out 106-82, but Chris Childs had one of his seminal moments with the team.
The NBA suspended Childs 2 games and Kobe for one game for the melee.
April 2nd 2010: David Lee triple-double
David Lee earned the first triple double in his NBA career in a 128-117 loss on the road against his future team in the Golden State Warriors. Lee scored 37 points and had 20 rebounds and 10 assists. This was the Knicks’ first triple double since Latrell Sprewell in 2003.
It was one of the more impressive triple doubles in NBA history history. This was the first 30-20-10 triple double since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1976. This was one of David Lee’s last major highlights with the Knicks before he departed for the Warriors in 2010 after the team signed Amare Stoudemire.
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.
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.
Curry finished the game with 19 points and 7 rebounds. Coincidentally, Curry averaged those same numbers over the course of the 2006-07 season. The season was his best season so far in the NBA. Curry’s tenure with the organization was largely disappointing after Isiah Thomas inexplicably gave him a 6-year, $60 million contract in a sign-and-trade deal that also sent away the 2006 1st round pick (LaMarcus Aldridge) and swapped their 2007 1st round pick (Joakim Noah). The Bulls traded Curry after failing to take a DNA test that would prove the possibility of a career-ending heart problem. Isiah bet on Curry’s “potential” and suggested that acquiring Curry was akin to acquiring a lottery pick.
Unfortunately, Curry wasn’t able to replicate his 2006-07 season. A combination of poor conditioning, a lack of desire on both the offensive and defensive ends, and a sad family tragedy shattered any hope for redemption with the Knicks. Despite winning a token championship with the Miami Heat during the 2011-12 season, he only played a few games with the Dallas Mavericks before jettisoning overseas to play in China. He’s currently with the Zhuhai Wolf Warriors in the ASEAN basketball league.
February 11th 2010: David Lee is selected to the NBA All-Star Game.
David Lee made his first NBA All-Star Game (and first Knick since the 2000-01 season) when he was chosen to replace Allen Iverson. Iverson received the most votes of all Eastern Conference guards despite averaging career lows in every statistical category and missing most of the month of November after refusing to take a bench role for the Memphis Grizzlies. Iverson chose not to attend the All-Star game to deal with his daughter’s illness.
In Lee’s final season with the Knicks, he averaged more than 20 points and nearly 12 rebounds a game while shooting nearly 55% from the floor and playing 37 minutes a game. The D’Antoni system allowed Lee to get the bulk of his minutes at center and was the recipient of plenty of pick-and-roll finishes. He also increased his range to become more proficient in the midrange. It’s fair to say D’Antoni helped amplify Lee’s value to the league.
January 2, 2006: The New York Knicks win a triple overtime thriller against the Phoenix Suns
In one of the lone highlights of Larry Brown’s Knick tenure, the Knicks outlasted the Suns 140-133 in triple overtime. Stephon Marbury led the Knicks with 32 points and 10 assists in 54 minutes. Jamal Crawford scored 29 off the bench and had 7 rebounds and 7 assists each in 48 minutes of action.
However, it was rookie David Lee who had a breakthrough moment with the Knicks. In Lee’s best game so far of the season, he scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds on 10-11 shooting in 51 minutes. Lee finally broke through in Larry Brown’s rotation after he received 7 DNPs earlier.
In the third overtime, both Eddy Curry & David Lee had three-point plays that helped seal the victory. Curry had a double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds.
This was the Knicks’ first triple overtime game since Valentine’s Day 1993 when the team lost 102-100 to Shaquille O’Neal and the Orlando Magic. This victory also marked the beginning of a 6-game winning streak for the team.