On This Date: Mike D’Antoni resigns

March 14th 2012: Mike D’Antoni resigns

Mike D’Antoni resigned from the team on this date, days after the Knicks lost another close game on national TV on the road against the Chicago Bulls. D’Antoni, in the final year of his contract, was on the hotseat for most of the season. The NBA Lockout significantly reduced the amount of time D’Antoni could spend to create an offensive system and strengthen team chemistry. Because of the lockout, the team had little practice time and often had bouts of back-to-back-to-back games.

D’Antoni could never find a way to successfully mesh the trio of Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler. Melo & Amare in particular did not come into the season in great shape (due to the lockout) and D’Antoni was not able to find a way to build an offensive system that could take advantage of their strengths.

Additionally, the team lacked a point guard for most of the season. After the team amnestied Chauncey Billups, the team relied on Mike Bibby & Toney Douglas to reign in the point guard duties for the early stretch of the season. Both players struggled (for obvious reasons) and consequently led to Melo & Amare’s struggles.

Furthermore, the rise of Jeremy Lin added additional pressure on the team to mesh in the 2nd half of the season. Once Melo returned from injury, both he and Lin could not seem to complement each other and the team continued to lose games.

Most of the attention focused on the clash in styles between Carmelo Anthony & Mike D’Antoni. While neither of them had a public outburst, it seemed that there just was not enough time to successfully build proper synergy between the two of them. After the big trade in February 2011, the entire team basically flipped over and there just was not enough time to develop a system. D’Antoni had an uptempo offensive system while Melo preferred a system that favored more isolation-heavy options.

At the time of his resignation, the Knicks were 18-24 and just suffered a 6 game losing streak (their 2nd 6-game losing streak of the season). Mike Woodson took over interim duties and the team reverted more to an isolation-heavy offense with an emphasis on defense. The Knicks went 18-6 to end the season to reach the playoffs. The Heat defeated the Knicks in 5 games.


March 14th 1992: Dick McGuire’s jersey retired

Dick McGuire’s number 15 was retired for the 2nd time on this date. The Knicks previously retired the number in 1986 for Earl Monroe. McGuire spent more than 8 decades with the Knicks as a player, coach, scout, and team executive. He was responsible for discovering various draft picks, including the point guard duo of Mark Jackson and Rod Strickland.

 

On This Date: Knicks retire Earl Monroe’s jersey

 

March 1st 1986: Knicks retire Earl Monroe’s jersey

The Knicks retired Earl “The Pearl” Monroe’s #15 on this date. The Pearl played 9 seasons with the Knicks after the team acquired him from the Baltimore Bullets. Monroe won a championship in 1973 and formed 1/2 of a dynamic duo with Walt “Clyde” Frazier. Throughout his NBA career, Monroe excited fans with his acrobatic play and smooth play on the court. He made the All Star team in 1975 and 1977 while with the Knicks. Monroe ranks 8th on the all-time Knicks scoring list.

#15 is a unique number in Knicks history as it’s the only number the organization retired twice. The Knicks later retired the number again in 1992 on behalf of Dick McGuire.

On This Date: Dick McGuire passed away

February 3rd 2010: Dick McGuire passed away

Dick McGuire passed away on this date at the age of 84. A native of New York City, McGuire spent 11 years in the NBA, 8 seasons with the Knicks, and was one of the top point guards in the league during the 1950s, making the All-Star team seven times. He helped the Knicks reach the NBA Finals for three straight seasons from 1951-53. His 2,950 assists with the Knicks still ranks 3rd all time behind Clyde and Mark Jackson.

As he neared retirement, McGuire transitioned into a player-coach with the Detroit Pistons. He coached the Pistons until 1963 and eventually coached the Knicks for 3 seasons from 1965-1968. McGuire helped the Knicks reach the playoffs in 1967. His coaching career never matched his exceptional playing career and he eventually swapped roles with Red Holzman, who was the chief scout for the Knicks.

Unlike our recent stretch of head coaches in Knicks history, McGuire still remained an active part of the Knicks organization. From 1968 until his death, he served as the Chief Scout, Director of Scouting Services, and Senior Basketball Consultant for the Knicks. He was the type of person who enjoyed working behind the scenes, even if it meant not necessarily receiving credit for a particular trade.

One of his first impactful moments was convincing then-GM Eddie Donovan to trade for Dave DeBusschere from the Detroit Pistons. McGuire helped draft him during his tenure coaching the Pistons. He was also responsible in drafting players such as Trent Tucker, Mark Jackson, Rod Strickland, Hubert Davis, Charlie Ward, Nate Robinson, David Lee, Wilson Chandler, and Danilo Gallinari.

To honor his contributions to the game, the Knicks retired his number 15 in 1992. Although the team retired Earl Monroe’s #15 in 1986, it felt necessary to retire it again to remember McGuire’s legacy. He was later enshrined to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

On This Date: Knicks hire Red Holzman. 39 years later, the Knicks play a Triple OT thriller

December 27, 1967: The New York Knicks hire Red Holzman as Head Coach

In a franchise altering move, the Knicks fired Dick McGuire and hired Red Holzman as head coach. McGuire – a native of the Bronx – spent 8 years playing point guard with the Knicks and was a 7-time NBA All Star. After a stint as player-coach and head coach with the Detroit Pistons, the Knicks hired him as head coach in 1965.

While McGuire was a superb player as a Knick, his dominance didn’t translate as head coach. He had a 75-103 record with the team before his dismissal. At the time, the Knicks were in last place. He wasn’t able to get a full season of Willis Reed & Walt “Clyde” Frazier. However, the Knicks later hired McGuire to join their front office and remained there until his death in 2010.

Red – a native of Brooklyn – spent the previous 10 seasons as the chief scout for the Knicks. He was responsible for discovering and drafting both Willis and Clyde. Despite his preference to be a scout, team president Ned Irish convinced Holzman to coach the team.

Irish’s persistence had major dividends for the franchise. Holzman led the team to their only two championships. The key stars he coached – from Earl Monroe to Clyde Frazier to Wills Reed – all made the Hall of Fame.


December 27, 2006: Knicks win a Triple OT Thriller against the Detroit Pistons

The Knicks shocked the Madison Square Garden faithful with a thrilling 151-145 Triple Overtime victory against the Detroit Pistons. The Knicks withstood a career high 51 points from Rip Hamilton and double-doubles from former Knicks Antonio McDyess, & Nazr Mohammed. Future Knick Chauncey Billups also had a double double with 17 points and 10 assists.

The Knicks led by 3 points with less than 10 seconds left in regulation before Carlos Delfino tied the game with a three. The Knicks fell behind by 5 with less than two minutes left in overtime before tying the score and sending the game to Double OT. With the Knicks down 136-134 , Channing Frye hit a buzzer beating shot to send the game to Triple Overtime. The Knicks were able to hold an early lead in triple overtime and sealed the victory.

Stephon Marbury led the Knicks with 41 points and 8 assists while hitting 12-15 from the foul line in 50 minutes. The quartet of Marbury, Eddy Curry, Jamal Crawford, & Channing Frye scored a combined 129 points and made a combined 40-48 from the free throw stripe.

Since the Nuggets/Knicks brawl, the Knicks had a stretch of gritty performances and buzzer beaters that was capped by their performance on this date.