On This Date: The Knicks acquire Jamal Crawford

August 5th 2004: The New York Knicks acquire Jamal Crawford

The New York Knicks acquired Jamal Crawford in a sign-and-trade with the Chicago Bulls. The Knicks acquired 24 year old Crawford and Jerome “Junkyard Dog” Williams from the Bulls for Dikembe Mutombo, Othella Harrington, Frank Williams, and Cezary Trybanksi. Crawford signed a 7 year $56 million deal.

Crawford quickly inserted himself as the starting shooting guard alongside Stephon Marbury. While not the most efficient scorer, Crawford was a walking bucket with a penchant to hit 3s at a very high rate and a decent passing ability for a combo guard. Under Larry Brown, Crawford reverted into a 6th man role. While not fully comfortable in the role, Crawford foreshadowed his future in the league.

Despite the turmoil within the Knicks, Crawford had several highlight moments with the team including some game-winning baskets, a highlight self-pass and dunk, and a career high 52 points against the Miami Heat.

To clear up cap space for 2010, the Knicks traded Crawford to the Golden State Warriors for Al Harrington. Crawford cemented his role as a proficient 6th man and won the award 3 times. Over his entire NBA career, Crawford has built a reputation of being a great teammate and consummate professional.

On This Date: Knicks surprisingly give Isiah Thomas a contract extension

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.

On This Date: Eddy Curry hits game-winning alley-oop to beat the Lakers

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.

On This Date: Jamal Crawford scores a career high 52 points

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.

After missing his first four shots, Crawford hit his next 16 shots, including 8 three-pointers. To put that into perspective, he finally missed a shot late in the 3rd quarter after the Knicks had a 20 point lead.

As a sign of respect, Dwyane Wade often guarded Crawford throughout the game. Despite the tough defensive matchup, Crawford was still able to score over Wade with a diversified moveset, which included his signature “Shake-N-Bake.” He simply scored all over the floor. Additionally, Crawford executed his now patented 4-point play against Wade to close out the first half.

Crawford had 52 points with slightly more than 7 minutes left in the game. Instead of aiming for Bernard King’s scoring record, head coach Isiah Thomas decided to take him out of the game as the Heat employed their garbage time roster. Isiah felt it was disrespectful to leave Crawford in the game during garbage time and also wanted to avoid the circumstances that led to the infamous Knicks/Nuggets brawl.

On This Date: Knicks win 3OT Thriller against the Phoenix Suns

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.

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.

 

On This Date: Carmelo Anthony scores 37 points and Kevin Durant makes his debut in MSG

December 12, 2015: Carmelo Anthony scores 37 points to beat the Portland Trailblazers and snap a 4 game losing streak

Carmelo Anthony went on a hot streak and scored a season high 37 points in a 112-110 victory in Portland against the Trailblazers. Melo scored 37 on a very efficient 13-21 from the field and 9-9 from the free throw line. He also had 6 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 blocked shots.

Melo scored 20 points in the 1st half, but was scoreless until the final minute of the game where he scored 6 points off free throws to seal the victory. Fellow New Yorkers Lance Thomas & Kyle O’Quinn scored a combined 13 points in the 4th quarter off the bench to help the Knicks overcome a 10 point deficit to win the game.

Entering the quarter with a 10 point deficit, the Knicks went on a 12-2 run to start the quarter to take the lead fueled by the bench. The bench scored 46 points in the game and helped the Knicks outscore the Blazers 36-24 in the 4th quarter. The contribution offset a scoreless performance from our rookie unicorn Kristaps Porzingis.

The win snapped the Knicks’ 4 game losing streak.


December 12, 2007: Kevin Durant makes his MSG Debut as part of the Seattle Supersonics

Kevin Durant made his first visit1 to Madison Square Garden special by scoring 30 points in a 117-110 victory against the New York Knicks. Durant scored 30 points on 11-20 from the field and was simply too much of a force for the Knicks to handle.

Former Knick Kurt Thomas had 9 points and 8 rebounds. The Sonics acquired Kurt in a trade with the Phoenix Suns in the offseason.  Future MSG Postgame color analyst Wally Szczerbiak came off the Sonics bench to score 12 points. The Sonics acquired Wally and Jeff Green in the Ray Allen trade.

For the Knicks, Jamal Crawford & Zach Randolph scored a combined 56 points. David Lee & Nate Robinson scored a combined 28 points off the bench, but the Sonics bench proved to be too much for the Knicks as they combined for 53 points.

This was the last game the Seattle Supersonics played in Madison Square Garden. After the season, the Sonics officially relocated to Oklahoma City and are now the OKC Thunder. The last visible memory of the Sonics was Russell Westbrook & Serge Ibaka flashing the stock jerseys during the 2008 NBA Draft.

On This Date: Knicks trade Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph

November 21, 2008: The New York Knicks trade Jamal Crawford & Zach Randolph in separate deals with the Golden State Warriors & Los Angeles Clippers, respectively, for Al Harrington, Tim Thomas, and Cuttino Mobley.

On the road to the summer of LeBron, Knicks GM Donnie Walsh traded Jamal Crawford to the Golden State Warriors for Al Harrington. He subsequently traded Zach Randolph for Cuttino Mobley & Tim Thomas. The contracts acquired all expired before the start of 2010 Free Agency.

At the time of the trade, Jamal Crawford had a scorching start with the Knicks under the new Mike D’Antoni speedball offense.2 Through 11 games, he was making more than 3 threes per game, at a 46% clip. Zach Randolph also started the season on a hot start averaging more than 20 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.

Cuttino Mobley never played another game after the trade. Mobley initially failed his physical due to a pre-existing heart condition discovered by the Clippers. Walsh allowed the trade to go through because his priority was getting under the cap. After visiting various doctors, Mobley announced his retirement on December 11th 2008 due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Tim Thomas rejoined the Knicks after spending less than 2 years with the Knicks earlier in the decade.  Thomas reunited with D’Antoni, whom he played under with the Phoenix Suns. Thomas mostly came off the bench and had his biggest highlight play when he dunked on Anthony Randolph.

Al Harrington returned home (Orange, NJ) after the trade to the Knicks. Harrington enjoyed moderate success with the Knicks both as a starter and a 6th man off the bench. The transition to the Knicks was pretty smooth as he was coming from a Nellie Ball offense that prioritized speed, small ball, and threes.  To Knick fans, Harrington had a fair share of nicknames2 and baffling decisions.  To be fair, he was quite productive under D’Antoni’s system and flipped his production into a generous 5 year contract with the Denver Nuggets in the summer of 2010.