On This Date: Knicks re-acquire Marcus Camby

July 11th 2012: The New York Knicks re-acquire Marcus Camby

The New York Knicks and Marcus Camby officially reunited on this date in a sign-and-trade deal with the Houston Rockets. In return for Camby, the Rockets received Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan, and two future 2nd round picks. The Knicks signed Camby to a 3 year contract worth $13.2 million

Camby re-joined the Knicks after the disastrous 2002 trade with the Denver Nuggets. After leaving the Knicks, Camby expressed frustration with both James Dolan and the Knicks medical staff. Camby’s issues with Dolan resulted from the implementation of his media policy in 2001. The issues with the medical staff dated from not properly diagnosing the various injuries during his tenure.

The Knicks continued their push to surround Carmelo Anthony with veterans. For some reason, that meant surrounding him with the oldest of oldest veterans possible. It meant giving 39 year old Jason Kidd a 3 year $9 million contract. It also meant reuniting Camby’s teammate Kurt Thomas with the organization. Giving a 38 year old Camby a $13 million contract seemed odd then and looks just as odd now. The contract is baffling despite Camby playing 59 of 66 games during the lockout 2011-12 season.

Although the veteran presence helped the Knicks win 54 games, the energy wasn’t sustainable through the playoffs. Many of those veterans, including Camby, couldn’t last the entire season. Camby only played 24 games during the regular season and was dealt after the season in the disastrous Andrea Bargnani trade.

As for the players dealt, only Douglas managed to play in the NBA after the trade. Douglas stayed in the NBA through the 2016-17 campaign. However, he never achieved some of the highs he reached while in New York.

On This Date: The 2005 NBA Draft

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.

On This Date: Larry Johnson scores 25 to help tie the 2000 ECF 2-2

May 29th 2000: Larry Johnson leads the Knicks with 25 points to tie the series between the New York Knicks & Indiana Pacers

With Patrick Ewing sidelined due to a sprained right foot and Latrell Sprewell & Marcus Camby hobbled with a bad foot and knee respectively, Larry Johnson took the initiative to lead the New York Knicks past the Indiana Pacers 91-89 to tie the series 2-2. LJ scored 25 points and hit a couple clutch three pointers to give the Knicks a cushion after the Pacers cut a 17 point halftime deficit down to 1 with 6 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter. LJ hit all 5 of his three point attempts and played 44 minutes overall.

The Knicks also received positive contributions from Charlie Ward & Kurt Thomas. Ward scores 16 points on 4-6 from three and had 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals. Ward was the key playmaker for the Knicks in transition and within the halfcourt offense, especially finding LJ for looks. Thomas scored 16 points off the bench and had 6 rebounds and 4 assists in 35 minutes. Chris Dudley started in Ewing’s absence, but only played 8 minutes due to Kurt’s productivity.

Latrell Sprewell & Marcus Camby were both hobbled throughout the game due to injuries. Spree fractured his 5th metatarsal in his left foot near the end of Game 3, but played nearly the entire game and scored 12 points despite being hurt. Camby also went down with a knee sprain in Game 3, but returned to secure 8 rebounds and 3 blocks in 18 minutes off the bench.

On This Date: Patrick Ewing plays his last game in MSG with the Orlando Magic

April 9th 2002: Patrick Ewing plays his last game in MSG as a member of the Orlando Magic

In what will always be a weird sight in Knicks history, Patrick Ewing played what would be his last game in Madison Square Garden, but with the Orlando Magic. Ewing started for the Magic, for purposes of recognizing the moment, and had 5 points and 5 rebounds in 19 minutes. The Magic defeated the Knicks 108-97.

After playing sparingly throughout the game, Ewing re-entered the game with a minute remaining as the Magic were up 9. Ewing received a roaring ovation from the MSG faithful as his former teammates Charlie Ward, Kurt Thomas, Allan Houston, & Latrell Sprewell were on the floor. Ewing finished the final minute of the game as the crowd roared once again after the buzzer to commemorate Ewing’s career.

Ewing’s final season with Orlando was quite strange to almost any fan of the NBA. The sight of the Orlando Magic uniform and not seeing him in his signature #33 (Grant Hill wore the jersey at the time) was even more bizarre. Interestingly enough, Ewing played with perhaps the most talented and athletic teammate ever in Tracy McGrady. He also reunited with former teammates Monty Williams & Doc Rivers (as coach of the Magic).

The Magic victory helped them clinch a playoff spot and gave Ewing one more opportunity to taste the playoffs. The Knicks missed the playoffs for the first time since Ewing’s sophomore season.

On This Date: Allan Houston and Kurt Thomas help defeat Jazz in OT

April 4th 2003: Allan Houston & Kurt Thomas are instrumental in defeating the Utah Jazz in overtime

Allan Houston hit the go-ahead basket with 4.4 seconds left in overtime and Kurt Thomas blocked John Stockton’s layup attempt at the end of the game to secure a 94-92 victory on the road against the Utah Jazz. Houston led the Knicks with 27 points on 9-17 from the field and 3-4 from three. Kurt Thomas led the frontcourt with 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots, including the clutch block at the end of overtime.

The Knicks  had a 10 point lead midway in the 4th. In typical Knick fashion during that season, the team gave up the lead and had to win the game in overtime. The overtime effort was gritty as both teams only scored a combined 6 points in the extra period.

Former Utah Jazz players Shandon Anderson & Howard Eisley suited up for the Knicks. Shandon scored 17 points off the bench and surprisingly received boos from the Jazz crowd1.

The victory still kept the Knicks 3.5 games out of the final seed in the Eastern Conference. Despite having the worst athleticism and upside in the league, the team was still able to win a relatively high number of games.

On This Date: Chris Dudley throws a basketball at Shaq

March 28th 1999: Chris Dudley throws a basketball at Shaq

In a generally frustrating, nationally televised 99-91 loss against the trio of Kobe Bryant, Glen Rice, and Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Dudley had one of his most memorable moments as a Knick. Shaq gave Dudley many problems on the defensive end. During one stretch, Shaq received the ball in the post and easily dunked over Dudley. After the dunk, Shaq inadvertently pushed Dudley to the floor. Dudley immediately threw the ball, like a quarterback, at Shaq’s back and was immediately ejected from the game. In a truly Shaqtian manner, he didn’t realize Dudley hit him and laughed off the moment.

The game was a bit chippy earlier in the game. Kurt Thomas was ejected after tussling with Dennis Rodman attempting to box out for a rebound, as shown below:

For some reason, Kurt decided to push Rodman to the floor and ripped his jersey in the process. In typical Rodman fashion2, he walked away knowing that he just ejected another player.

Fortunately this was not the only fight between both teams as Chris Childs would show Kobe Bryant the art of the jabs next season.

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 visit2 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.