On This Date: Knicks acquire Truck Robinson

July 7th 1982: The New York Knicks trade for Truck Robinson

The New York Knicks opened up their 1982 offseason by acquiring Truck Robinson in trade with the Phoenix Suns for Maurice Lucas.

Before joining the Knicks, Truck was known as one of the top forwards in the league. The combination of his strength and quickness allowed him to play both forward positions with ease. His ability to make jump shots allowed him to attack the paint with ferocity. He was a two-time NBA All Star, with the New Orleans Jazz & Phoenix Suns respectively.

His best season was in 1978 when he averaged 22.7 points/game and 15.7 rebounds/game. He was the NBA rebounding champion that season and also made the All-NBA First Team.

At the time of the trade, Robinson averaged 19.1 points/game and 9.7 rebounds/game with the Suns in the previous season. With the Suns, Robinson still had the onus of carrying the team offensively and defensively. New coach Hubie Brown anticipated Truck to be a versatile forward for the team.

With Bernard King on the roster, Hubie decided to reduce Truck’s role to prioritize defense over offense. Unfortunately, his entire game suffered as a result. Truck’s points and rebounds per game both significantly declined. He averaged a near career worst 9.5 points/game and 8.1 rebounds/game in his first full season with the Knicks. Fans complained that they had a “truck with four flat tires” and would deride him with chants of “Dump Truck.”

Truck played another full season with the Knicks before retiring at the end of the 1984-85 season after missing all but two games with a broken bone in his foot.

On This Date: Revisit the 1974 NBA Draft

May 28th 1974: Revisiting the 1974 NBA Draft

Before the introduction of the draft lottery, the NBA draft consisted of 10 rounds. The draft was also held in May, one of the last few drafts to be held before June.1

The 1974 NBA Draft was mostly non-consequential for the Knicks. Entering the night, the Knicks had the 14th pick, but the team traded it to the Bulls for Howard Porter and a 1975 2nd round pick that became Larry Fogle. Both players only played one season with the Knicks. The Bulls used the 14th pick to draft Maurice Lucas. Lucas had several All-Star seasons in his NBA career and won a championship with the Portland Trailblazers. Ironically, the Knicks acquired him in 1981 for Ray Williams. Coincidentally, the Knicks dealt Lucas in the next year for Truck Robinson, drafted in the 2nd round of the 1974 NBA Draft.

The Knicks drafted Jesse Dark & Greg Jackson in the 2nd round and 5th rounds respectively. Both players only spent one year with the Knicks.

The draft overall consisted of 4 Hall-of-Famers including Bill Walton, George Gervin, Bobby Jones, & Jamaal Wilkes. In addition to the players mentioned in the prior paragraphs, both Campy Russell & Len Elmore had short stints with the Knicks later in their careers.