On This Date: Knicks extend Red Holzman’s contract

July 22nd 1972: The Knicks extend Red Holzman’s contract

Heading into the 1973 championship season, owner Ned Irish made sure Red Holzman continued to coach the Knicks. Irish signed Holzman to a 2 year extension of his original contract, which expired in 1973. Holzman continued to maintain the role of both coach and general manager. He is only one of two coaches in Knicks history that retained the role of both coach and GM (Isiah Thomas maintained both roles after Dolan fired Larry Brown in 2006). At the time, Holzman was the only coach that held both roles.

At the time, owner Ned Irish did not approve of Holzman holding both roles as coach and general manager. While some of the disagreements became public, Irish did not hesitate to extend the contract due to the team success under his tenure.

After signing the extension, the Knicks won the championship in 1973. Holzman lasted as coach until 1977 before reappearing with the Knicks after a year of hiatus. Red gave up his GM post in 1975 when Eddie Donovan rejoined the organization.

On This Date: Knicks hire Hubie Brown as head coach

May 20th 1982: Knicks hire Hubie Brown as head coach

Less than a week after Red Holzman announced his retirement, the Knicks hired Hubie Brown as the new head coach. Before gracing the NBA airwaves with his commentary and basketball tutorial videos, Hubie spent more than 4 seasons coaching the Knicks.

Hubie enjoyed decent success early on taking the Knicks to the semifinals in his first 2 seasons with the team. However, debilitating injuries to both Bill Cartwright (foot) and Bernard King (knee) put the Knicks on a downward spiral for the rest of his tenure. Patrick Ewing also missed 32 games during his rookie campaign due to various injuries, including his knee. Essentially Hubie never had a full squad after the 1983-84 campaign.

Additionally, his high intensity and rigid approach to coaching eventually wore off on the team. His insistence for 10 man rotations and a peculiar decision to play Ewing at power forward alongside Cartwright marked a disappointing end to his Knicks tenure. After the Knicks fired Hubie in 1986, he didn’t return to coaching until 2002 with the Memphis Grizzlies.

On This Date: Red Holzman’s number retired and the inauguration of the Westchester Knicks

March 10th 1990: Knicks retire Red Holzman’s number

The Knicks retired Red Holzman’s number on this date. The Knicks retired the number “613” which represented the total number of wins he had as coach of the New York Knicks. Red helped lead the Knicks to both of their NBA Championships in 1970 and 1973. The team retired his number along with Dick Barnett’s during halftime of the game against the New Jersey Nets.


March 10th 2014: The Birth of the Westchester Knicks

The Westchester Knicks were inaugurated on this date. At the time, it was the 18th franchise established in the then-NBA Developmental League (now G-League). Unlike the previous D-League squad the Erie Bayhawks, the Westchester G-League franchise now represented a single affiliation with the New York Knicks NBA team.

The Knicks went through a contest to determine the name and uniform colors for the team. Not surprisingly, Westchester retained the name “Knicks” and the white, orange and blue color scheme.

As part of the new trend of the G-League teams, the Westchester Knicks largely mimics their NBA counterpart and acts as a true minor league system to develop players for the Knicks franchise. The team normally runs the same offense instilled by the NBA team. Players such as Langston Galloway, Ron Baker, Trey Burke, and Kadeem Allen have been some of the more notable successes to graduate from the Westchester Knicks system.

On This Date: Red Holzman sets the Knick record for most coaching victories

January 12, 1974: Red Holzman sets club record in head coaching victories

The New York Knicks defeated the Golden State Warriors 96-80. In the victory, Red Holzman set a club record with 327 regular season victories. He surpassed the record held by Joe Lapchick. Lapchick coached the Knicks for eight seasons between 1948-1956.

Red eventually reached 613 total wins over 14 seasons with the Knicks. The team recognized his coaching feat by retiring the number 613 in the rafters in 1990. In a testament to the rapid turnover of coaches, no coach outside of Holzman or Lapchick coached more than seven seasons with the Knicks. Jeff Van Gundy coached part of the 1995-96 and 2001-02 seasons, but only coached five full seasons with the team. Only Van Gundy & Pat Riley exceeded 200 wins as Knick coaches (248 and 223 respectively).


January 12, 1989: The New York Knicks rout the Charlotte Hornets 106-89

The Charlotte Hornets made their first visit to Madison Square Garden as an inaugural franchise. Unfortunately for them, the Knicks routed the Hornets 106-89. Mark Jackson led the Knicks with 18 points, 5 assists, and 4 steals. Both Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley netted double doubles.

The Knicks started the game very sloppy. The team committed 15 turnovers in the 1st half and held a tie game with the 9-24 Hornets roster. In a desperation move, coach Rick Pitino inserted Trent Tucker into the starting lineup for the 2nd half and the defensive pressure intensified. The Knicks went on a 15-0 run in the 3rd quarter and ballooned the lead to 22 points by the end of the 3rd quarter.

The 1988-89 season marked the Hornets’ inaugural season. The team was one of four franchises – the Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Orlando Magic were the other three – that the NBA included in their expansion plans. The Heat & Hornets began their inaugural season in 1988-89 while the Magic & Timberwolves began in 1989-90.

The Hornets struggled for their first few seasons, but stockpiled several young players including Muggsy Bogues, Kendall Gill, Larry Johnson, & Alonzo Mourning. The quartet helped lead the team to their first playoff berth in 1992-93. While upsetting the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, they faced strong headwinds against a veteran-laden Knicks roster. The Knicks easily routed the Hornets in 5 games.

 

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: Knicks fire Willis Reed and re-hire Red Holzman

November 10th 1978: Knicks fire Willis Reed and re-hire Red Holzman as head coach

A year removed from leading the Knicks to an Eastern Conference semifinals berth and a 43-39 record in the 1977-78 season, the team fired Willis Reed as head coach after beginning the season with a sub-par 6-8 record. In a reunion of sorts, the Knicks brought back Red Holzman as head coach after firing him at the conclusion of the 1976-77 season.

After retiring from the NBA in 1974, the Knicks hired Reed as head coach when he was only 35 years old. While having a solid first season as coach, his short tenure was marred by tension with the front office and a failure to translate from being a superstar to a coach.

To Reed, his main issue was being too honest. His honesty led to undue tension with referees and the front office at times. His tenure was undermined by rumors that then-Knicks owner Sonny Werblin wanted Kevin Loughery as a coach. The rumors drove a wedge between Reed and the front office.  Reed began to issue ultimatums to the front office, which ultimately led to his firing.

Holzman returned to the Knicks after being fired for enduring 3 straight losing seasons and not being able to replicate a championship roster.  Unfortunately, Holzman was not able to replicate the success he had during his first tenure.  Holzman had a sub-.500 record during his 2nd tenure with only one playoff berth.  (they were swept by the Bulls in the 1981 playoffs)

Holzman retired after the 1981-82 season and was succeeded by Hubie Brown.