On This Date: Happy Birthday to some of our fellow former Knicks

July 31st: Happy Birthday to our fellow former Knicks

Henry Akin was born on July 31st 1944. He played one season with the New York Knicks and averaged 3.8 points/game in 50 games. He subsequently was an inaugural member of the Seattle Supersonics franchise in the 1967-68 season. His most memorable moment as a Knick was making his first two buckets over Wilt Chamberlain in his first ever NBA game.

Kostas Papanikolaou was born on July 31st 1990. He was drafted in the 2nd round by the Knicks in the 2012 NBA Draft. However, his draft rights went to the Portland Trailblazers in a trade that netted Raymond Felton. He spent parts of 2 seasons with the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets.

Scott Brooks was born on July 31st 1965. After winning 2 championships with the Houston Rockets, Brooks joined the Knicks for the 1996-97 season. He spent most of the time on the bench and almost got cut when Walt “Clyde” Frazier considered a return to the franchise.1

On This Date: Knicks run the greatest April Fools Day Prank ever

April 1st 1997: The MSG Network, along with the Knicks, run the greatest April Fools Day prank ever

Before the heyday of the modern internet and well before the days of social media, teams and players could get away with a lot of things without repercussion. The Knicks and the MSG Network decided to fool their fans on April Fools Day by announcing on their pregame show that the Knicks signed Clyde to a 10-day contract and released 3rd string PG Scott Brooks (now coach of the Wizards).

The video showed Clyde going through pregame workouts in the Knicks game uniforms. Various members of the organization participated in the stunt, including GM Ernie Grunfeld (now GM of the Wizards), Strength and Conditioning coach Greg Brittenham, Jeff Van Gundy, Don Chaney, Mike Fratello, Chris Childs, and Brooks himself. Marv Albert, Mike Breen, & John Andariese also participated in the video mock-analyzing the move.

Scott Brooks did a masterful acting job as he appeared quite aghast at the move and anticipated signing with a rival team to face the Knicks & Clyde again. Brooks threw a few slight digs at Clyde’s overall age in the process. It was only at the end where news anchor Bob Page reminded fans that the day was April Fool’s Day.

In the era of social media, no team would be able to pull this prank off anymore unnoticed. If anything, you’d have to hope that there was a coordinated effort between Woj, Shams, Marc Stein, and all others to play in with the prank. Additionally, MSG had plenty of cooperation and access to various members of the Knicks coaching staff to participate. I don’t believe Dolan or the current Knicks front office would have the creativity to do something similar.