New York Knicks: Top 10 Knicks of All Time
Even though the Knicks haven’t been that good recently, they still have had some of the greatest players in NBA history.
The Knicks have retired eight players and one coach’s number. These players have helped the Knicks win eight conference titles and two NBA championships. The players on this list have also combined for 48 All-Star appearances and have been selected to the All-NBA team 27 times.
Here is my list of the top 10 Knicks of all time.
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Amar’e Stoudemire—Amar’e is one of the most talented scorers to ever play on the Knicks and will most likely be on this list by the end of his career.
Bill Bradley—Bradley played his entire career with the Knicks. He had his number retired and was a starter on both Knicks’ championship teams.
Bob McAdoo—Even though McAdoo only played two seasons with the Knicks, he is the franchise leader in PPG with an average of 26.7.
John Starks—The former 6th Man of the Year had the best seasons of his career as a member of the NYK
10. Charles Oakley
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Oakley wasn’t much of a scorer, but still made solid contributions in many other ways. He was one of the toughest enforcers in the NBA and was the perfect compliment to Patrick Ewing.
Oakley’s best attributes were his defense and rebounding. He is currently the franchise leader in offensive rebounds. During his 10 seasons with the Knicks, he averaged a double-double with 10.4 PPG and 10 RPG and they made the playoffs every year.
9. Harry Gallatin
Gallatin is by far the oldest Knick on this list. In fact, he was the first draft choice the Knicks’ franchise ever made.
Even though he was an extremely undersized center at only 6’6”, Gallatin was still one of the best rebounders in the league. During the 1953-54 season, he led the entire league in rebounding. He still has the Knicks record for most rebounds in a single game with 33.
Gallatin was best known for his toughness and ability to never miss a game. During his nine years as a Knick, Gallatin played in 610 consecutive games and 57 post-season games.
8. Allan Houston
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Houston was one of the best Knicks of all-time, but would have been higher on this list if injuries didn’t cut his career short.
When Houston became a free agent in 1996, the Knicks signed him to a massive six-year, $100 million contract. At first, it appeared Houston would live up to his contract, leading the Knicks in scoring for four straight seasons. He played in many memorable playoff games with the Knicks, including Game 5 of the 1999 playoffs versus the Heat when he hit a runner at the buzzer to win the game.
Unfortunately for Houston, though, he developed a knee injury that forced him to retire at only 33. He probably didn’t mind that much though. He still got paid for the final two years on his contract even though he didn’t play in a single game.
7. Carmelo Anthony
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I know I left players like Stoudemire and McAdoo off the list for not playing on the Knicks long enough, but Anthony is just too good to leave off.
Before he had even played a game with the Knicks, Anthony was already dubbed the King of New York. No one has ever wanted to play for the Knicks as bad as Melo did and forced their way to New York before.
Since joining the Knicks, Anthony has been virtually unstoppable averaging just under 27 PPG. By the end of Melo’s career, I expect him to be competing for the No. 1 spot on this list.
6. Earl "The Pearl" Monroe
Like Melo, Monroe was already a star in the NBA when he came over to the Knicks. He joined Walt Frazier to form one of the best backcourts in NBA history.
Monroe had a very unique style of play that helped him play in 57 post-season games during his nine seasons as a member of the Knicks, including their 1973 championship.
Monroe had a career average of 16.2 PPG while he was on the Knicks and was selected to two All-Star teams.
5. Bernard King
King is one of the greatest scorers in NBA history and played in his prime with the Knicks.
During the 1984-85 season, King led the league in scoring with 32.9 PPG. While he was on the Knicks, King became the first player in over 20 years to score 50 points in back-to-back games. He also is one of only 10 players in NBA history to ever score 60 points in a game.
4. Dave DeBusschere
“The Hammer” is known as being one of the toughest players in NBA history. He made major contributions during the Knicks two title wins in the 70s.
DeBusschere was a ferocious rebounder and tenacious defender. He would always do the dirty work and intimidate other players from getting into the paint against him.
He was a six-time All-Defensive team selection. During the six seasons DeBusschere was on the Knicks, they never once failed to reach the playoffs.
3. Walt "Clyde" Frazier
Frazier has to be the best guard in Knicks history and leads the Knicks all-time in assists. He was best known for his cool demeanor on and off the court.
Frazier epitomized the New York style in his off court clothing and personality, as well as on the court, with the flashiness he always played with.
Frazier ran the point guard position for the Knicks during both of their Finals wins. He excelled on both ends of the floor and was named to the All-NBA team six times and the All-Defensive team seven times.
2. Willis Reed
Willis Reed is responsible for the single greatest moment in Knicks history.
Every Knicks fan remembers, or at least has heard about, when Reed hobbled onto the court before Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals to inspire his team to victory when everybody thought he was too injured to play.
Reed is the only Finals MVP in Knicks history, winning the award during both of the Knicks Finals wins in 1970 and 1973. Reed’s nickname was “The Captain” because of his leadership and ability to make his teammates better.
1. Patrick Ewing
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I’m sure no one is surprised Ewing is No. 1 on the list. Even though he was never able to lead the Knicks to a championship, Ewing is the greatest Knick of all-time because he leads the Knicks in almost every important statistical category.
Ewing leads the Knicks in games, minutes, field goals attempted and made, free throws attempted and made, rebounds, steals, blocks and points. If those statistics aren’t enough to make Ewing No. 1, he is also seventh all-time in defensive rebounds in NBA history and sixth all-time in blocks in NBA history.
The 11-time All-Star led the Knicks to the playoffs 13 times and was selected to the All-NBA Team seven times as well as the All-Defensive Team three times. It is impossible to argue that any player in Knicks history had a bigger impact on the team than Ewing did.