New York Knicks: The Top 5 Power Forwards in Team History
Though it's maybe not the first position that comes to mind when thinking of great New York Knicks players, plenty of fantastic power forwards (PF) have called MSG home over the last 66 years.
The big names like Walt Frazier and Patrick Ewing may have been at other positions, but you'd be surprised to see just how talented the Knicks have been at PF.
There have been some top players in the paint both offensively and defensively for the Knicks, as no great Knicks team has been complete without a great player at the four.
5. Amar'e Stoudemire
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Amar'e Stoudemire may be coming off the worst season of his career, but he earns a place on this list simply for being the man that brought the Knicks back.
STAT reinvigorated the franchise when he came along in 2010, helping the team to their first playoff appearance since 2004 and finally generating some excitement for the long-suffering Knicks fans.
His personal achievements that season were notable too. Stoudemire became the first Knick to start in an All-Star game since Patrick Ewing, and was considered by many to be a genuine MVP candidate.
In that season, he also broke two franchise records: one for his nine-game streak of 30-point games, and another for his nine-game streak of games shooting over 50 percent from the field.
Now that he has an intensive summer working with Hakeem Olajuwon under his belt, and the return of the point guard he had so much success with back in 2010-11, Stoudemire will be in a position to solidify his place on this list and make sure he is remembered more for the good times than the bad.
4. Willie Naulls
Despite standing only 6'6", Willie Naulls had no problem dominating at power forward for the Knicks.
Naulls, the previous owner of Amar'e Stoudemire's consecutive 30-point-scoring nights record, was a fantastic scorer, especially in his last few years with the Knicks.
Before moving on to San Francisco, Naulls had three straight seasons averaging over 20 points per game, an unprecedented level of scoring at the time in the early '60s.
Unfortunately, Naulls didn't have too much support around him, and the team didn't reach a particularly high level until a few years after he had retired from the game.
As a result, Naulls is one of the forgotten stars of the Knicks' past, despite his penchant for scoring and defiance of his lack of height.
3. Charles Oakley
An enforcer with a sweet mid-range game, Charles Oakley played a big role on the Knicks teams of the '90s.
Though he played for six teams over the course of his career, Oakley spent a decade in New York, establishing himself as a fan favorite in the process.
Defense, physicality and durability were the keys to Oakley's game, and in the 1993-94 season, he actually started in an unbelievable 107 games for the Knicks.
There was nothing particularly flashy about the way Oak did things, but he could shut people down on defense, provide solid offensive production and contribute some invaluable leadership to the front line.
Nowadays, Oakley watches the Knicks from afar and is one of the biggest critics of the current team.
Though it's not nice to hear, it shows the franchise means just as much to him now as it did when he was putting his all out for the blue and orange over a decade ago.
2. Harry Gallatin
Known as "The Horse," Harry Gallatin was the Knicks' first true star player.
Gallatin was a member of the Knicks from their inception in 1948 until 1957, appearing in seven All-Star games in the process, including the very first All-Star game in 1951.
Growing up in Illinois, Gallatin wasn't used to the "Big City," but it didn't take long for his hardworking style of play to work out in New York.
His commitment to the cause was no more evident than the day he pulled down a franchise-record 33 rebounds against Fort Wayne.
Not once in his career did The Horse average less than 10 rebounds, and that rebounding skill combined with a solid scoring output made him one of the league's best forwards.
Following his playing career, Gallatin had a successful—albeit short—coaching career, winning the NBA Coach of the Year award in 1963 for the St. Louis Hawks.
1. Dave DeBusschere
It's amazing to think that Dave DeBusschere was only the third-best player of the Knicks' title-winning teams in 1970 and 1973, but that tells you just how good those teams really were.
Like Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Willis Reed and every other starter on those teams, DeBusschere, too, has his number retired by the franchise and a place in the Basketball Hall of Fame to boot.
Defense was the name of the game for "Big D," and often the Knicks would give him the task of shutting down the opponent's best player from night to night.
DeBusschere had no problem with that and ended up with six consecutive All-Defensive First Team appearances between 1969 and 1974.
In 1970, in arguably the greatest night in Knicks' history, DeBusschere's defense was the center of attention, as he was tasked with slowing down the unstoppable force that was Wilt Chamberlain.
Most fans will remember Game 7 of the 1970 Finals for Reed's defiance of injury to take the floor, but it was DeBusschere who was left to guard Reed's man as he limped through the game.
The rest is history, as the Knicks won the game and the first of their two NBA titles.