Amar'e Stoudemire and the 10 Best Single Seasons in New York Knicks History

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 23, 2010

Amar'e Stoudemire and the 10 Best Single Seasons in New York Knicks History

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Amar'e Stoudemire posted 23 points and seven boards to lead the New York Knicks over the Oklahoma City Thunder, 112-98 last night, perhaps wooing some Knicks fans back on the bandwagon following a sloppy weekend loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Stoudemire's production this year has been nothing short of brilliant, but how does it match up with legends of New York Knicks past?

    The following list includes the 10 best single season performances in New York Knicks history, as well as Amar'e's place on the list should he continue his production.

10. Patrick Ewing, 1993-94

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    24.5 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 2.7 BPG, 49.6 FG%, 22.9 PER

    There isn't much statistical distinction between Ewing's seasons in the prime of his career aside from the two-season stretch between 1989-1991 where he was an absolute beast.  

    Since the Knicks came within minutes of winning an NBA title in 1994, let's give Ewing's season that year the slight edge at number 10.

    Click here to see the closing minutes of Game 7 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals. At the 3:00 mark, you'll see Ewing's putback dunk that gave the Knicks a 91-90 lead with under 30 seconds left.

9. Amar'e Stoudemire 2010-11

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    26.4 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 2.1 BPG, 52.6 FG%, 23.3 PER

    Stoudemire has done more than put up eye-popping statistics that are good enough for him to land on an All-NBA team. He has ignited a city and made them care about basketball for the first time in a decade.

    That last thought is funny to think about, given the Knicks history. Overall, the Knicks have had three large periods of success, and three large periods of mediocrity/utter failure. Willis Reed and Patrick Ewing were the big men that stopped the first two periods of mediocrity and/or utter failure. Will Amar'e Stoudemire become the third?

8. Patrick Ewing, 1990-91

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    26.6 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 3.2 BPG, 51.4 FG%, 23.7 PER

    All-NBA Second Team

    Patrick Ewing's most famous highlight (or lowlight) of the 1990-91 season is getting dunked on by Michael Jordan, but that play masked another great season from the G-Town big man.

    He once again put the Knicks on his back during a year where there was much in-fighting (early season coaching change, two-headed point guard, etc.).

7. Harry Gallatin, 1953-54

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    13.2 PPG, 15.3 RPG, 40.4 FG%, 24.0 PER

    All-NBA First Team

    Gallatin led the NBA in rebounding in this season, but the Knicks failed to advance past the bizarre Eastern Conference Round Robin round, in which the top three teams in the conference were pooled together in a four-game series to determine the contestants in the Eastern Conference finals.

    During this season, Gallatin was the first New York Knick to ever make an All-NBA first team. A Knick has made the All-NBA first team only seven times.

    Note: There are no Getty images or YouTube videos of Gallatin, so enjoy the 1994 Finals intro.

6. Bernard King, 1984-85

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    32.9 PPG, 5.8 REB, 53.0 FG%, 3.7 APG, 25.2 PER

    All-NBA First Team

    Bernard King suffered a devastating torn ACL injury in March 1985 that derailed his career, but not before he played 55 games and led the NBA in scoring. The Knicks were devastated by injuries the entire season; no player played a full season that year. Hence, King's performance is clouded by the team's ugly 24-58 record.

    Symbolizing the entire season, King scored 60 points against the mediocre Nets on Christmas Day, and the Knicks still lost, 120-114. King scored 40 points in the first half alone.

5. Bernard King, 1983-84

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    27.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 57.2 FG%, 2.0 APG, 22.7 PER

    All-NBA First Team

    Put Bernard King in the category of athletes who never truly met their freakish, universal potential. He battled addiction and injuries throughout his career, but he'll forever be immortalized by four specific performances in the 1984 calendar year.

    1. On January 31, 1984, King scored 50 points on 20-for-23 shooting along with 10 free throws in a 117-113 win over San Antonio.

    2. In the Knicks' next game, King scored 50 points, this time in a 105-98 win over Dallas. It was the first time since 1964 that a player scored 50 points in consecutive games.

    3. In the deciding Game 5 in the Eastern Conference first round against the Pistons, King out-dueled Isiah Thomas in a 127-123 overtime win by scoring 44 points to Isiah's 40. The game is most famous for King's putback dunk (see video).

    4. King scored 60 points on Christmas Day 1984 in a loss to the New Jersey Nets.

4. Walt Frazier, 1969-70

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    20.9 PPG, 8.2 APG, 6.0 RPG, 51.8 FG%, 21.1 PER

    All-Defense, All-NBA First Teams

    Walt Frazier posted the best Game 7 performance in NBA Finals history, scoring 36 points, along with 19 assists, seven rebounds and five steals in a 113-99 win that gave the Knicks the 1969-70 NBA Championship.

    His game that day will forever be clouded by his sartorial style, creative announcing loquaciousness and Willis Reed.

3. Patrick Ewing: 1989-90

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    28.6 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 4.0 BPG, 55.1 FG%, 25.4 PER

    All-NBA First Team

    Ewing put the Knicks on his back during the 1989-1990 season. He led the team to a 45-37 record and an emotional five-game first round series win over the Boston Celtics.

    The Knicks were down two games to zero and faced elimination in Game 3. After winning that game 102-99, Ewing led the Knicks with 44 points and 13 rebounds in Game 4 to force the deciding Game 5 at the vaunted Boston Garden.

    Ewing once again came through in the clutch, with 31 points in a 121-114 win. The Knicks eventually lost to the two-time champion Detroit Pistons in the second round, but Ewing averaged 29.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in the playoffs.

2. Walt Frazier, 1971-72

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    23.2 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 5.8 APG, 51.2 FG%, 21.6 PER

    All-Defense, All-NBA First Teams

    Frazier led a 48-34 Knicks team, which had the services of Willis Reed for only 11 games, past the heavily favored Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals before succumbing to the 69-13 Lakers, one of the best teams in American sports history.

1. Willis Reed, 1969-70

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    21.7 PPG, 13.9 RPG, 50.7 FG%, 20.3 PER

    NBA MVP, NBA Finals MVP, NBA All-Star Game MVP, All-NBA First Team, All-NBA First Team Defense

    Two players in NBA history have been the sole holders of the NBA MVP, NBA Finals MVP and NBA All-Star Game MVP awards simultaneously.

    Michael Jordan is one, and Willis Reed is the other.

    No need for a history lesson on the 1970 NBA Finals. Arguably, Reed's MVP Triforce is more impressive, and people are still talking about him limping out of the Madison Square Garden tunnel 40 years later.