If there's one team that has tons of history, it's the New York Knicks. A charter member of the NBA, the team has won two championships (1970 and 1973) and has been to the playoffs on the backs of legends like Earl Monroe, Willis Reed and, more recently, center Patrick Ewing (pictured).
Going through the team's annals, it is astounding how many players have put on the orange and blue before stepping on the hardwood. The Knicks only have 10 Hall-of-Famers to their name, but that doesn't take away from some of the iconic players who have contributed to the history of the franchise.
That being said, here is the New York Knicks' all-time lineup by position.
Though he is probably better known today for his flashy wardrobe and as a color commentator for the team, Walt Frazier was once one of the greatest point guards in the history of the Knicks and of the game itself. He was drafted by the team with the fifth overall pick in 1967 and remained in New York for 10 seasons before finishing his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In his time with the Knicks, Frazier won two championships, made seven All-Star teams, and also made the All-Defensive Team from 1969-1975. While he was a great defender known for utilizing the art of stealing the ball, Frazier was also a prolific scorer as well. As a Knick, he averaged 19.1 points, 6.3 assists and even six rebounds per game. Those rebounding stats are pretty impressive for someone just 6'4" and 200 pounds.
Throw in the even crazier outfits he wore as a player, and Frazier is definitely the Knicks' best point man.
Though he is probably better known now for having a rule named after him, one that allows teams a one-time option to release a player without having their contract count against the luxury tax, Allan Houston was once the best shooter on the Knicks.
His accomplishments resume is thin with just two All-Star berths, but it should be noted that Houston was instrumental in leading the No. 8 Knicks to the 1999 NBA Finals, where they lost to the top-ranked San Antonio Spurs.
In terms of scoring, Houston was pretty much a shooting and three-pointer machine. In nine seasons with the Knicks, he averaged 17.9 points per game while making 40 percent of his shots from downtown.
He may have been more of a power forward and even a center during his playing days, but 6'6" and 210 pound Harry "The Horse" Gallatin was an absolute beast on defense in nine seasons with the Knicks. He represented the team in seven All-Star games and played in the NBA Finals three times. In the 1953-1954 season, he led the league with an astounding 15.3 rebounds per game.
For his career, Gallatin averaged 13 points and 11.9 rebounds, pretty impressive for someone his size. The game may have been different back then and thus incomparable to today's stars, but there's no denying that the man was one of the best of his time.
A second-round pick out of Grambling State in the 1964 draft, not many expected Willis Reed to become a superstar. Instead, he came fast out of the starting gate his rookie season and averaged 19.5 points and 14.7 rebounds on his way to being named NBA Rookie of the Year. The rest is history.
In 10 seasons, all spent with the Knicks, Reed averaged 18.7 points and 12.9 rebounds as a forward/center. He made seven All-Star teams and was the league MVP in 1970. That year, his Knicks also happened to win their first championship. His history with the NBA Finals that year is easily one of the most inspiring in both team history and in the history of the game.
The Knicks were playing the Los Angeles Lakers, who had stars like Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and Jerry West on the team. The series was an absolute dogfight that forced a deciding Game 7, and Reed was not expected to play because of a torn thigh muscle.
However, Reed walked onto the court during warmups and the fans roared. He started that game and made the Knicks' first two field goals, his only points of the game. The team rallied behind his toughness and the Knicks won Game 7 by a score of 113-99.
Injuries may have limited him in the latter half of his career, forcing his retirement at just 31 years old, but Reed's physicality and tough style make him the perfect power forward in this lineup.
Taken with the first overall pick in the 1985 draft, Patrick Ewing became an instant sensation for the Knicks. The 7'0" center from Georgetown only played in 50 games as a rookie due to injuries, but his 20 points and nine rebounds per game (not to mention 2.1 blocks) were enough to win him Rookie of the Year. The man spent 15 years with the Knicks and over that span played in 11 All-Star Games and was on two teams that made it to the NBA Finals.
Over his time with the Knicks, Ewing averaged 22.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. To date, he is the Knicks' all-time leader in the following categories: games played, minutes played, points, field goals made and attempted, free throws made and attempted, rebounds, blocks and steals.
He may have finished his career with the Seattle SuperSonics (a trade that made me shed some tears) and the Orlando Magic, but that doesn't take away from the fact that Ewing is easily the greatest center to ever play for the Knicks.
When speaking to friends about this slide, many asked if I would give it to John Starks, who actually won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award as a Knick in 1997 and became famous for a dunk against the Chicago Bulls in the 1993 playoffs. While this moment was indeed awesome, I opted to choose another man.
OK, so maybe he wasn't ever a sixth man for the team, but that doesn't take away from how clutch Larry Johnson was during his time in New York. He came over in a trade with the Charlotte Hornets in 1996 and while he wasn't the electrifying scoring and rebounding threat he was with his first team, the man known as "Grandmama" established himself as a reliable swingman for the Knicks.
When the team made its Cinderella run to the NBA Finals in 1999, Johnson perhaps made the play that would shift momentum forever onto the Knicks' side.
In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers, the Knicks trailed 91-88 with 11.9 seconds to go. Johnson caught a tipped pass and was then fouled by Pacers forward Antonio Davis while attempting a three-point shot. In what can only be described as a miracle, the shot sank and Johnson was given the opportunity for a four-point-play as Madison Square Garden erupted in applause.
Sure enough, Johnson sank the free throw and the Knicks won 92-91. Watch the video to the left to see this amazing play!
Behind every great lineup is a great coach who puts it together, so who better to have in this spot than Red Holzman? The man is the team's all-time leader in wins with 613 and was at the helm for both of their championships. He had two stints with the Knicks, the first from 1967-1977 and the second from 1978-1982.
Holzman was also named Coach of the Year in 1970 and coached two All-Star squads. He made the NBA Finals three times in his career, winning the aforementioned championships in the process.
With a career record of 613-484, there is really no other man to include as the head coach in this piece.