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Retro Knicks


I remember the summer of 1996 pretty clearly, which is shocking on a lot of levels. That said it was a critical off season for the Knicks as they needed to rebuild after an embarrassing playoff loss to the Bulls in Jeff Van Gundy's first season as the Knicks coach? after taking over for Don Nelson early in the 95 season.

Remember Brad Lohaus and Willie Anderson?

Remember J.R. Reid knocking out A.C. Green's teeth?

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I was in the midst of a twitter conversation about bad contracts and Glen Rice and decided to YouTube "Glen Rice and the Knicks." Couldn't find any videos of highlights (insert Palin joke here_______) but did come across this game from 2001. Not exactly a defensive battle.

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Via Knickerblogger (thanks Seth)

At the time, it was harder to tell which was weirder: the fact that many NFL experts didn?t have a statistically dominant Heisman winner projected gone until the third round at the earliest; or the fact that, despite modest production, most NBA scouts had Ward gone no later than the late first round, with many billing him as the third best point guard in the draft behind sophomore stud Jason Kidd and Arizona?s Khalid Reeves. But while both Kidd and Reeves offered something in the way of flash and flare ? two qualities Ward himself had made his calling card on the gridiron ? neither were the raison d??tre of Ward?s NBA suitors. Instead, it was the 23-year-old senior?s steady, heady poise, combined with superior decision making, that would attract surprising buzz amongst NBA GMs.

He?d wind up going 26th to the Knicks, mere weeks after the Bockers had succumbed in seven grueling games to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets. He would play just 16 total minutes that first year, learning the ropes from veterans Derek Harper and Greg Anthony. But with Pat Riley?s departure, and the subsequent ascendance of Jeff Van Gundy to the helm (a year of Don Nelson found Ward with only slightly less bench glue about his shorts) Ward played in 62 games in 1995. By 1996, he?d asserted himself as a regular part of the rotation, and one of the most consistent defensive stalwart on a team which lived and died by a manifest, almost savant-like adherence to the craft. Gradually, like the patience and pace with which he steered the offense, appreciation and admiration from the New York faithful buoyed? Ward to the level of bona fide fan favorite.

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Via ESPN
"I hope that one day I get to come back home because I do live in this area, I still consider this my area, I still consider myself a Knick. Hopefully one day I?ll be brought back here," Ewing, the Knicks' career scoring leader, said in response to a question from Lupica.

When asked about the lack of big men as head coaches in the NBA, Ewing said: "If you look at most of the guys who have gotten the jobs, most of them have been guards. Very few big guys have gotten the opportunity."

Now I have to be fair here. No one is a bigger fan or defends the big fella as much as yours truly. That said, I talked to several people familiar with Ewing's situation in Orlando and there are questions about his preparation during practices and a lot of that talk is the reasoning behind him not getting head coaching interviews from what I understand.

Tags: Patrick Ewing, Patrick ewing wants to come to knicks, Retro Knicks
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Happy Belated Birthday to #33

Imagine if King hung around to play with Patrick? Talk about bad decisions. After King's horrid knee injury King and the Knicks couldn't come to terms and guess what the Knicks got in return?

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Finger point to Pavvy.

This was one of my all-time favorite Knicks teams that was primed and ready to beat Jordan's Bulls. This team had everything. They were 25th in all around offense during the season, but LJ brought it against the Hornets and Allan Houston finally began to break through in the playoffs. We know what happened in the next series and yes it still very much hurts today.

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I am a major fan of this concept. I may play this video every day until they sign him...

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The guys over at Knicks Vision took a look at the last 10 players selected at 17, and the Pacers are obviously loving the fact that Danny Granger was there in 2005 when Donnie Walsh was selecting. The Sixers are happy that TKB favorite Jrue Holiday (who Walsh loved) fell to them in 2009.

The Knicks took Jerrod Mustaf from Maryland in 1990 who had as strange a life off the court as he did on it.

 

Tags: 2011 Draft, Retro Knicks
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We were talking about a few things this time last year.

People say time flies. I say, look back and see all the things that happen in a year and you'll feel differently.
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Great piece over at The Good Men Project, who sat down with ex-Knick Michael "Sugar" Ray Richardson. What's interesting for me is that Sugar wants to progress up the coaching ranks and credits Larry Brown, in part, for his development.

Richardson eventually kicked his addiction and then went and played 13 seasons across Europe, finishing up on the older side of 40. Since his playing days ended, he?s has taken up coaching. He?s spent five successful years in the minor league ranks?CBA and PBL?as a head coach. He?s hit a few bumps, but he?s owned up to every mistake like he always has. And he?s still hoping to one day get another shot at the NBA?but this time, he?ll be in a suit. more.

 

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Before the days of TKB I spent many a moment talking about the Knicks on one of the original (and best) online Knicks communities, knicksfanpage.com.

I have fond memories of the people I would interact with over there and I hope Irv, Isa, John Maloney, Shakes, Kat and the rest of the die hards who suffered through this decade with me are doing well over there. The site is looking for contributors, so if you have the chops and the passion head over there and let your voice be heard in comment form.

In 2007 the Sonics were on the verge of moving and they had Ray Allen. He would have been a great fit here. Keep in mind this was pre-Donnie Walsh and the idea was that the Knicks were NEVER getting under the salary cap, at least I didn't think so. I thought a package of Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson, two of Seattle's own, would be a good place to start in exchange for Ray Allen's contract and catch and shoot ability.

We understand that Allen has had his share of injuries and that he isn't an upgrade on defense, but it would allow Q-Rich to be the first guard off the bench and move Lee into the starting lineup. The Knicks have a first round pick, where according to nbadraft.net, scouts say North Carolina's energetic forward Tyler Hansbrough (should he declare) or Texas A&M's point guard Acie Law could be available and add more young depth next season. Isiah would also do well to fill the roster will young, hungry, well-coached specialists toiling in the NBDL in ex-North Carolina ballhawk Jackie Manuel and former UConn sharpshooter Denham Brown.

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Great stuff here from Jaime O'Grady of LoHud Knicks Blog.

 

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Via NY Post
?It?s special for me because I played there. It?s special to every single player because it?s the only arena left that has a memory. All of the other ones have been blown up,? Rivers said. ?This is the one that Frazier and Ali fought in. ... This is the arena where all of that stuff has happened, and players know that.

?I have kids, and one of their dreams is to play in Madison Square Garden. They?re not from New York. It?s the only building.

My friends and I talk about this a lot. There were two Knicks teams, specifically, that could and maybe should have beat Jordan's Bulls- the 93 group and the 97 edition. Charles Smith had a problem and then of course the PJ Brown flip are the two most memorable reasons neither could. Doc blew out his knee in 94, which led to the Knicks to trade for D Harp. No one is a bigger Harper fan than me, but I think the Knicks were a better team with Rivers at QB.

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Via Alan Hahn
Really, such things are fun but it would probably be better to bring back a tradition that dates back to the early 1970s: winning a championship.

But since so many of you have asked about this, I'll share a small bit of news on this front that was initially passed to me last night that I was able to later confirm: the Knicks will be doing a little something different with their playoff look. While black socks/black sneakers are a given (and no longer a special thing because everyone's doing it), at home games the Knicks will wear orange socks.

Yes, orange.

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I remember when the Knicks tradedstrickland-to-spurs-for-cheeks.html"> Rod Strickland for Mo Cheeks in February of 1990 and Knicks fans went nuts. Most couldn't believe how they could trade a young up-and-coming PG for a 33-year-old veteran impressive resume or not.

It turns out that Cheeks was part of knocking down a Celtics dynasty that was virtually on its last legs, leading the Knicks to a 5 game playoff series victory including a memorable Game 5 victory on the Garden parquet. I'd me remiss if I didn't mention Charles Oakley's 20/20 game that day as well. If memory serves he had 22 points and 25 rebounds, or something in that range.

Fast forward some 20 years later and the Knicks are led by another veteran point guard Chauncey Billups who possesses a similar veteran acumen that Cheeks did. Both won championships and lived, for years, in the second season. Both nearing the end of their careers who want one last shot at the big time.

Tags: 2011 Playoffs, charles oakley, Chauncey Billups, Retro Knicks, Text
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There are people who love basketball and people who live it.

Steve Masiello exemplifies the latter.

As far back as I can remember, the first thing we'd ever talk about was something hoops related, and if I had a nickel for every bead of sweat left on the court at his house I'd be a rich man. We were kids when we met, with a common fascination for a certain New York basketball team.

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We've talked a bunch at how important Shelden Williams has been since being inserted at center and the same holds true for Anthony Carter who gives the team a veteran backcourt presence off the bench who can match Chauncey Billups or Toney Douglas.

Via Big C

Many times there are key players that can make solid contributions to a team. However, these players, like Carter and Williams, get unnoticed by the coaches and fans. Perhaps it could be their lack of offense.? Players can fade into the background when they are not flashy, do not have big contracts, don't score points, or simply aren't a dominate force. So the end result is they struggle to get playing time. This has been the case for Shelden Williams and Anthony Carter.
We know the playoffs are about stars, but they are very often overtaken by moments. Moments stolen by a role player that breaks through all the scouting reports and steps up. I know it's been a while, but Knicks fans know, or learned, first hand about Carter when he was with Miami in 2000.

 

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Via Jared Zwerling
Sneaker Name: Patrick Ewing Rogue I

Release Year: 1992

In his early years, Ewing was endorsed by adidas and wore a sneaker called the Conductor. But after he parted ways with the Three Stripes, he formed his own line of footwear and accessories under the company Ewing Athletics. This featured sneaker was called the Patrick Ewing Rogue I and included these special embroideries: a basketball on the tongue that included his number "33," the word "Ewing" and his full name in script, the word "Rogue" and his name in script on the outside strap and "33" and "Ewing" on the back. Many More.

[poll id="155"]
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I've been enjoying the "Unsung Knick History" series on knickerblogger. There is stuff I agree with and some I don't, but it's very well-thought and it's always important to understand the history of the Knicks.

Naturally, seeing this performance on their home court, the Knicks were very interested. Their head scout, Red Holzman (who had not yet taken over as head coach) wanted Frazier and the Knicks had a trump card. You see, Frazier had one more year of college eligibility left (due to the year he missed because of his grades), and the Knicks knew that Frazier could use the money that being a pro would bring (you know, being the eldest of nine children in the Atlanta ghetto will do that to you), so they convinced him to forgo his final year if they drafted him. So the Knicks had the inside track on Frazier and drafted him with the fifth overall pick. If the Salukis had won the NCAA Tournament (or at least given John Wooden?s UCLA Bruins a run for their money), who knows how things would have turned out? If SIU was a ?big school,? Frazier might have gone third to the Chicago Bulls or fourth to the Detroit Pistons (Jimmy Walker and Earl Monroe likely would still have gone #1 and #2). So the Salukis being a ?small school? sure worked out well for the Knicks.
The NBA is often a copy cat league, and as we continue to evaluate draft talent, you have to understand that the level of college basketball in terms of finding pros has become incredibly blurred especially when you are talking about strength in competition. There is no better example of that than Morehead State's Kenneth Faried or Hoftra's Charles Jenkins. Both are pros.

It has been a while since they have had success with small school players in the draft and through trades. Charles Oakley was a pro at the Division 2 level but you have to look back to Ken Bannister and Eddie Lee Wilkins to see any sort of return in terms of production.

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Steve Adamek is a great reporter. He's level headed. Read his blog. Any time I've been around practice he's always got the right question prepared and it is generally very well-received by Mike D'Antoni. He asks tough questions and follows up with them too. The fact that he's one of the lesser known Knicks writers is because he works for a Jersey paper. He embraces the changes to the journalistic game with class and vigor. He, like me, thinks the idea that "Melo is another Marbury" is a tad bit ridiculous at this stage. Fans love to point to 10 years of misery and fawn over the good old days, many of whom think 1999 was some Knick utopia. For those who watched every game, and for Adamek who was there, that team wasn't very good for a very long time during a very short season.
As one who was on the beat then (and as others have already cited) remember the 1999 lockout-season Knicks.

They weren?t exactly beloved as they muddled their way to what looked like a non-playoff season as they tried to incorporate newcomers such as Latrell Sprewell and Marcus Camby.

They even cost Ernie Grunfeld his job _ over dessert with Dave Checketts.

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So I'm doing my morning reading around the blogs and I read this offering from the series of "Unsung Knick History" on Knickerblogger. I get the touch of sarcasm, I think, but either way the piece takes a big shot at TKB favorite Greg Anthony. Anthony took a cheap shot at Kevin Johnson for taking an even worse cheap shot at Doc Rivers in Phoenix during the 1993-94 season. It was a horrific brawl and one that was a black eye (and lost teeth) for Rivers and the NBA at the time.

 

Several years later, as remembered by KB, the Knicks would go on to lose to Miami in the Charlie Ward helicopter game. The NBA, largely due to this rivalry, was hockey on hardwood by then. Interestingly, fast forward to 6:55 on this video:

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Via FanFeeder

Finger point to Abe for the link.

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Where were you on March 6, 1996?
Patrick Ewing grabs nine rebounds in 89-82 win at Toronto, passing Willis Reed (8,414) for first place on the Knicks all-time rebounding list.

Tags: Patrick Ewing, Retro Knicks
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Via Newsday Mobile

King, who is not expected to attend tonight's Legend's Night at the Garden, has been rooting hard for the Knicks to acquire his protege.

"I am happy he has the chance to fulfill his dream and experience the pride of being a Knick," King told Newsday in a text message this morning, "and playing in front of the best crowd in the world."

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I've been asked a lot recently about the Knicks pursuit of Marcus Camby, one of the all-time fan favorites of a generation of Knicks fans who lean on the 1999 team as their only reference to winning basketball.

As a player, Camby was a great energy player who could finish on the break and defend the rim. He has good range and still can defend the goal. He would very much help up front, but he's never been a tremendous post defender, instead using his instincts more as a help defender.

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Salehe Bembury?is a Knicks fan. And an artist. Above is the work, here is the link.

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Just a some memories to share with your presents and coffee.

And thank you for being a part of the TKB family.

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[tweeted]http://twitter.com/WojYahooNBA/status/17722563408957441[/tweeted]
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Via Deadspin
My thing is, when Barkley played basketball, he didn't practice, he wasn't a leader, he wasn't this or that, he just had natural talent so he got chosen to the Dream Team, All Star team because he had the talent and he was the franchise player on the team. Him criticizing all those other guys, he did the same thing when he was young. As soon as they do something wrong, he criticizes them, that's wrong. He wasn't real to the game....I like (Amar'e) Stoudemire's game because he's no-nonsense and he's a real power forward. He brings that energy. He's not a great rebounder but he does his job. He performs when he goes on the court.
Good interview with Sid Rosenberg read the rest here.
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You've heard the quotes from both sides now and it's something that many fans pointed out to me yesterday.

Are the Knicks and Celtics really rivals?

First off, as franchises, sure. Any time there is Boston and New York you have a fight for bragging rights. As teams, however, there isn't much on court history.

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Via NY Times
I first encountered Bob Wolff as the TV voice of the Knicks; an indelible memory is his call of the Knicks? comeback over the Cincinnati Royals to win their 18th consecutive game in 1969. ?It was startling,? he said, remembering how the Knicks scored 6 points in the final 27 seconds. ?It was played in Cleveland, an odd place, but some sort of neutral site.?

In those final moments, Wolff?s excited voice soared to a higher register, but he did not lose control of it as Dave DeBusschere stole an inbounds pass at midcourt from Bob Cousy, the Royals? 41-year-old player-coach, and sank a layup to make it 105-104, and Walt Frazier?s two free throws sealed the victory.

?It?s over,? he said at the conclusion of the broadcast. ?All over. The Knicks win, 106-105. What a game! What a game!?

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We've written about the Mike D'Antoni situation several times over the past few days and without question, last night's win plus a Friday meeting with the David Lee-less Warriors may get the Knicks out on a string of wins that would bring security for the coach, at least for a little while.

We are talking about the Kings and the Warriors after all, and they play similar systems so these are the type of real live scrimmages that allow the Knicks to get further comfortable in the system.

Danilo Gallinari had a great game of drawing fouls from behind the arc, and even making a few threes. He was active all night and took it upon himself to go at Casspi as if he were engaged in some battle of Euro dominance.

Tags: Mike D'Antoni, Retro Knicks
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Via ESPN
"My first couple years coming into the league, I watched him all the time. Watching his film and my film, there's some type of resemblance," Anthony said. "I was born in New York, so I had family that was into what was going on with the Knicks, and a lot of people loved Bernard King so it caught my eye. Then, growing up, a lot of people started saying you remind me of Bernard King, and I started taking heed of that and watching more film as I got into the game more."

Whether Anthony ever gets to wear the same uniform that King wore remains an unknown.

But as Melo said: "You can't please everybody."

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Retro Knicks
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Via WFAN (listen to podcast)
?Oakley I?ve tried to talk to ten times? I thought he was the kind of guy if he was going to make statements would come and talk to me personally,? Walsh stated while on WFAN last Friday.

?I?ve reached out to him,? Walsh added.

Oakley has a different take.

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I've received the Facebook movement to rehire Jeff Van Gundy, and it's a great concept. For those fans who don't quite remember the time when Van Gundy resigned, the odds of ownership rehiring the ex-Knicks coach are slim-to-none at best. At the time,? two fans had very distinctive and different views on the man.

"Oh man! I'm at a loss for words. I can't believe it. I'm in total shock," said Darryl Lawson, 35, a teacher who lives in Harlem. "Van Gundy is the Knicks."

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A discussion that came up the other day when I was chatting with fans outside MSG started with the idea that Amar'e is the best Knick in a long time.? I've mentioned he may be the best since Ewing, but I wonder what everyone in the comments section thinks. If not Ewing, who? Sprewell is right there.

Could it be Antonio McDyess? I'm actually somewhat serious about that. Yes, Dice was coming off knee surgery (he's still in the league) but his last full year with the Nuggets he was a 20 and 12 player. Obviously, we know how well his Knick career turned out, but he turned himself into an Oakley-type rebounder and jump shooter in Detroit and now with the Spurs.

Marbury when he first got here? Crawford?

Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire, Retro Knicks
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Via NY Post

The Knicks have enlisted former Knicks defensive stalwart Anthony Mason to work with Eddy Curry and try to motivate him to save his career, The Post has learned.

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Rick Pitino has a great quote when asked years ago about his high-octane offense that was centered, not so much around the franchise center in Patrick Ewing, but around a fast-paced 3-point fest. The Knicks chucked so many 3s that they marketed themselves "The Bomb Squad." (Side note: Newman was a legend around White Plains for quietly sneaking out and shooting hoops with the local kids. Awesome guy.)

"The ball has to start in the post," Pitino concluded. "Wherever that is."
Having a player in Ewing led to some success for the former Knicks coach, who led the Knicks to the Atlantic Division title and 52 wins in 1989, but his style wasn't conducive to pleasing Ewing, so after the coach left for Lexington, Kentucky the Knicks made sure to get Ewing more touches in the post and his FGs per game soared.

I bring this up because of a note from Alan Hahn today in discussing Mozgov:

In nine games, Mozgov scored in double-figures in all but two, despite the fact that he rarely was featured in David Blatt's pick-and-roll offense. The 24-year-old showed himself to be extremely active on the offensive end, as he routinely set screens and quickly dove into the lane (several times he was open but did not get the ball). On the post, he clearly needs a lot of work (paging Patrick Ewing...) and he's a non-threat outside the paint as a scorer, but he does have soft hands and good passing instincts.
Are there ANY good post players? Are there more coming down the pike? Dwight Howard hasn't become even a decent half-court post presence in terms of polished moves. If he did, the Magic would have a ring. Yao Ming has the skills, but with his foot issues i imagine he'll become the full-time face up big Ewing became in his later years.

Tags: Retro Knicks, Text, Timofey Mozgov
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This you have to see...

Finger point to NBA.com

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He's worked hard to drop a ton of weight, and despite a pretty underwhelming summer league, Bill Walker is sure to be fighting for a rotation spot this coming training camp.

The thing you have to respect most about Bill Walker is his perseverance. He was once the best player under 18 in the country, now he's battling to get NBA minutes, something he always thought would come so easily before a knee injury derailed those dreams.

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Just for fun, I'm interested in what grade you give Isiah Thomas for trading Kurt Thomas to the Suns for the rights to Nate Robinson and Quentin Richardson.

At the time the Knicks wanted to get younger, and did, with the acquisitions of Q and Nate. Kurt played his best along side Stephon Marbury in the pick and pop. They were automatic. Kurt had a manageable contract and gave the Knicks some snarl.

After it's all said and done...

[poll id="126"]

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