By turning the team over to Kristaps Porzingis, the New York Knicks have been a pleasant surprise so far in the 2017-18 season. The offense has flowed, and new players like Tim Hardaway Jr., Enes Kanter, and Doug McDermott have all made a positive impact.
With the New York Knicks emerging as one of the surprise teams in the Eastern Conference, we take a look at the franchise’s 10 best players:
10. Carmelo Anthony: Anthony will always be a controversial figure because he never achieved much team success with the Knicks, but he was a brilliant individual performer for the six seasons he spent in New York. He notched an NBA scoring championship in 2013 and was an All-Star during each of his seasons in a Knicks uniform.
9. Dick McGuire: While McGuire doesn’t offer the championships or statistics of many of his predecessors, he was a pioneer of NBA basketball. He played with the Knicks from 1949-1957 and then coached the team from 1965-1968. A seven-time All-Star, McGuire led the league in assists in 1950.
8. Dick Barnett: A member of the Knicks’ championship teams, Barnett averaged 15.8 PPG throughout his career. He played for the Knicks from 1965-1973, capping his final season with an NBA title. His No. 12 is retired by the organization.
7. Bill Bradley: Bradley is likely recognized more for his role in politics, but he was once a dominant inside presence for the Knicks. He won two championships with the Knicks and played all 10 seasons of his career in an orange and blue uniform.
6. Bernard King: To illustrate how dynamic King was, he once scored 50 points in consecutive games. The man could flat out score the basketball, and he averaged 22.5 PPG throughout his career. No player has averaged more points than King did during the 1984-85 season, when he poured in 32.9 PPG. Although one of the team’s best talents, he never achieved championship success.
5. Earl “The Pearl” Monroe: Although Monroe didn’t post the same electric numbers he did in Baltimore, he teamed with Walt Frazier to assemble a devastating backcourt that was responsible for a 1973 championship. He spent nine seasons with the Knicks and was named one of the league’s 50 greatest players of all time.
4. Dave DeBusschere: DeBusschere was a double-double machine, and his acquisition helped propel the Knicks to both of their titles in the 1970s. He was an All-Star during each of his years with the Knicks, and the NBA named him one of the 50 greatest players of all time.
3. Willis Reed: Reed was far more than a Game 7 folk hero who emerged from the tunnel to lead his team to victory. While he did win two championships with the Knicks, Reed also posted eye-opening numbers. He averaged a double-double 18.7 PPG and 12.9 RPG and went to seven All-Star Games. His number is also retired by the organization.
2. Patrick Ewing: Ewing was never able to get over the championship hump, but he was the face of a storied franchise during the Knicks’ most successful era since winning two championships in the 1970s. The Knicks went to two Finals during Ewing’s tenure with the team, and he averaged 22.8 PPG and 10.4 RPG while converting more than half of his shot attempts. Only Michael Jordan (and Hakeem Olajuwon) stands in the way of Ewing and immortality.
1. Walt “Clyde” Frazier: Clyde was and still is the face of the Knicks. A beloved broadcaster for the team, Frazier played point guard and carried the Knicks to two NBA titles in 1970 and 1973. A four-time member of the league’s All-NBA First Team, Frazier was a dominant player for the last great Knicks franchises. He averaged 18.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG, and 6.1 APG, and his No. 10 is retired by the team.
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