Countdown: Top 10 Knicks of all-time
Newsday's Barbara Barker counts down the 10 greatest players to wear a New York Knicks uniform.
10. ALLAN HOUSTON
Shooting guard, 1996-2005
Tough pick. A lot of Knicks fighting for this final spot, but Houston edges out Dick McGwire and former teammate John Starks just because of the look on Pat Riley’s face when Houston hit that running one-hander in Miami to eliminate the Heat from the first round of the 1999 playoffs. Houston, a two-time All Star, also hit a few other shots in his career. He ranks fourth — behind Ewing, Frazier and Reed — on the team’s all-time scoring list with 11,165 points.
9. BILL BRADLEY
Nicknamed “Dollar Bill’’ for being the highest-paid Knick ever, Bradley was a starter on both the Knick championship teams. Over 742 games — all with the Knicks — Bradley scored 9,217 points, an average of 12.4 points per game, with his best season average being 16.1 in 1972–73. He is a member of the basketball Hall of Fame.
8. CHARLES OAKLEY
Power forward, 1988-96
His blue-collar work ethic set the tone of the Knicks of the 1990s. Though his style wasn’t always pretty, it usually got the job done. During his 10 years on the team, the Knicks never missed the playoffs. A big-time enforcer, he is the Knicks all-time leader in offensive rebounds. He and Ewing comprised the most formidable front court in the NBA in their time.
7. HARRY GALLATIN
Harry ?the Horse? Gallatin, second from the right, played his entire career as an undersized 6-foot-6 center. He played 610 consecutive games and 57 postseason contests. His best statistical year was in 1954 when he led the NBA in rebounding, averaging 15.3 per game. His most dominating single-game performance as an inside presence was in the last regular-season game of the 1952?53 season when he pulled down 33 rebounds, still a Knicks record.
6. EARL MONROE
Was already a big-time star when he came to the Knicks, but was able to adjust his game for the good of a team and, along with Frazier, form one of the best backcourts in NBA history. A member of the basketball hall of fame and the Knicks 1973 championship team, Monroe was also named one of the league’s top 50 all time players.
5. BERNARD KING
Small forward, 1982-87
An incredible scorer who had his best years with the Knicks. While in a Knicks uniform, King led the NBA in scoring in 1984 and 1985. He also became the first player in 20 years to score 50 points in back-to-back games and just the 10th player ever to score 60. He is a legend to even those too young to have seen him play as Carmelo Anthony recently called King the player he wanted to be when he was growing up.
4. DAVE DeBUSSCHERE
Power forward, 1968-1974
Another member of both Knicks championship teams, DeBusshere is one of the best defenders to play the game. He was a six-time all-defensive first-teamer, and was also voted as one of the Top 50 all-time NBA players.
3. WALT FRAZIER
Definitely the coolest player to ever wear a Knicks uniform, Frazier had a unique style both on and off the court. Though it was overshadowed by Reed’s entrance, Frazier’s 36-point, 19-assist effort in Game 7 of the 1970 Finals was one of the all-time great Knick performances. The seven-time All-Star was the point guard on both the Knicks championship teams and was the franchise’s all-time leading scorer until Ewing passed him. He still owns the team’s all-time assist record.
2. WILLIS REED
He produced the most inspirational moment in Knicks history when he walked into the Garden at the start of Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals. Reed was the finals MVP on both of the Knicks championship teams. Named along with Ewing and Walt Frazier as one of the NBA?s top 50 players of all time, Reed was a seven-time All-Star and the best player on a team with a number of great players.
1. PATRICK EWING
One of the best centers of all time, he defined what it was to be a Knick for 15 seasons. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in almost every important statistical category. Yes, we know he never won an NBA title, but we can’t hold it against him that he played in the same era as Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon. What matters most is that Ewing took the Knicks to the playoffs in 13 seasons, displaying a work ethic and heart-breaking persistence that won over a generation of fans.