分类目录归档:Cheap Knicks Jerseys

Mitchell Robinson Jersey

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New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson is a 21-year-old, 7-foot terror who protects the rim and scores with incredible efficiency. He currently leads the NBA in blocks per 36 minutes and points created per 100 possessions, and he’s the Knicks’ best player by a comfortable margin in RAPTOR, FiveThirtyEight’s new measure of a player’s per-possession effectiveness. Playing so well under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, you might think that Robinson is a megastar on the rise.

But Robinson has come off the bench just about as often as he’s started, and he’s averaging a paltry 18.4 minutes per game. For all of his impressive rate statistics — and he is averaging a double-double (19.8 points and 12.8 rebounds) per 36 minutes this year — Robinson can’t exert his influence on the game if he’s not on the court.

At least some of this comes down to Knicks coach David Fizdale, who is under fire early this season partly because of decisions like starting veteran Taj Gibson over Robinson despite Gibson’s vastly inferior rates. But Robinson has helped create this problem with his propensity for fouling — and Fizdale has said as much in explaining his rationale for moving Robinson to the bench.

“Taj gets us off to really stable starts and keeps Mitchell from the potential of getting into foul trouble,” Fizdale told Newsday last week.

But Robinson fouls so often that even this plan hasn’t helped much. He was disqualified after just 22 minutes on Nov. 14, was whistled five times in 17 minutes on Monday and mustered only 13 minutes against the 76ers on Wednesday after picking up four fouls. The Knicks, who lost by just 5 to Philly, could have used more from Robinson against Joel Embiid, but Embiid was able to use Robinson’s shot-blocking instincts against him a couple of times, drawing a foul once. With 6.6 fouls per 36 minutes, Robinson is the fourth-most foul-prone player in the NBA this season, rendering his incredible per-possession numbers largely moot and helping lead to the Knicks’ predicament as one of the worst teams in the league.

In fact, if Robinson keeps it up, he could join a not-so-elite group of players who performed like stars when they saw the court but fouled so much that they couldn’t stay on it for very long:

If fouls were unlimited, they would be superstars
Best overall RAPTOR ratings in a full season since 1977 for players with at least 50 games played, fewer than 20 minutes per game and at least six fouls committed per 36 minutes — plus Mitchell Robinson in 2019-20

RAPTOR
YEAR PLAYER GAMES MPG FOULS/36* OFFENSE DEFENSE TOTAL
2019-20 Mitchell Robinson 11 18.4 6.7 +3.9 +1.2 +5.1
2007-08 Amir Johnson 62 12.3 7.6 -0.5 +3.9 +3.4
2009-10 Amir Johnson 82 17.7 6.8 +0.6 +1.8 +2.4
2006-07 Paul Millsap 82 18.0 6.3 +0.5 +1.8 +2.4
1999-2000 Ryan Bowen 52 11.3 6.1 +0.0 +2.0 +2.0
2008-09 Amir Johnson 62 14.7 7.8 -0.9 +2.5 +1.6
2007-08 Leon Powe 56 14.4 6.2 +1.3 +0.2 +1.6
2005-06 DeSagana Diop 81 18.6 6.9 -2.6 +4.0 +1.4
1978-79 Kim Hughes 81 13.4 6.7 -2.5 +3.9 +1.4
2008-09 Leon Powe 70 17.5 6.2 +0.3 +1.1 +1.4
1991-92 Kenny Williams 60 9.4 6.4 +0.4 +1.0 +1.4
*Foul rates have been pace-adjusted to 100 possessions per game.

Robinson is on track to play 60 games in 2019-20, if prorated to an 82-game schedule.

SOURCES: NBA ADVANCED STATS, BASKETBALL-REFERENCE.COM

Some players fit this category early in their careers but were able to evolve into proper stars by playing with more discipline. Paul Millsap, for instance, was a fouling machine in his first few NBA seasons, but he eventually cut down on the whistles enough to log nearly 33 minutes a night in his prime. Yes, his block rate suffered as a result — but that was a small price to pay to stay on the court longer.1
Some, however, always leave their teams wanting more. Amir Johnson, most recently of the Sixers, was emblematic of this over his career: As with Robinson, his per-minute numbers were perennially amazing, but he averaged 5.1 fouls per 36 minutes in his career and never logged more than 28.8 minutes per game in any season despite owning a career RAPTOR plus/minus of +2.1. (There’s a reason he appears in the table above three times.) Before the season, Johnson showed up among Robinson’s 10 most comparable historical players — a bad omen for Knick fans hoping that Robinson can log enough minutes to become a true superstar.

Robinson isn’t the only player this season whose effectiveness has been limited by foul trouble. Washington’s Moritz Wagner is averaging only 19.3 minutes a night despite an eye-popping +9.1 RAPTOR because of an equally mind-boggling 7.5 fouls per 36 minutes. But most of Wagner’s RAPTOR is wrapped up in defense,2 so there might be more of a question about whether he can keep up his rates in more minutes while simultaneously fouling less.

For Robinson, though, he remains a player who looks like a legitimate star two-way big man in the making — if he can just cut down on the unnecessary fouls. There’s plenty of time for him to do that and cash in on his full potential, but for now he might be the best player in the league that you probably won’t even get to see play for 20 minutes on any given night.

Check out our latest NBA predictions.

Trent Tucker Jersey

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January 15, 1990: The game that birthed the Trent Tucker Rule

On this memorable MLK day in 1990, Trent Tucker enshrined himself into Knicks folklore with a buzzer-beating shot to defeat the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden. With the game tied at 106, Tucker received the inbounds pass and made the game-winning three pointer with 0.1 seconds left to win the game 109-106.

Upon further review, the clock didn’t start until Tucker’s shot was in mid-air. Consequently, Phil Jackson, then first-year head coach of the Bulls, filed a protest with the league. The argument, which is valid, stated that it’s impossible to receive a pass and shoot the basketball in less than 0.1 seconds. However, timekeeper Bob Billings and head referee Ronnie Nunn disagreed with the premise and stated that the calls on the floor were correct. As a result, the NBA disallowed their protest.

Around that time, then-commissioner David Stern recently required NBA arenas to comply with a FIBA rule to register tenths of seconds within the final minute of each quarter. Most of the scoreboards used at the time – manufactured by American Sign & Indicator (AS&I)1 – were not able to accurately register fractions of seconds. In some instances, there would be games where the shot clock would freeze at 0.1 seconds.

After the game, Stern further required all arenas to calibrate their shot clocks. Eventually, most teams transitioned from AS&I scoreboards to the Daktronics models seen in most areas.

More importantly, Stern instituted the “Trent Tucker Rule” where a shot can’t be taken with less than 0.3 seconds on the clock. The rule doesn’t prohibit tip-ins or alley-oops, especially in the case of David Lee’s basket in the 2006-07 season.

January 15, 2001: The Marcus Camby punch that almost connected

In what appeared to be a drama-free blowout on MLK day in MSG, Marcus Camby had other plans on that particular afternoon. With just over 3 minutes left in the game, Marcus Camby received an flagrant (or maybe intentional?) strike from Danny Ferry near his eye after attempting to grab an offensive rebound. As the refs attempted to eject Ferry, Camby lunged into Ferry, causing some refs to restrain him.

After things seemed to dissipate and as Ferry was heading towards the locker room, Camby inexplicably went after Ferry to punch him. Instead of striking Ferry, he instead headbutted Jeff Van Gundy. Van Gundy needed to receive more than a dozen stitches after the game due to bleeding from a gash above his eye.

After the game, the NBA suspended Camby 5 games for the attempted punch and headbutt. Danny Ferry received a 1 game suspension for his flagrant foul. It was disappointing for the Knicks, especially since the team won 9 of their previous 10 games. It was another instance of a lack of compsure that plagued some of the Knicks (i.e. Chris Childs, Kurt Thomas) during their playoff heyday.

Red Holzman Jersey

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The most famous coach in New York Knicks history, Red Holzman was a legend on the court, on the sideline, and in his community.
Red Holzman, a military man and former NBA player, was coming off of two seasons of coaching the Milwaukee Hawks. Then the franchise moved to St. Louis for another two years. Not once did he finish above .500.

In 1957, Holzman joined our beloved New York Knicks as an assistant coach under head coach Vince Boryla. In 1967, Holzman became the head coach of the Knicks, and the years of Red’s reign began.

As a military man, Holzman believed that the Knicks needed to work as a team to win championships. He implemented a team-first mentality, and the Knicks finished the season going 28-17 en route to a playoff berth.

New York didn’t win the championship that year, which is not surprising. But, unlike most Knicks teams, the future was promising.

With the gifted roster of Willis Reed, Dick Barnett, and rookies Walt Frazier and Phil Jackson, Holzman was ready to compete. With their young core, and Holzman’s influence in the locker room, the Knicks were bound for huge things in the new NBA.

In the 1968 season, the Knicks front office accomplished the impossible by signing Dave DeBusschere away from the Detroit Pistons. Holzman lead the team back to the playoffs, but ultimately lost to the Celtics in the second round.

Legacy
The Knicks’ front office had found their guy in Holzman. He was one of the best coaches in the league, and was commanding the Knicks to contention. This time period was when Madison Square Garden developed the reputation it has today.

In the 1969-1970 season, the Knicks were nearly unstoppable. Holzman, Frazier, and Reed led the Knicks to 20 consecutive victories on their way to an NBA championship. A very special moment happened in the finals, which I will cover in a different Garden History.

Holzman was named Coach of the Year, and by proxy, named the emotional Mayor of New York the very next day. Holzman would lead the Knicks to two more NBA Finals appearances, as well as another championship.

Hozlman ultimately got his number 613 (wins as a Knicks coach) retired in Madison Square Garden.

The fact he actually won as the Knicks’ coach makes him widely regarded as one of the top 10 coaches in NBA history. He retired with the second-most wins in NBA history. Ironically, he finished behind another Red: Auerbach.

Holzman is also a legend in the Jewish Community, as he gave tons of money to different organizations all over his native New York. The International Jewish Athletes Hall of Fame inducted Holzman in 1988.

As the head coach who led the New York Knicks to the only two championships in franchise history, Red Holzman is an eternal legend.

Ray Williams Jersey

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Ray Williams, the former New York Knicks guard who averaged 15.5 points and 5.8 assists in 10 seasons in the National Basketball Association, died Friday. He was 58.

The Knicks confirmed Williams’s death, but didn’t provide a cause. Coach Mike Woodson said he spoke to Williams’s wife and brother to offer his condolences.

“It’s a major loss. He’s a part of our Knicks family,” Woodson said in Toronto before the Knicks’ victory over the Raptors. “Our organization has been fantastic through this. I tip my hat to the Knicks and the fact they stood in Ray’s corner. He’ll be missed. Ain’t no doubt about that. He was well liked in the community.”

Like many professional athletes, Williams struggled financially after his NBA career was over.

Born in Mount Vernon on Oct. 14, 1954, Williams was drafted 10th overall by the Knicks in 1977. He averaged 16.4 points in five seasons in New York and went on to play for New Jersey, Kansas City, Boston, Atlanta, and San Antonio.

Ursula von der Leyen: The making of Europe’s top leader
Williams averaged 18.9 points in two seasons at the University of Minnesota, where he teamed with Kevin McHale, Mychal Thompson, and longtime NBA coach Flip Saunders.

“Ray was probably my favorite college teammate,” McHale, now the coach of the Houston Rockets, said after his team’s victory over Cleveland on Friday night. “I came in as a rookie and Ray took me under his wing. We played ball all the time. We were two guys that just loved to play.

“I went to the University of Minnesota the day after I graduated from high school. I went to Williams Arena and I went to work and the coach said everybody was going to play at like 3:30, or 4, after work. I got there early and Ray and I started playing one on one. We ended up fouling the hell out of each other and we almost ended up in a fight my first day because I wouldn’t give him game point. He kept on saying, ‘I got fouled,’ and I said, ‘No, you didn’t.’ He and I played one on one, and from that day on, we became really good friends.”

McHale also teamed with Williams briefly with the Boston Celtics.

“I was a skinny little kid, man, and Ray was a big ol’ kid from New York City,” McHale said. “He would always tell me about New York City. I’d never been to New York City. I didn’t know what it was.

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“A couple of times, we played and some guys tried roughing me up. I’ll never forget, Ray went up and grabbed one of these guys. Back then, they had jewelry and he grabbed the guy by his neck. Ray said he twisted it really hard and said, ‘Before you mess with him, you’ve got to mess with me. And here’s Ray, 6-3, and I’m 6-10. I said, ‘Thank you, Ray….’ I really liked Ray as a teammate. He was a teammate in Boston, too. Those days in Minnesota, 1976, going down there in the summer playing with him and stuff. We were 24-3 that year and Ray was our point guard and we just had a group of guys that played.”

After his NBA career, Williams ran into difficult financial times. Like many professional athletes, he was forced to file for bankruptcy in 1994. By 2010, Williams was homeless, living out of his car in Florida. But thanks to an article in the Boston Globe, some of his former teammates helped him get back on his feet financially. And Williams got a job in his hometown, at the city parks and recreation department, in Mount Vernon, N.Y., the Boston Globe reported:

“After months of sleeping in a broken-down 1992 Buick on a back road in Florida, former Celtics guard Ray Williams — once a marquee NBA player — has a roof over his head, a reason to get up in the morning, a chance to do for the needy what others did for him when he was down to his last dime.

Thanks in part to Larry Bird and Kevin McHale, his teammates with the ’85 Celtics, Williams is out of poverty — an existence all too common among former NBA players who outlived their basketball earnings.”

Patrick Ewing Jersey

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In the first edition of New York Knicks Trade History, a look at the deal that sent Patrick Ewing out of the Big Apple for the first time in his NBA career.
For better or worse, trades have often represented the New York Knicks. Their draft success is quieter and inconsistent, and, especially over the past 20 years, they have focused on working with other teams to improve their roster.

One trade that brought change, in 2000, the Knicks sent away Patrick Ewing, their face of the franchise for the previous 15 years.

Ewing, who was age 37 at the time and near the end of his career, left in a four-team trade that involved the Seattle SuperSonics, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns. As Newsday noted at the time, the player who had his No. 33 jersey number retired in 2003 wanted a change.

How did this trade work out for the Knicks? Was their return package for Ewing acceptable?

What the Knicks traded
The full trade outlook is large, but the Knicks traded Ewing to the SuperSonics and Chris Dudley and a 2001 first-round pick to the Suns.

Ewing played 79 of 82 games with Seattle, but his numbers tailed off from the 15 points and 9.7 rebounds averaged in the 1999-00 season to 9.6 points and 7.4 rebounds. No playoff run resulted from this, either, making this a disappointing one-and-done for the Sonics, who watched him leave for the Orlando Magic in the 2001 offseason.

Dudley, the same one who pegged a basketball at Shaquille O’Neal, lasted just 53 games with Phoenix, averaging 11.6 minutes per contest. He played 46 games over the next two seasons with Portland and fell out of the NBA at age 37.

The first-round pick became Jason Collins, who started on the New Jersey Nets teams that made the NBA Finals in the early 2000s. However, he fell into a veteran backup role for most of his career.

What the Knicks acquired
Ewing may have neared the end of the road, but the Knicks struggled to recoup meaningful value from this trade.

Travis Knight, Glen Rice, and a 2001 first-round pick, which became Jamaal Tinsley, arrived from the Lakers. Rice averaged 12 points in his only season with the Knicks, but it was down by nearly four points from his 1999-00 total. He struggled for the next three years at two destinations and left the NBA at age 36.

Knight actually spent three seasons with the Knicks, but as nothing more than an end-of-the-bench piece.

The first-round pick moved around, and Tinsley landed with the Indiana Pacers. He spent 11 years in the NBA.

Years after playing his best basketball on those title-winning Chicago Bulls teams, Longley joined from Phoenix. He played just 25 games for New York and left the NBA at age 32.

The Sonics’ package featured two draft picks, but neither developed into relevant, long-term pieces. The first-round pick became Kareem Rush, who played 346 games as a role player in the NBA, but none of it happened in New York. Lazaro Borrell, Vernon Maxwell and Vladimir Stepania all never played for the Knicks, either.

The 2000 Ewing trade benefited nobody. It was a wash for all the pieces that moved and either never played for their new team or struggled mightily. This was among the questionable results the New York Knicks had in transactions, in this decade.

Micheal Ray Richardson Jersey

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Le 11 novembre de l’année 1984 était un dimanche. Un jour férié pour beaucoup. Pour Purvis Short, c’était le premier jour d’une folle semaine. Une semaine pleine de défaites comme souvent pour les Warriors de cette époque mais aussi pleine de grosses performances pour Purvis. Une semaine qui s’est achevée il y a 25 ans jour pour jour avec un carton à 59 points pour cet ailier aussi peu connu que bon scoreur.

Purvis Short a été drafté en cinquième position en 1978 par les Warriors, derrière Mychal Thompson le père de Klay (1er choix) et le fameux Micheal Ray Richardson (4ème) mais surtout devant un certain Larry Bird. Disons que sur le poste 3, il y avait peut-être autre chose à faire côté Warriors. Car l’ami Purvis est un ailier. Et s’il n’est pas de la même classe la légende des Celtics, il a réalisé une carrière tout à fait honorable en NBA. Il y a sévi de 1978 à 1990 et plus particulièrement au milieu des années 80, période durant laquelle il nous a gratifié de plusieurs saisons très lourdes au niveau scoring. Du haut de ses 2m01, Short était un slasher inspiré et un scientifique du shoot mid-range dont il abusait tant il était efficace entre 4 et 6 mètres du cercle. Un shoot façon rainbow jumper qui montait très haut avant de retomber, le plus souvent, dans le filet sans effleurer l’anneau.

C’est ainsi, à coup de rainbow jumpers, que Purvis Short va monter en régime tranquillement lors de ses quatre premières saisons. Il va ensuite poser deux saisons (1982-83 et 1983-84) à 21 et 23 points de moyenne accompagnés de plus de 5 rebonds et 3 passes décisives. Et quand il démarre son exercice 84-85, Short continue sur sa lancée. Il veut devenir All-Star et sait que ça passera par encore plus de scoring. Après 7 matchs sur la fin octobre et le début du mois de novembre 1984, Purvis se pointe un dimanche à Portland avec ses coéquipiers des Warriors. Une folle semaine va alors démarrer :

11 NOVEMBRE
Contre qui : les Blazers
Où : à Portland.
La perf’ : 48 points à 19/34 au tir, 0/3 de loin et 10/11 au lancer. Avec 3 rebonds, 2 passes décisives et 2 interceptions, histoire d’assaisonner cette grosse perf’ de saison. Une bonne défaite de 12 points d’écart sera au bout quand même car les Warriors sont très faibles autour de Purvis Short, qui se retrouve dans un rôle de soliste sans avoir réellement de coéquipier sur qui s’appuyer.
13 NOVEMBRE
Contre qui : les SuperSonics.
Où : Seattle
La perf’ : seulement 17 points à 4/18 au tir. Une défaite de 7 points, un match à oublier. Mais c’était clairement pour mieux préparer les deux suivants.
15 NOVEMBRE
Contre qui : les Mavericks
Où : à la maison, Oakland.
La perf’ : 40 points à 18/30 avec 6 rebonds, 3 offrandes et 2 vols. Victoire de 5 points face aux Mavs de Jay Vincent, Rolando Blackman et Mark Aguirre contre lequel le duel du soir entre ailiers scoreurs fut sanglant (33 points à 13/22 pour Aguirre).
17 NOVEMBRE
Contre qui : les Nets.
Où : à la maison
La perf’ : quitte à faire une grosse semaine (individuelle), autant la terminer en fanfare avec une belle défaite de 17 unités mais une énorme prestation solo de Purvis la machine à scorer. 59 points à 20/28 au tir (!!), dont un 4/6 de loin et 15 lancers rentrés sur 16 tentés. 5 rebonds dans le lot mais c’est pour l’anecdote. Ok collectivement, ces Warriors ne sont pas beaux. Il n’empêche qu’à l’époque, seuls 9 joueurs ont fait au moins aussi bien que les 59 unités de Short sur un match.
Cette saison-là, l’ami Purvis va atteindre ou dépasser la barre des 40 points à 8 reprises en tout. En plus de cette folle semaine, il y a aura aussi ces 46 points sur la bouche des Bullets de Jeff Malone, Rick Mahorn et Cliff Robinson ou ses 44 points contre les Suns de Walter Davis et Alvan Adams. Ces cartons auront lieu dans des victoires pour changer. Short finira la saison à 28 points de moyenne, quatrième scoreur de cet exercice 1984-85 derrière les trois inconnus que sont Bernard King (32,9), Larry Bird (28,9) et le rookie Michael Jordan (28,1).

Pour autant, il reste un joueur tombé dans l’oubli car il n’a rien gagné, il n’a jamais été All-Star et n’a participé qu’à trois campagnes de Playoffs en 13 saisons dans la grande ligue. Ce genre de joueur dont on adore entendre parler mais dont on ne se rappelle jamais…

Max Zaslofsky Jersey

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The Cleveland Cavaliers have done the nearly impossible. They have raised themselves from a 2-0 Finals hole, something rarely done. Even rarer, they’ve now forced a Game 7 after being down 3-1. Three teams won the title after being down 2-0 in a series, but none have secured the championship after falling into a 1-3 hole.

The only two teams to even force a Game 7 in that latter circumstance are the 1951 New York Knicks and the 1966 Los Angeles Lakers.

Here, we’ll take a look at those two comebacks and particularly the Game 7s that broke hearts.

1951 NBA Finals
The Knicks were were actually down 3-0 in this series against the Rochester Royals. Led by Bob Davies, Bob Wanzer and especially Arnie Risen, the Royals manhandled the Knicks to start the series. The scores were grim, but they also got progressively closer: 92-65, 99-84, 78-71.

Then the comeback began. Harry Gallatin proved nearly Risen’s equal in Game 4, scoring 22 points to his fellow Hall of Famer’s 26. The Knicks won 79-73. Game 5 was Connie Simmons and Max Zaslofsky’s show for the Knicks, as they combined for 50 points on 17-for-30 shooting in a 92-89 victory. Zaslofsky then dropped 23 in Game 6, an 80-73 victory. The Knicks had staved off elimination three times.

Now it was time for Game 7 in Rochester. Having blown a 3-0 series lead, the Royals were on the verge of the most embarrassing collapse possible in sports. Luckily for Rochester, Risen came out to ball, as did unheralded jack-of-all-trades forward Jack Coleman. Risen drubbed the Knicks for 24 points and 13 rebounds while Coleman had nine points, nine assists, and seven rebounds.

MORE: Ranking every NBA Finals rematch, 1953 to LeBron

New York, despite 16 points from Zaslofsky, couldn’t quite overcome the Rochester attack and lost the Game 7 by a final score of 79-75. You can imagine how happy small-town Rochester was in beating in-state big-city rival New York.

For the Royals franchise that would become the Cincinnati Royals, Kansas City-Omaha Kings and now Sacramento Kings, it would be their second and final championship (their first coming in 1946 in the old National Basketball League). Indeed, this would be their last Finals appearance as of this writing in franchise history, as the Minneapolis Lakers resumed dominance of pro basketball the next year. For the Knicks, this would be their first of three consecutive Finals losses. Their 1952 and 1953 heartbreaks would come at the hands of the Lakers.

George Mikan was out there ruining hopes and dreams, man.

1966 NBA Finals
Speaking of ruining hopes and dreams, we have Bill Russell’s Celtics. Previously, I’ve written about Boston’s great escapes, but this series wasn’t included. Well let me tell you, it was perhaps Boston’s greatest escape as far embarrassment was concerned. The Celtics not only lost a 3-1 series lead, but in the Game 7, they almost blew a double-digit fourth quarter led on their home court.

The dramatic series started off right with a classic Game 1. Jerry West had 41 points, Elgin Baylor added 36 and 20 rebounds and the Lakers still needed overtime to win 133-129. But Boston handily dismissed the Lakers in Games 2 and 3 with double-digit wins in both games — 129-109, then 120-106.

Game 4 brought a little competitiveness back into the series as West plastered Boston with 45 points and 10 assists and Baylor contributed 24 points and 12 rebounds. In the end, though, the Celtics were not to be denied behind John Havlicek’s 32 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, as they won the game 122-117.

In Games 5 and 6, Baylor and West would not be eliminated. Baylor, who had broken his kneecap in the previous year’s playoffs, had 41 points and 16 rebounds in a 121-117 Game 5 victory — despite Russell’s 32 and 28 — while West’s 32 points led a balanced 123-115 Game 6 win.

With the series back in Boston, the Lakers yet to beat the Celtics in a series and the previous seven NBA championships in their back pocket, the Celtics seemed to be headed toward a mere formality in Game 7. Indeed, the Celtics smoked LA and were up by 16 points entering the fourth quarter. Even in the game’s final minute, Boston was up 95-85.

But the Lakers stormed back behind Mr. Clutch and made Red Auerbach nearly gag on his victory cigar.

West nailed a jumper. Stole the ball from Russell and then hit another jumper. K.C. Jones charged into Mahdi Abdul-Rahman (then Walt Hazzard) for another turnover. Laker guard Jim King hit a reverse layup. And then Jerry West forced yet another turnover on Sam Jones. And just like that with, about 6 seconds left the Lakers were down four. On the next inbounds play LeRoy Ellis quickly hit a jumper. Lakers down two.

With four seconds left, no three-point line, and Boston’s stunningly sloppy play, the Lakers gambled for yet another steal, but couldn’t get their hands on the ball. The Celtics were able to hold on for the ragged win, 95-93. But a win’s a win and Boston had their eighth straight title.

If history is any indication, the Cavaliers will make a furious and hard-fought Game 7, but ultimately lose in the end. But if history were the only indication, Cleveland coming back from 2-0 and 3-1 in the series is already an extreme outlier that shouldn’t have happened. Perhaps this is finally the time for a team to win the title after being down 3-1 in the series.

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Marvin Webster, a fierce shot-blocking center who helped lead the Seattle SuperSonics to the 1978 NBA Finals, was found dead in a hotel bathtub in Tulsa, Okla. He was 56.

His body was discovered in his room Monday morning in the downtown Ambassador Hotel, police said Wednesday.

Marvin Webster, known as “The Human Eraser,” played for the Knicks for six seasons. Getty Images
Foul play is not suspected and the death apparently stemmed from an illness, police spokesman Jason Willingham said. He added that the former 7-foot-1 center had been living at the hotel and employees grew concerned after not seeing him for several days.

The medical examiner office said the cause of death has not been determined. W. Charles Bennett, Webster’s former agent and current financial adviser, said Webster’s death was related to coronary artery disease.

Known as “The Human Eraser,” Webster spent nine seasons in the NBA. He averaged 16.1 points during the SuperSonics’ playoff run in 1978. He signed with the Knicks the following season and played six years in New York.

Detroit Pistons assistant coach Darrell Walker played with Webster in New York during his first two NBA seasons.

“That second unit we had when I was here, it was myself, Trent Tucker, Louis Orr, Ernie Grunfeld and Marvin Webster was our center on that second unit,” Walker said before the Pistons faced the Knicks. “The second unit, we’d press and trap, and Marvin was back there erasing it. He was a great shot blocker, one of the best shot blockers of all time.”

After playing 333 consecutive games, Webster missed the next two seasons because of hepatitis before making a failed comeback with Milwaukee during the 1986-87 season. He played in 15 games as a Bucks reserve before retiring.

“Anybody who knew Marvin personally would tell you he was a wonderful man. A jolly giant of a guy,” Bennett told The Associated Press from Albuquerque, N.M.

Bennett said Webster was somewhat reclusive and was always “trying to find a place of serenity and peace.” He remembered Webster as an avid reader who was deeply religious and enjoyed traveling.

Bennett said the hepatitis caused a toxic imbalance, and Webster had sought alternative treatment in Oklahoma. He liked the area and returned to visit for much of the past year.

For his career, Webster averaged 7.1 points and 7.0 rebounds. He played in college at Morgan State and his first pro season was with Denver of the ABA in 1975. He also played with the Nuggets after they joined the NBA the following year.

His best statistical year came with Seattle in 1977-78, when he averaged 14 points and finished ninth in the NBA with 12.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks a game. The Sonics lost the finals to Washington in seven games that year, one season before winning their only NBA title.

His son, Marvin Webster Jr., played college basketball at Temple but died during his sophomore year at 18 after a heart attack.

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The New York Knicks may be headed for another head coaching search in the weeks and months to come, and there may already be a potential favorite to get the job when that search happens.

With Knicks coach David Fizdale on the hot seat, there is already speculation about who might succeed him if and when he’s fired. According to Chris Mannix of SI, one name worth watching is former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who was an original candidate before the Knicks hired Fizdale.

Should the Knicks eventually move on from Fizdale, there are in-house options — Keith Smart has been a head coach, Kaleb Canales was an interim coach in Portland — but the name to be watched is Mark Jackson. He was a pre-Fiz candidate and a favorite of GM Scott Perry.

Jackson went 121-109 in three years with the Warriors, and was fired a year before they won their first NBA title. More relevantly, he spent parts of seven seasons with the Knicks as a player, so there are some longstanding ties here.

As for Fizdale, the Knicks are pretty openly undermining him and greasing the wheels for his firing. We’ll see if that’s an environment Jackson is interested in working in.

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As Kristaps Porzingis lifted his new Mavericks threads during Monday’s introductory press conference in Dallas, it was the official end to a crazy few days that saw the 7-foot-3 Latvian go from the Knicks’ franchise star, to a disgruntled one looking for a new beginning, to the centerpiece in a shocking blockbuster deal.

The deal went down so fast that all the details surrounding the evolution of trading New York’s franchise cornerstone were left merky. That is until The New York Times’ Marc Stein did some digging to solve some of the questions Knicks fans may still have.

Possibly the biggest question is whether or not the Knicks got the best deal for the 23-year-old Porzingis, who is almost a year out since he tore his ACL last season. It turns out New York was quietly poking around the league with Porzingis’ name in trade packages for most of last month. They were looking to see if teams would part ways with their presumed untouchable players, like Jazz PG Donovan Mitchell and Kings PG De’Aaron Fox, but nothing came of it.

The Mavericks, though, were a team the Knicks knew had significant trade interest in Porzingis. One source told Stein the team asked “about a hundred times” whether or not he was on the table, and the Mavs weren’t as worried about Porzingis’ injuries as other teams might have been.

In the end, the Knicks were able to not only shop Porzingis, but get rid of two expiring contracts in Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee. Trey Burke joining the deal made way for Dennis Smith Jr., who the Knicks were always fond of. And, of course, New York created tons of cap room for free agency this upcoming summer.

With that being the Knicks’ obvious play in this deal, rival executives told Stein they liked the trade as they believe “the Knicks must have some promising inside information about their ability to lure the likes of [Kevin] Durant and [Kyrie] Irving.”

But another question that arises is why did the Knicks make this trade so quickly? At least, that’s what it felt like looking from the outside.

Well, going back to the Mavs asking “about a hundred times” on Porzingis, the Knicks knew they could engage Dallas when Porzingis became available. According to Stein, both teams were aware of what each other wanted, and had been discussing a potential deal that could shop Hardaway for Wesley Matthews (who came over in the trade with DeAndre Jordan anyway) in the weeks prior to the agreed upon deal.

It also worked perfectly that the Mavs and Knicks faced off at The Garden on Jan. 30, so GMs Scott Perry and Donnie Nelson basically mapped out the trade in person with Knicks president Steve Mills doing the final sign-off in the end. The only reason hands didn’t shake that night was due to the meeting Porzingis and his brother/agent, Janis, had asked for on Thursday.

That brings us to our last question: Did Porzingis actually request a trade from the Knicks? They sure did.

The meeting lasted less than five minutes, with Janis giving the Knicks a list of four teams — Nets and Clippers among them — that he and Kristaps agreed would be acceptable trade destinations. But these two facts are worth noting: The Mavericks weren’t among those four teams, and Porzingis didn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract, meaning the Knicks held all the power in where he landed.

The Porzingis brothers forced New York’s hand, though, by telling the team Kristaps would leave for Spain to continue his rehab if he wasn’t traded by the Feb. 7 deadline. So, despite not being on the list, the Knicks made the final call to Dallas to say they were ready to strike the deal officially.

Mark Cuban and the Mavericks had no reason to believe Porzingis would want to sign a max extension with them this summer, but they are confident he can be persuaded to stay in Dallas with his idol Dirk Nowitzki and rookie phenom Luka Doncic, who he also has a history with, on the squad. In fact, they believe a Porzingis/Doncic pairing could replicate that of Nowitzki and Steve Nash from back in the day.

It is way too early to say either team won this trade, with many scenarios that could play out this offseason to change that answer. But, in the end, both of these teams were engaged in talks well before the ink touched the paper. It was only a matter of time before the trigger was pulled.