分类目录归档:Knicks Jerseys 2020

Julius Randle Jersey

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The old cliched definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This is where the Knicks are with Julius Randle. David Fizdale keeps using him the same way. Randle keeps playing the same way. Aside from a blip against the Cavaliers, nothing is changing and it’s not good. Something has to give.

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This is not a matter of the team still getting to know one another. This is not a chemistry issue. Unless Randle makes some kind of personal adjustment that makes a lot more of his shots go in and a lot fewer of his passes go to the opposing team, history is going to continue to repeat itself.

Julius Randle is a very talented basketball player, but he has not been able to utilize those talents to play winning basketball. He struggles to understand what a good shot is and what isn’t. His shots very seldom come in the flow of the offense, but rather on isolation plays. He shoots low-percentage shots early in the shot clock. He has very little feel for the game and what a good basketball play looks like.

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The Knicks’ desire to bring Randle in this offseason was understandable. They were a team that lacked players that could score efficiently and create their own shot. Randle averaged 21 points per game last season with a 60% true shooting percentage. The year before he scored 16 points per game with nearly identical efficiency.

His scoring efficiency was so rare that he was only one of seven NBA players last season to score 20 or more points with a True-Shooting percentage of 60% or higher. Who were the others? It is a pretty impressive list: Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Karl-Anthony Towns.

If a player can score in volume at that high of efficiency, it makes it much easier to swallow the obvious flaws. Randle was a bit of a ball-hog last season, with his focus on getting his own shot. Despite possessing passing ability, he has never been a good decision-maker. His defense has always been suspect.

The problem is that Randle has shown up this season with all those flaws on full display but without the efficient scoring. His true shooting percentage is down nearly ten points to 50.5%, with his raw shooting numbers a pedestrian .444/.262/.613. Randle is also shooting two fewer free throws per game than he did last season. Some of those numbers, especially the three-point and free-throw shooting should tick up, but the two-point shooting is the real problem.

Randle’s issues have everything to do with his shot selection and how he is being used by David Fizdale. The issues are easy to see when you look at Basketball Reference’s shooting chart that shows where his shots are coming from and how often he is making them.

10% fewer of his shots are coming inside the restricted area when compared to last year, and 20% fewer than two years ago. On those shots, he is shooting 10% worse than two seasons ago, and 6% worse than last year. He’s also shooting fewer shots from within ten feet of the hoop. Those shots have turned into mid-range shots and threes. They are never going to lead to efficient scoring, especially when Randle is not hitting his threes at a high rate.

The other telling number on that chart is the percent of his two points shots that are assisted. This year, a career-low 32.2% of his two-pointers have come off of someone else’s assist. It’s a drop of 17% off his career average. It is all the evidence anyone should need that he is being asked to do too much on his own as an initiator of the offense. It has not worked.

This is where Fizdale has to make his adjustment. Randle is being used as the roll man on pick and rolls and as an off-ball cutter too seldom. When Randle does set screens on the ball, he too often glides out to the three-point line rather than diving to the hoop. Until Randle proves he can be someone you can run an offense through, he needs to be used as a finisher rather than an initiator.

It doesn’t help that the Knicks lack a true high-level playmaking point guard, but Frank Ntilikina has proven an adept pick and roll passer, while Dennis Smith has gotten Mitchell Robinson involved with the second unit. It needs to be tired because the way the team is using him now isn’t working. The Knicks are actually a better offensive team when he is on the bench so far this season.

Fizdale could also try moving Randle to the second unit where he can regain some confidence going against other teams’ backups. Fizdale can easily insert Mitchell Robinson and Damyean Dotson or Wayne Ellington into the starting lineup, and move Gibson and Randle to the second group. It would still leave the first and second units with a good mix of shooting and shot creation.

Something needs to change. Randle needs to shoot better and alter the types of shots he is taking. Fizdale needs to change how he is using him. Until those things happen, Randle will continue to play poorly, his acquisition will look like a mistake, and the team will keep losing games. The Knicks need his efficient scoring. They just need to figure out a way to get it out of him.

You can follow John on Twitter at @Schmeelk for everything Knicks, Giants and the world of sports. You can also check out “The Bank Shot,” his Knicks podcast, on most popular podcast platforms.

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We’ve got answers to the hot-button questions following David Fizdale’s firing:

Q: Is this really Fizdale’s fault? Doesn’t he have a flawed roster?
A: It’s a combination of mediocre coaching and a roster no one in the league believed was playoff worthy. The timing is rough as Fizdale’s Knicks had just faced five straight teams with title-contending credentials (Philadelphia, Toronto, Boston, Milwaukee, Denver). The roster is flawed with no No. 1 option, as Julius Randle failed to fill that role. But management saw rookie RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox regressing instead of improving, and a second-to-last 3-point defense that made the same mistakes over and over.

Q: How safe are Steve Mills and Scott Perry?
Owner James Dolan has a strong bond with Mills, but he must see the plan not working, with the Kristaps Porzingis trade backfiring and their free agents not excelling. The pitch to Dolan now is their cap flexibility they can use on trades or free agents.

SEE ALSO

Top NBA coaches take digs at Knicks over Fizdale firing
Q: How soon now before the Knicks start unloading some of their veterans in trades?
A: This firing could be a give-up and a push to either trade some of the veterans at the deadline or just waive them to open roster spots for young guys such as G-Leaguer Kenny Wooten and two-way G-League player Ivan Rabb.

Q: Is there a chance interim coach Mike Miller could get the job long-term?
A: Miller was a proven winner on the G-League level and certainly if he gets this roster to close out in .500 range, he’ll be in consideration. Why wouldn’t he?

Q: Fizdale has now been fired twice in three years. Will he get another head-coaching job again?
A: Fizdale has lots of friends in the NBA and turned down the Atlanta and Phoenix jobs, but is getting the reputation he’s better off as an assistant coach. Fizdale might be best off at the college level with his charismatic personality put to use in recruiting.

Q: Does Fizdale’s firing benefit any player?
A: Maybe the new coach will find a better use of Knox and Allonzo Trier. Knox has been underutilized in the offense and Trier is just buried.

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PORTLAND, Ore. — David Fizdale will never know whether anything would have changed had point guard Elfrid Payton not sustained a freak hamstring strain in the season’s fourth game, forcing him to miss 17 straight contests.

Maybe, maybe not. But those close to Fizdale believe he needs a playmaking point guard for the way he wants to play and for his offense to click best.

Payton may have reemerged as a potential starter down the road after dazzling in his second game back from injury Saturday in interim coach Mike Miller’s NBA coaching debut.

For now, Miller said Payton is on a minutes restriction.

“He’s still returning and not total go yet,’’ Miller said after Sunday’s practice here. “He gave us a great lift with that group, started with the second unit, finished with the first unit. Games will dictate those things.”

Payton said his wind is there, but the team is holding him back this early.

“I don’t get tired,’’ Payton said. “It’s precaution.”

Enlarge ImageElfrid Payton
Elfrid PaytonPaul J. Bereswill
With Miller rolling him out for the entire fourth quarter, Payton looked a little like he did in the season opener in San Antonio as he racked up nine points, seven assists, three steals, one block and just one turnover in 17 minutes of court time in the 104-103 loss to the Pacers.

Looking so much better than his two point-guard compatriots, current starter Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr., it wouldn’t be shocking if Miller makes the move soon to start Payton.

“I did a decent job — played well in the fourth,’’ Payton said. “Just playing the game the right way. Taking what the game gives me.’’

Payton began the season coming off the bench before earning the starting nod following his gem against the Spurs.

“He played really well,’’ said Miller. “You could see the things that he was doing in terms of directing people and putting people in positions. The pace of getting downhill. I thought some of the defensive plays, like the steal he had for the layup [in the fourth quarter] was a big play at the time. He showed what a heady player he is.”

Politically, Payton is not high on the charts. Ntilikina is the franchise’s 2017 lottery pick and the Knicks picked up his fourth-year option for $6.2 million. Smith, selected one spot later in the same draft at No. 9 by Dallas, was the cornerstone piece of the Kristaps Porzingis trade.

SEE ALSO

Knicks’ final farewell to David Fizdale has telling omission
But if you judged their work in the loss to Indiana, it was evident who the most accomplished of the trio is. Ntilikina, who has started for nearly a month, was 1 of 5 from the field, missing both his 3-pointers and finishing with two points in 19 minutes.

Smith, whose outside shooting has not improved this season, was 0-for-5, missing his lone 3-pointer, in 11:39. He totaled one point with one assist and two turnovers. Smith is shooting 32 percent for the season.

Though he was rusty in his first game back against Denver, his second possession was noteworthy. Payton dribbled at the top of the key and tossed up a beautiful alley-oop lob for center Mitchell Robinson for the dunk. It is doubtful either Ntilikina or Smith could have threaded the needle on such a difficult play.

Like Fizdale at the season’s outset, Miller is juggling three point guards. The organization still is unclear about the future of the position. In fact, when the trade season heats up beginning Dec. 15, when players who signed as free agents this past offseason can be dealt, it will be a position of intrigue for the Knicks. Payton could be traded after signing a one-year guarantee for $8 million.

If anything, this is a chance to boost Payton’s trade stock by starting him or finding out if he’s part of the future. Payton, 25, was traded on draft day in 2014 to Scott Perry and the Magic and, The Post reported, was all but promised the starting nod when he signed.

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Willie Naulls, a four-time All-Star with the Knicks and three-time champion with the Celtics, passed away on Sunday at age 84. The cause was respiratory failure resulting from Churg-Strauss syndrome according to his wife, Dr. Anne Van de Water Naulls.

A Texas native and UCLA All-American, Naulls scored and rebounded his way to becoming just one of 10 players in Knicks history with at least four All-Star appearances. He became a pioneer of diversity in sports after Knicks teammates named him a team captain, the first black athlete with such an honor for any major professional sports team.

The 6-foot-6 forward averaged 19.3 points and 11.7 rebounds in seasons with the Knicks, including a 49-point, 24-rebound performance against Hall-of-Famer Bailey Howell and the Detroit Pistons.

Naulls was later traded to San Francisco (1962) and Boston (1963), where he won a trio of championship rings playing alongside Bill Russell, John Havlicek and Tom Heinsohn.

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OAKLAND, California — Walt Frazier is a two-time NBA champion with the New York Knicks, a seven-time NBA All-Star, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and his retired No. 10 Knicks jersey is hanging in the rafters in Madison Square Garden. But the 13-year NBA veteran is known more today for his flashy suits and his outstanding vernacular as a Knicks color analyst.

“When I’m at the Garden I hear kids say, ‘Dad, there is the Knick announcer. There is the guy that wears the crazy suits,’ ” Frazier said. “They rarely know my past. If they are 8 or 10 years old, they know me as the Knick announcer.”

Frazier recently sat down with The Undefeated before a Knicks game against the Golden State Warriors to talk about his Hall of Fame basketball career, how he got the nickname “Clyde,” his suit and word game, winning championships with the Knicks, and more.

Where did your love of fashion come from?

My dad. My dad was a good dresser. My brother is into clothes too, but he is not flashy like me. That is where it all started. And of course, I live in ‘The Mecca,’ New York City. When we played, everybody wore a suit and tie to every game trying to outdress each other.

[Knicks teammate] Dick Barnett was sharp. I used to copy where he went and got his suits made, his shirts made. Then, what set me apart was the hat. I bought the ‘Clyde’ hat at that time. As a rookie, I wasn’t playing good. So, to pacify myself, I would go shopping in every city. One day we were in Baltimore and I was looking in the window at a baseline [hat]. But it had a wide brim. Like, today they wear it narrow.

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So the first time I wore that hat, everybody laughed at me, my teammates, guys on the other team. So the next week [the movie] Bonnie and Clyde came out, so then people were saying, ‘Hey, Clyde.’ ‘Look at Clyde.’ That became my fashion image even until today with my endorsements.

What do you remember about your dad’s wardrobe?

He used to wear the coveralls with one [suspender] hanging over. Whatever he wore was pretty stylish. Shoes. He used to wear Stacy Adams. He was already dressed up.

Is your father who your clothing confidence comes from?

Yeah. And being in New York, you can be creative. They might look, but they don’t really say too much. But then, like with the hats, if I would have listened to them [my teammates and opponents], I would have stopped wearing the hats.

How many suits do you own?

Hundreds of suits. I haven’t gained that much weight, so I can still have them altered. I probably make 15 suits a year. I have lots of closets. What I do is put one rack high and one rack low so I can double the amount. I fold them and hang them in the same closet.

Do you have a journal to keep track of what suit you wore on what day?

There is a guy that critiques me every game for the last three years. The website is called ClydeSoFly. He grades me from A to D, so I have to make sure I don’t repeat myself because of this guy.

ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN/NBAE VIA GETTY IMAGES
How much money do you think you’ve spent on suits?

A lot. Fortunately, I have been able to endorse [the suit makers]. Most guys are paying $1,000. I am getting them for $500, $200. It depends. For most of these, I find my own fabric. I have a Chinese company. I selected this suit. Take the fabric to them and they make it. If I bring my own fabric, it may be half the price it normally would be to make a suit.

I like fashion. I like dressing up and mixing unusual combinations. So many people are paying attention. I’m like, ‘Hey, man, I am going to try it.’

Where do you like shopping for suits when you are on the road with the Knicks?

I just shop in New York. I don’t shop on the road anymore. I did back when I was younger as a rookie. But now, in between Seventh and Eighth avenues, Third and Fourth streets to 39th [in New York City] in the offseason, I just walk in and out of fabric stores. All those stores are old and have just fabric. Sometimes it takes me weeks, months sometimes, before I find anything.

I have so many. It has to be something provocative that I’m really excited about. Sometimes they recognize me. Sometimes they don’t. So what I do, I get swatches of the different fabric and take them all home and look at them. Once I get a different jacket, then you have to find a tie. Then once you get the tie, you get the shirt.

It’s a lot of fun. My tie maker, they all know what kind I like. When I go to a tailor, I say, ‘Show me something you think nobody would ever wear. That is probably what I’m leaning towards.’ They always think nobody would ever wear it.

Do you and fellow Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy, color analyst of the Houston Rockets, have a suit competition going?

Yeah. We always chat when I’m down there. I told Calvin that he’s the best. I think he got me beat. He’s flamboyant. I don’t know where he comes up with his stuff in Houston. He doesn’t have the selection like I do in New York with the fabric houses. That is why I give him the kudos to pull that off in Houston.

What has been the key to your creative vernacular on the air?

With my style and creativity, I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want to use the same clichés. When they were using, ‘the man,’ I came up with ‘the catalyst.’ So I have books and books of words and phrases. When I first started I was on radio, which was the greatest thing for me, because on radio you can’t look at any notes. It’s about spontaneity. You have to spit it out.

Most radio color guys, you don’t even know they’re there. So that is why I had to come up with the words. So the guy I was working with, if I stumbled, he would say, ‘Excuse me, Walt.’ He would walk right over me. So when the team was doing something I would say, ‘They’re dishing and swishing. They’re bounding and astounding.’ That would be all I could get in before he would jump on me.

How do you reflect on your Hall of Fame basketball career? What kind of imprint do you think you have made?

It has totally changed now. My game was defense. Harassing people all over the court. Guys don’t play that kind of defense anymore. There is no hand-checking now. The game is all gone with the 3-ball. It is more offensive. But still, in order to win one of these [NBA championship rings], you still have to play some defense.

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How did you fall in love with defense?

When I was [a freshman] in college [Southern Illinois], I was ineligible to play, so every day at practice the coach made me play defense. And I fell in love with defense. The way I would get back at the coach, it was me and four guys against the varsity. I would be creating so much havoc that the coach would say, ‘Frazier. Sit down.’ They couldn’t run any plays. I was stealing the ball, talking trash.

That is when I mastered the technique. The stance. If you ask me about any guy, I know whether he had that one step, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Earl ‘The Pearl’ [Monroe], Dave Bing, [Nate] ‘Tiny’ Archibald. I perfected the system.

What was it like to win an NBA championship in New York as you did with the Knicks in 1970 and 1973?

For the Knicks fan, it was the greatest. It’s been 45 years and counting. It will be almost 50 years in a couple of years. So for the Knicks fans, it was heaven. They had always been the Sixers’ and the Celtics’ doormat. Then the Knicks were finally on that level winning a championship.

We were on that level for like five years. We were in three Finals in five years. We beat the [Los Angeles] Lakers twice. They beat us once. I couldn’t spend any money in New York. Even now, I can’t spend any money. When the team is playing good, they’re like, ‘No, you can’t spend any money.’ They end up giving you everything.

What do you remember about the championship parade in New York?

We didn’t do like baseball did. We went to City Hall. A lot of people were there. The mayor, everybody. It was pretty phenomenal. But I never was all that enthralled with winning championships. … I won in high school. I won in college. So I wasn’t overwhelmed by it.

My whole thing was I wanted to make it for my parents and take care of my family. I am the oldest of the nine kids. I have seven sisters and one brother. I really wanted to be an athlete. Working hard. Discipline.

The other thing about my dressing was the civil rights movement. Whenever we went out of town, we had to have our best clothes. You were not only representing yourself, you were representing your race. It’s etched in your mind everywhere you go. These guys with their pants hanging off their butts, they wouldn’t be in the league [back then] if they did that. You had to be a person of character.

Dennis Rodman couldn’t have played when we played in the ’60s. That type of black guy would have never been in this league [then]. You had to conform to the rules and be a nice guy no matter how much talent you had.

Did you deal with any racism in the NBA outside of New York?

Once you leave New York, just subtle stuff. [Ex-Knicks teammate] Willis Reed and them did. They had to go through segregation when they went to the South. I didn’t really have to experience that when I came in the NBA in ’67.

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DENVER — Vince Boryla, a former player, coach and general manager in the NBA, died Sunday. He was 89.

The death was confirmed by the Denver Nuggets and the University of Denver, where he’s a member of the school’s Hall of Fame.

Before the Nuggets’ game against Dallas on Monday night, the team held a moment of silence to honor its former general manager. Boryla orchestrated a blockbuster deal with Portland in 1984 that brought Wayne Cooper, Fat Lever and Calvin Natt to town for Kiki Vandeweghe. Denver made it to the Western Conference finals that season and Boryla was named the NBA’s Executive of the Year.

Boryla played five seasons for the New York Knicks in the 1950s and averaged 11.2 points. He later took over as their coach for three seasons, going 80-85.

The Knicks and Nuggets each posted pictures of Boryla on their Twitter accounts, with the Nuggets adding: “Vince Boryla, our former GM and 1984-85 NBA Executive of the Year, passed away yesterday. RIP, Moose.”

Boryla also was a member of the U.S. team that won a gold medal at the 1948 Olympics.

Boryla is the only consensus All-American for the University of Denver in men’s basketball history. In 2013, the program renamed the Pioneer Award to the Vince Boryla ’49 Pioneer Award. It’s presented to the player who takes the extra step to make the program better.

He’s survived by his wife, Mary Jo, and five children, along with numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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As he prepares to enter the Hall of Fame, let’s take a look back at Tracy McGrady’s brief stint with the New York Knicks.
The date of Feb. 19, 2010 will probably never ring a bell in the minds for many New York Knicks fans. It would be the day New York acquired future member of the 2017 Hall of Fame class, Tracy McGrady, in a surprising three-team trade with the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings.

At the time, McGrady was battling knee issues that plagued him during his last season with Houston, eventually causing a rift between him and team management. McGrady was feeling left out of more plays and given less time on the court due to his deteriorating knee issues, pushing him to request a trade. New York at this time was fighting for the eighth playoff spot in the East and needed some temporary firepower and a spark to get the fanbase motivated.

The Knicks acquired McGrady and guard Sergio Rodriguez from Sacramento; the Rockets got Kevin Martin and Hilton Armstrong from Sacramento along with Knicks rookie Jordan Hill and Jared Jeffries. The deal cost New York two draft picks from 2011 and 2012 in the process of gaining salary cap relief, as McGrady became a free agent after the season — giving the team a bonus of millions in spending money that summer.

The first opportunity in a Knicks uniform would come in a classic matchup with the young and hungry Oklahoma City Thunder squad led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. McGrady had the entire arena at Madison Square Garden on their feet as he caught fire through most of the game until fatigue set in late. McGrady poured in 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting in 32 minutes as the Knicks came up short in his debut.

After the game, McGrady spoke openly about his debut with reporters and detailed what would turn out to be a continuous issue regarding his knees and it’s effect on his conditioning.

“I didn’t have any legs at all, and I felt like why should I be out there if I’m hurting my team? It wasn’t the right thing to do. I didn’t want to be a hero in my first game back.

“I hadn’t felt that good in a while, and to hear those chants [the first “We want Tra-cy” chant occurred with 8 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter] really sent chills down my spine,” McGrady said. “It felt foreign when I first stepped out there. I had the jitters.”

The Tracy McGrady experiment didn’t lead to a playoff berth for the 2010 Knicks, but there were sporadic moments of greatness from the two-time scoring champion. Due to health issues, McGrady couldn’t play in back-to-backs and only ended up starting in 24 games for the Knicks, averaging just nine points per contest. He expressed interest in returning after the season, but eventually moved on to the Detroit Pistons in free agency.

It may not have played out the way many Knicks fans envisioned but it’s fair to say the Knicks are sporting a member of this year’s Hall of Fame class. I wonder if McGrady agrees with the slogan “Once A Knick, Always A Knick.”

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Tim Hardaway Jr., now with the Dallas Mavericks, reacted to his trade from the New York Knicks.
Consuming the Anthony Davis drama in January, the New York Knicks shook up their roster and the NBA with the Kristaps Porzingis trade. It preceded the Feb. 7 trade deadline, and the Knicks set themselves up for an interesting summer as a result.

Porzingis was hardly the only player involved. Among others, Tim Hardaway Jr. went to the Dallas Mavericks — the second time the organization traded him in four years.

Reacting to this transaction as the Mavericks play in Brooklyn, Hardaway told the New York Daily News it was “mind-blowing” how his two Knicks stints ended the same, and how there was a failed opportunity for what the team had in place:

“I let them know we definitely had something good going here my first time back with KP and myself in the lineup at the same time. Then I got injured, then he got injured. And then it kind of went downhill from there,” Hardaway said Monday after his Mavericks were pummeled by the Nets, 127-88. “I let them know what we had was special and I really think they didn’t give us an opportunity to have KP. That’s what I told them. But it is what it is. We move forward.”

Hardaway was on a promising track with a healthy Porzingis in 2017-18, at 11-10 before the former’s seven-week injury. Then came the 7-foot-3 Latvian’s torn ACL and subsequent final game in a Knicks uniform, and they never had a chance to follow up on less than a half-season’s worth of time together.

However, it goes beyond not letting making that work.

The Knicks surprised with a four-year, $71 million contract for Hardaway, a restricted free agent, in 2017. It was off his best and most efficient NBA season at that point, but the numbers dipped upon return to the Big Apple.

Shooting just 41.2 percent and 31.7 percent on three-pointers in 2017-18, the Michigan man opened 2018-19 scoring over 20 points per game. That’s until Thanksgiving, and plantar fasciitis, arrived. It led him to 38.8 percent shooting and 34.7 percent on three-pointers, on a career-high 15.8 shots per game.

The performance did not match the contract, which could run through 2020-21 on a player option. So, with the Knicks eyeing cap space for July’s free agency, he was expendable. Courtney Lee suffered a similar fate, although the Knicks rarely used him after a two-month neck injury.

Without Hardaway and Lee’s guaranteed money, the New York Knicks have the space to sign two max free agents. It’s obviously no guarantee anything will happen, but having the open money puts them in the mix for Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving and others.

As for Hardaway, he can establish himself in Dallas, next to Porzingis, Luka Doncic and whoever else joins them. Barring another trade, he’s locked there through at least 2020.

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Because Richie Guerin’s career with the New York Knicks wrapped up before the team finally won a championship, the 6’4” shooting guard does not get the praise he deserves, but 59 years ago this week Guerin etched his name into the history books with a 57-point showing that at the time set the Knicks and MSG record for most points in a single game.

The historic performance came on December 11, 1959, amidst a ridiculous overall output of scoring from both the Knicks and the Syracuse Nationals. The Knicks were victorious, 152-121, led by Guerin’s 57 points on 18-37 shooting and 21-26 from the free throw line. His 18 made field goals tied the MSG and Knicks records, and his 21 free throws bested the previous Garden and Knicks marks. Before you get on Guerin for being all about that scoring glory, you should know that he also added 12 rebounds and 8 assists. Guerin was helped in the game by the late, great Willie Naulls, who put up 33 points and 22 rebounds against the Hawks. Good golly, they were quite the duo.

The game’s overall point total of 273 broke the the previous NBA record of 265, which was set during a 137-128 St. Louis Hawks victory over the Knicks on, ironically, December 11, 1956. What’s crazy is that both of those games took place well before the adoption of the three-point line, which wasn’t implemented until 1979.

Guerin’s 57 points would stand as the Knicks record until 1984, when Bernard King dropped 60 points against the New Jersey Nets on Christmas Day. The Knicks actually lost that game, though, 120-114. King’s record lasted until January 24, 2014, when Carmelo Anthony posted 62 points en route to a 125-96 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. Today, Melo still holds the Knicks record for most points at MSG, although Wilt Chamberlain holds the overall record for most points at the Mecca, having poured in 73 for the San Francisco Warriors in a November 1962 win over the Knicks.

Enough about the guys who would go on to break Guerin’s record, as this is not their week. The year Guerin posted 57 was his fourth season with the Knicks. In the game, Guerin came out gunning, putting up 20 in the first quarter and 12 in the second quarter to total 32 points at halftime, according to the game recap from the Elmira Star Gazette newspaper.

“It was a matter of being in the right spot at the right time,” he said of his first half barrage, according to the newspaper. After halftime, Guerin said he “became more confident and was looking for his shot,” and while he had only 7 points in the third quarter, he finished strong with 18 in the fourth to tally 57 for the game.

The victory broke more than a scoring record. It also broke a curse of sorts, as the Knicks had lost their previous eight matchups against the Nationals, as well as Carl Braun’s record of 47 points, which happened in 1946 and at the time set both the Knicks and NBA record for points in a game.

Braun, who only about a week after Guerin’s 57-point barrage was actually hired to be a player-coach for the Knicks, said that the record breaking performance “couldn’t happen to a better guy,” according to the Elmira Star Gazette.

“I taught him all I could, but I didn’t want to teach him that much,” he added in jest.

Guerin, who today is 86-years-old, was a picture-perfect Knick, having been born and raised in the Bronx. In just over seven season with the team, he averaged roughly 20 points a game and more than 6 rebounds and 5 assists. He scored 50 for the Knicks three total times, and in the 1961-62 season averaged nearly 30 points per contest while adding 6.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists. The team, however only made the playoffs once with Guerin on the roster, losing in the Eastern Division Semifinals in 1959.

Prior to his time in the NBA, Guerin served in the Marine Corps Reserve from 1947 to 1954. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

Alan Hahn wrote in his book 100 Things Knicks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die that Guerin is among the past Knicks greats who have been forgotten by time, partly due to the fact that he comes from a losing era in team history that took place only a decade before the Knicks broke through and won two championships in the early 1970s.

Today, however, Guerin is not forgotten. He is saluted for his record-breaking performance with the Knicks that took place nearly six decades ago.

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The New York Knicks have had many great NBA players wear the famous orange and blue jerseys over their long, storied history. Paul Westphal becomes the latest brief member of the team to enter the hall of fame.
The career of Paul Westphal was filled with plenty of memorable moments, especially during his time with the Phoenix Suns. The latest member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame spent two seasons with the New York Knicks from 1981-83 adding another former Knickerbocker to the list of all-time great players.

The Knicks acquired Westphal after an injury-plagued season with the Seattle Supersonics in 1981 in hopes that he would return to his old form in New York. As a member of the Knicks Westphal averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 assists per game while starting as the team’s shooting guard in 71 of his 98 played games. Westphal helped the Knicks make the playoffs in 1983 earning him NBA Comeback Player of the Year honors as a valued role player.

Westphal is known for being a five-time All-Star with the Suns and being a member of the 1974 NBA champion Boston Celtics. During his five all-star selections, he averaged over 20 points per game each season as one of the better all-around guards in the league. Westphal was able to play either guard position for most of his career consistently compiling over five assists per game, helping to make teammates better around him.

After his time with the Knicks ended, Westphal would return to Phoenix and retire as a player eventually becoming the head coach. The Suns almost made it to the top of the mountain in 1993 led by star players Charles Barkley and Kevin Johnson falling short to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in six games. Westphal would make another coaching stop with the Sacramento Kings and a few assistant roles with the Dallas Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets most recently in 2016.

Westphal joins an impressive Knicks alumni group that has made their way through Madison Square Garden briefly but still is forever affiliated with the franchise. Tracy McGrady, Jason Kidd, and Dikembe Mutumbo are just a few names that Westphal will also be associated with in regards to his Knicks tenure and eventually getting the call for enshrinement.

The diehard Knicks fan will probably be supportive during the ceremony, especially since the motto for the franchise has always been “Once A Knick, Always A Knick.”