分类目录归档:New York Knicks Gear

Dennis Smith Jr. Jersey

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With the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree lit and the Radio City Rockettes kicking into high gear, a grimmer December tradition is coming into focus in the Big Apple: The New York Knicks are in big trouble. Handed their ninth straight loss in heartbreaking fashion against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, the Knicks fell to 4-19 on the year, equaling the record set in 2014 for the worst start in franchise history.

It is familiar territory for the Knicks, as they failed to attract star free agents like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the off-season, with the bright lights and glamour of New York City eclipsed by six consecutive losing seasons.

Even the sudden firing of head coach David Fizdale, intended to reset the team’s trajectory, seemed to backfire, with stunned players lamenting their leader’s departure.

“It’s a family thing,” center Mitchell Robinson told reporters after their 103-104 loss in front of a rowdy hometown crowd. “(Fizdale is) still going to be part of us no matter what. He looked after us besides basketball but as people as well.”

While a gobsmacking 129-92 loss against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday and Monday’s 132-88 drubbing at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks should have foretold the coach’s impending fate, Fizdale’s departure nonetheless “caught everyone by surprise,” according to guard Dennis Smith Jr.

“We didn’t want it to fall all on him,” Smith told a scrum of reporters in the locker room, prior to Saturday night’s contest. “We talked about that actually, like, ‘we’ve got to start taking responsibility,’ because he would stand up in front of y’all and take all the bullets for all of us. It’s not 100% on him.”

Power forward Julius Randle, who missed a second free throw that would have tied Saturday’s game in its final moments, told reporters the team had no choice but to “keep fighting.”

“We’ve got a long season ahead and we have to keep moving on,” said Randle.

The team next flies west to take on the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday, kicking off a bruising four-game road trip that proves there is no rest for weary.

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The dangers of life as a dad cost the Knicks their most consistent player for two games.

Marcus Morris is expected to return Thursday night against the Nuggets after missing back-to-back games because of cervical spasms. The culprit for his neck injury?

“You know, it’s funny. My son jumped on me early in the morning. And I tried to get up at the same time and it was just bad,” Morris said Wednesday after going through a full practice. “He just surprised me that morning and got me good, he got me real good.”

Then Morris played in the Knicks’ game Friday night against the 76ers, a physical battle that worsened his condition. He was held out of Sunday’s loss to the Celtics and Monday’s blowout loss to the Bucks as the Knicks’ losing streak slumped to seven games.

Morris said he has been getting two to three massages per day to get the knots out of neck, but now that he’s good, his one-year-old son, Marcus Morris Jr., can continue to jump on him in bed.

“I’ve just got to be ready,” Morris said.

Enlarge ImageMarcus Morris
Marcus MorrisRobert Sabo
For the first time since the third game of the season, the Knicks could be whole again Thursday night. In addition to Morris, they hope to get back point guards Frank Ntilikina and Elfrid Payton.

Payton has missed the last 17 games because of a hamstring strain. After coming off the bench in the season opener, he started three straight games at point guard before the injury knocked him out. Now, the veteran will be eased back in.

“He looked good in practice,” coach David Fizdale said. “Obviously it gives us another floor general. He gives us speed, something we really obviously need. He gives us a guy that can make plays for others and get us some easy shots. Defensively, he gives us a guy that can pressure the ball.”

Ntilikina has played well since taking over as the starting point guard, but he missed Monday’s loss to the Bucks because of a sore upper back. He was the only one who did not practice fully on Wednesday and is listed as questionable (as is Payton), so Fizdale declined to name his starting point guard. But he has a rotation to figure out with Ntilikina, Payton and Dennis Smith Jr.

“I’ll probably play some of them together,” Fizdale said.

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Slowly but surely, Damyean Dotson has emerged to grab the Knicks backup shooting guard slot from Wayne Ellington and Allonzo Trier.

It wasn’t long ago Dotson was a complete afterthought in a crowded field after returning from offseason shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum and missing the preseason.

Dotson, a second-round pick by Phil Jackson in 2017, started the regular season out of the rotation. He played three minutes in the first four games — in three of those he didn’t play at all — after being the starting shooting guard to close last season.

But in recent games, Dotson is emerging with his hustle, speed, defense and ability to impact the game. In Monday’s 123-105 win over the Cavaliers, Dotson made a big impact offensively with a season-high 11 points, making 5 of 10 shots in 18 minutes. Dotson also had another of his hustle plays, grabbing a loose ball that was going to be a turnover and driving to the basket for a score.

“I didn’t play any training camp, didn’t play any preseason games,’’ Dotson told The Post. “If you were a coach, you’d be skeptical throwing me out there because you don’t know if I’m ready or not. I had to go through a few practices, short spurts in games, to get my rhythm back. I’m still not 100 [percent], but I’m working and trying to get there.”

Enlarge ImageDamyean Dotson
Damyean DotsonAnthony J. Causi
A former high school football player out of Houston, Dotson said he’s still getting his wind. He is considered the fastest sprinter on the team, just beating Dennis Smith Jr. in a race at practice.

“It was all part of the plan,’’ said Dotson, who couldn’t shoot most of the summer. “I still don’t think I‘m my normal self. I’m still getting rhythm back I can’t play as long as I want without getting tired.”

C Mitchell Robinson played with his sprained ankle on Monday, recording 16 minutes, seven points, four blocks and five fouls. Robinson sprained it again versus on Saturday. “I know with him, he’s going to be doing what he does,’’ coach David Fizdale said. “He’s going to fly around.’’… Fizdale admitted on the final Charlotte 3-point dagger by Devonte’ Graham on Saturday, Robinson was supposed to be up at the 3-point line. … Cavs forwards Kevin Love (back) and Larry Nance (thumb) missed the game.

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Knicks forward and Brooklyn native Taj Gibson takes a shot at some Q&A with Post columnist Steve Serby.

Q: Describe your on-court mentality.
A: Intense … real locked-in. And I turn into a different person, other than when I’m outside. I may smile to my family that’s sitting in the stands for one second, then it’s cold turkey. I don’t really know anybody else.

Q: Describe what that person is like on the court.
A: I’m ferocious. I’m gonna hit you. My job is to protect my teammates, set hard screens and just play ferocious. Just whatever it takes — dive on the floor, dive on the ball. It’s kind of like an out-of-body experience. Whatever it takes to get the job done, you don’t really care.

Q: So, you can take the boy out of Brooklyn, but you can’t take the Brooklyn out of the boy.
A: You can’t, you can’t. Because it’s a dog-eat-dog world on that court. Nobody’s gonna feel sorry for you, especially in the pros. You just gotta go out there and just … you gotta headhunt.

Q: Describe the gangs in Los Angeles.
A: When I got to L.A., I didn’t really understand it ’cause I was a kid from Brooklyn, New York, so the New York Gauchos and a good coach in Gary Simms — rest in peace — he was known for taking a lot of guys out of Brooklyn and helping them get to good prep schools, so they sent me to Stoneridge Preparatory in California. … New York had the gangs, too, but it wasn’t too extreme the way it was in California. It was intense, but if you can survive in New York, you can survive anywhere. I didn’t have any problems. The New York in me just kind of protected me.

Q: How tough was it in Fort Greene?
A: Fort Greene has always been tough. … Fort Greene Ingersoll Houses has always been tough. It was a lot of murders, a lot of killings. To this day, I thank my dad personally for some days making me stay in the house, ’cause there was a lot of stuff going on outside. I lost a lot of friends that were just … young, and never got a chance to grow. I think my parents deserve most of the credit for just knowing when to keep me inside and keep me locked in.

Q: How close were the friends you lost?
A: We were real close. One thing about Fort Greene, we’re a tight-knit group. Fort Greene is just tough, I can’t even explain it to you. It was either play basketball, you rap, you sell drugs or you just be in the streets. But lucky for me, I’d wake up early, and back in the day when you used to wake up early, the drug dealers would be out early, and I used to be outside, and my neighborhood was so dope because they never bothered me. The drug dealers never bothered me. Sometimes they would even rebound for me. They’ll be out early in the morning and they’ll hoop with me. They’ll make sure I get my shots, they’ll challenge me, they’ll play pick up, they’ll do everything.

Enlarge ImageTaj Gibson
Taj GibsonAnthony J. Causi
Q: What about all the fights you had?
A: When I first started coming outside, I used to get picked on every day.

Q: Why?
A: Maybe sitting up straight. Maybe talking too proper. Maybe coming out smiling too much. One thing about Fort Greene, they used to beat me up for the smallest things. I got beat up maybe over 50 times. Every day I came outside I had to fight somebody (laugh). Every day! It creates toughness in you, and after a while, you just deal with it.

Q: Was there ever a time that you feared for your life?
A: Of course. You always got a sense of just being a little wary about the gunshots and worry about your safety, but … I had a good friend of mine, his name is Charles Wynn, rest in peace. At the time he was the best player in Fort Greene, in my opinion, in my age group. He used to always tell me growing up, he said, “Man, you got one life to live.” He said, “Where we come from, life’s taken for granted. So every time you come outside and you play ball, it should be a smile on your face knowing where we come from.” I got drafted in 2009. He was at my draft party. I was telling him I was scared. I didn’t really know where I was gonna get drafted. I was kind of crying, I was just a little nervous. He told me, “Whatchu crying for?” He’s like, “Where we come from … this is nuthin’. We already went through the hard part.” And my other best friend, which is coming out of jail after doing 9¹/₂ [years], his name is Tameek Floyd. He gets out of Fishkill Correctional Facility Dec. 12.

Q: How soon after the draft was Charles killed?
A: It was maybe a year or so later. He got shot in Canarsie.

Q: And how do you know Tameek?
A: We grew up together. He took me to the New York Gauchos.

Q: Why was he in prison?
A: He got caught up in the streets [burglary]. He’s college educated — just made a bad decision and ended up having to do 10 years in jail.

Q: Have you visited him?
A: Every year, I got pictures. Every year. I’ve been going to Downstate Correctional Facility and then when he got transferred to Fishkill Correctional Facility, I’ve been going up there ever since. I go up there every weekend almost.

Q: Has he been following your career?
A: He calls me every day. We talk every day for the last 10 years.

Q: What does it mean to you that he’s getting out?
A: It means the world to me, because he’s my best friend. Just ’cause he’s locked up don’t mean I’m gonna change.

For more on the Knicks, listen to the latest episode of the “Big Apple Buckets” podcast:

Q: How often did you go to the Garden as a kid?
A: My dad used to take me there all the time. My dad used to work for a carpentry company, so just like everything else blue-collar, we’d sit up in the rafters all the way up top. After a long day at work, he’d take me.

Q: Who were your favorite Knicks?
A: John Starks and then Patrick Ewing, of course. And then when I got to the league, one of the first people I met was Patrick Ewing.

Q: What was that like?
A: It was amazing. He was real down-to-earth, he was real cool, and to this day, everyone I’ve seen, he always asks how’s my family, how’s my brother doing? He’s a good guy.

Q: What was the first time you played at the Garden?
A: The very first time I played at the Garden was … USC versus Derrick Rose and Memphis [December 2007]. It was nerve-wracking. It was unique because it was one of my first games back home. It was fun, I got to see my friends and family come to the Garden.

Q: Any favorite Knicks memories?
A: The four-point play from LJ [Larry Johnson]. I wasn’t at that game, but I remember watching it vividly ’cause back then most of the people back in New York used to have their TVs outside with extension cords and watching it in front of the building. I remember LJ hit the four-point play, and I remember [former Knicks assistant coach] Tom Thibodeau, to this day, my old [Bulls] coach is on the sidelines screaming the way he always be screaming, yelling.

Q: Why does this city love the Knicks?
A: You’ll probably have to ask my dad and the guys before me, it’s just tradition, it’s what you grow up on.

Q: Describe the rivalry with the Nets.
A: Right now we’re just focusing on us.

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Q: But it’s electric in the building when you guys play the Nets, right?
A: Yeah, yeah. I think the city just loves the competitiveness of the games, and I think it’s good for the city.

Q: Describe Frank Ntilikina.
A: I love Frank. Frank is eager to learn, he’s eager to get better. I think he’s taking the next step, which is understanding what he has to do to become a good professional basketball player in this league. When I first met Frank, he was just a totally different kid. He really didn’t understand it, I think, right then and there. He’s only scratched the surface.

Q: Mitchell Robinson.
A: Pure talent. He’s playing off of pure talent. He’s only scratched a little bit of the surface.

Q: How good can he be?
A: He can be All-World if he wants. He works extremely hard every morning with me, and he’s extremely competitive. And he listens. And you can’t teach those things.

Q: RJ Barrett.
A: Same thing like Mitch and Frank. Super-competitive, eager to learn, always willing to listen. He has a grown man frame already.

Q: What is your best single basketball moment, other than this interview?
A: Other than this interview was going to the [2011] Eastern Conference finals. Just knowing how hard it is to win basketball games in the NBA, but when you’re locked in with a group guys, to have a bond and you’re in the heat of the battle each and every night, especially going against everybody’s opinion on you, telling you you can’t do something, you can’t do this and you overachieve in it, that’s the best feeling in the world.

Q: What was it like beating Kevin Durant and Texas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2007?
A: It was cool. Understanding that you’re competing at a higher level. All these things and dreams as a kid growing up in Brooklyn, you wish to have. You wish to go play for a big school, you wish to go get a college education. You dream all these things while playing on the pickup run in front of your building … late nights when you’re outside shooting on the rim and it’s raining outside.

Enlarge ImageKnicks
Julius Randle celebrates with Taj GibsonGetty Images
Q: Describe the young Derrick Rose.
A: Fast, athletic, just a beast.

Q: Boyhood idol?
A: Ed “Booger” Smith and Omar Cook. They’re both from my neighborhood. They’re both real inspirational as far as just basketball in the whole New York City.

Q: Did you ever run into Bernard King or Albert King?
A: I saw Albert at the Brooklyn Nets game like year before last, and I was astonished ’cause I’ve been trying to meet them almost my whole life. And then I met Bernard during training camp. It was so surreal because I grew up in Fort Greene just always hearing about them, and almost every kid in my neighborhood is just trying to be just like them, so they were like an urban legend that you never got a chance to see.

Q: What did you say to Bernard?
A: It was just like, “Man, I’ve been hearing about you my whole life. A great feeling to finally get a chance to meet you.”

Q: Three dinner guests?
A: Biggie Smalls, Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy.

Q: Favorite movie?
A: “Casino.”

Q: Favorite actor?
A: Wesley Snipes.

Q: Favorite actress?
A: Halle Berry.

Q: Favorite singer/entertainer?
A: Jay-Z.

Q: Favorite meal?
A: Snow crab legs.

Q: New York or Chicago pizza?
A: New York.

Q: Hobbies?
A: I like to go to museums on my day off. I want to help in my community, I want to bring jobs to my community, I want to build different things around my community and help the next generation move on.

Q: Superstitions?
A: Whatever brings me good luck, we try to remix it (smile).

Q: Has this been the career you imagined as a kid?
A: No, to be honest with you. I thought I was gonna be a carpenter or a firefighter. I really wanted to be a firefighter growing up. The local fire department in my neighborhood was the 110. I’ve been going to that fire station since I was a kid (smile). When I got a flat tire, you can always count on going to the fire stations for flat tires, get drinks of water, maybe have cookies and milk. Those are old memories I remember growing up in Fort Greene doing.

Q: But no regrets not becoming a firefighter?
A: I just got a little too tall for it, I guess (smile), but I really wanted to be a firefighter. My parents’ll tell you that. But my dad was a master carpenter, so that was always in the back of my pocket.
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Q: What drives you?
A: My neighborhood. Knowing that I got people watching me. I got people just depending on me. I want to do the right thing for my neighborhood, set the tone for the next generation.

Q: How much longer do you want to play?
A: However many years the man above allows me to play. Every day I get up I have a smile on my face and I thank the man above, and I just go out there and I just play.
Q: What are you most proud of about your career?
Q: That I was a late first-round pick [26th overall by the Bulls in 2009], and I’m playing in the NBA a whole decade later (smile) after everybody in my draft class kind of weathered off.

Q: Did you want the Knicks to draft you?
A: Of course! I was talking to Allan [Houston] about it. Everything happens for a reason, and I’m here now, that’s all that matters.

Q: What’s it like for you being a New York Knick?
A: It’s amazing, man. Every day I come here I get to look at the retired numbers in the rafters. … I look at the logo on the main court … then I get to walk in the back, I see the weight room, I see all the festivities that’s at my disposal. It still feels like my first year in the NBA for me. I don’t take anything for granted. Every day I come into the gym I smile and I’m super-happy, I’m super-electric and I’m ready to practice.

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Last week, Newsday’s Steve Popper reported that the Knicks have their eyes on Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri to replace current New York Knicks President of Basketball Operations, Steve Mills. If they decided to fire Mills along with General Manager Scott Perry.

According to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck, Knicks owner James Dolan is intrigued by the possibility of hiring Ujiri.

“Sources also say Ujiri would be intrigued by the challenge of fixing the Knicks, the chance to build something from scratch and, not insignificantly, by the opportunity to elevate his Giants of Africa philanthropy by working in the New York market,” said Beck.

“Influential voices in the NBA have strongly advised Ujiri not to take the job, if it’s ever offered, sources say. But those same sources say Ujiri might do it anyway, if the money is right, if he’s granted the necessary autonomy and if Dolan funds Giants of Africa as generously as the Raptors ownership group has, Beck said.

“Ujiri’s contract is believed to run through 2021 but with an out clause under certain circumstances. He turned down a lucrative extension last summer, sources said, leaving the impression that he wants to keep his options open.”

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The Interest Between Knicks and Ujiri is Real
I recently spoke to a high ranking official in the NBA, and the individual shared with me that “The Knicks would be a dream job for Masai Ujiri. It will also bring more eyes to his work with the Giants of Africa,” the high ranking official revealed.

Ujiri is the mastermind that shipped DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a 2019 first-round pick to the Spurs in exchange for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. He also fired the 2017-18 Coach of the Year Dwane Casey and decided to replace him with Raptors assistant Nick Nurse per, Kristian Winfield of SB Nation. Those two moves along with a trade deadline move for Marc Gasol helped the Toronto Raptors celebrate their first NBA Championship in franchise history earlier this year.

Knicks Fired Head Coach David Fizdale
On Friday, the New York Knicks decided to fire their head coach David Fizdale after a horrendous start of 4-18 this season, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news. Wojnarowski also reported that the Knicks fired top assistant Keith Smart and named assistant Mike Miller as interim coach.

According to a report by Marc Berman of the New York Post, Allan Houston, who is the GM of the Knicks’ G-League team, the Westchester Knicks was the driving force behind Mike Miller getting his chance to be the interim coach of the Knicks. Houston is the former assistant GM of the Knicks.

Per Berman, Houston lost power within the organization once former President of Basketball Operations, Phil Jackson was hired on March 18, 2014.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Jim Dolan. I have gotten to know Jim, and he is totally committed to delivering a winner for New York. I started my career as a Knick, and know what it feels like to win in this great city,” said Mr. Jackson. “I take the task of helping to deliver a winning team to our fans seriously, and I look forward to combining my vision of the game with Steve Mills’ abilities as a General Manager.”

“When Jim first asked me to join the Knicks this past fall, I said my goal was to be part of a winning organization,” said Mr. Mills. “With Phil Jackson aboard, we’ve taken a major step in that direction. I look forward to working with him.”

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In our first look this season at the early contenders for NBA Sixth Man of the Year, we find a mix of new faces and old standbys, but the top is familiar.
When it comes time to hand out the NBA honors sometime a couple of decades after the regular season wraps up (nope, still not a fan of the post-NBA Draft basketball Oscars show), the Sixth Man of the Year honor has almost exclusively rested within the purview of the scoring savants, the players that can come in and instantly start cooking at the offensive end.

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In the 37 years the NBA has awarded the Sixth Man of the Year, there have only been three winners who scored less than 10 points per game — Bobby Jones of the Philadelphia 76ers (9.0 PPG in 1982-83, the first year the award was handed out), Bill Walton of the Boston Celtics (7.6 PPG in 1985-86) and Anthony Mason of the New York Knicks (9.9 PPG in 1994-95).

So it’s been awhile since a bench player not known for offensive firepower has been the NBA Sixth Man of the Year. At the other end of the scale, there have been three winners who topped 20 points per game the year they won.

Eddie Johnson of the Phoenix Suns was the first when he averaged 21.5 points per game in 1988-89 and Ricky Pierce of the Milwaukee Bucks topped that with 23.0 points per game the next season — still the highest scoring average ever for an NBA Sixth Man of the Year.

Lou Williams of the LA Clippers, a three-time winner who has taken the trophy each of the last two seasons, is the other 20-point-a-game reserve, topping the mark each of the last two seasons — 22.6 PPG in 2017-18 and 20.0 PPG last year.

Williams is one of only three active players to have won the award. The others are Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets (2016-17) and Rockets star James Harden, a winner with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2011-12.

In determining how many players who be placed on the ladder, we looked at the last five years of voting results. An average of 7.2 players per year received first-place votes on the last five seasons’ worth of ballots, so the ladder for this season will go seven players deep.

That means close but no cookie for former MVP Derrick Rose of the Detroit Pistons, rejuvenated Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers, Tim Hardaway Jr. of the Dallas Mavericks, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson of the Toronto Raptors and Davis Bertans of the Washington Wizards — all solidly in contention, but trailing the group listed below.

Meanwhile, second-year sensation Devonte’ Graham became ineligible for the list by starting Friday night for the Charlotte Hornets in Detroit. Graham now has 10 starts in 20 games; the criteria for NBA Sixth Man of the Year is that a player come off the bench in more games than he starts.

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Hornets center Willy Hernangomez sounded upset at the vicious crowd reaction his former Knicks buddy Kristaps Porzingis got Thursday, indicating maybe the fans don’t have the full story.

“I think everybody can think what they want but I feel bad for KP,” said Hernangomez, the Knicks’ second-round pick in 2015. “He’s my brother. We spent too many nights in this amazing arena. I understand what people [do]. The people always treated me good when I was here and appreciated. But I was sad when I saw that.”

“Like KP’s comments after the game, they know what they know,” the amiable Spanish center added. “KP knows what happened. People just see what they see in public. But fans can do whatever they want, but I just feel sad because he did a lot for the community, the city and this team.”

There’s speculation Porzingis held it against the Knicks for trading his friend, though Hernangomez asked for a trade over playing time. Should the Knicks have made Hernangomez happier considering their friendship? The Knicks got back two future second-round picks and installed Luke Kornet as their new center.

“We’re professionals,” Hernangomez said. “He wanted me on the team because we’re really close, but I wanted to play basketball. He wanted to play basketball. It’s our job. We had a lot of time in the summer to spend together. We’d love to play together. You never know if we will play soon. I don’t know if he was mad, but we missed each other.”

Hernangomez, who has played in just three games, is a free agent next summer. Don’t be shocked if Mavs owner Mark Cuban makes a run.

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The Game: 1970 Finals, Game 7

The Series Situation: Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks tied, 3-3

The Play: Uncertain whether Willis Reed would be able to play through the muscle tear in his right thigh, the New York Knicks get an emotional rush when their captain hobbles onto the floor against the Lakers, hits two jump shots and boosts his teammates’ confidence and performance for their first NBA championship.

The Significance: Reed already had been named MVP of the 1970 All-Star Game and for the 1969-70 regular season. But his and the Knicks’ shot at a title was seriously in doubt when he suffered a torn thigh muscle in Game 5 and sat out Game 6 (Wilt Chamberlain had 45 points and 27 rebounds for the Lakers to tie the series at 3-3). “I didn’t want to have to look at myself in the mirror 20 years later and say I wished I had tried to play,” Reed later recalled thinking, so he received painkiller injections in his thigh and limped to the court during warmups. The crowd already at Madison Square Garden erupted and the Lakers stopped warming up to stare at Reed. “When I saw that,” Knicks guard Walt Frazier said, “something told me we might have these guys.” Reed finished with only four points and three rebounds but gave New York a noble half. He pestered Chamberlain into multiple missed shots while he was in the game, then flipped the keys to Frazier, whose 36 points and 19 assists wound up as one of the greatest and most overshadowed Finals stat lines ever.

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The Mavericks and the New York Knicks have consummated a six-player trade that sends center Tyson Chandler back to Dallas.

The Mavericks, who immediately made reacquiring Chandler one of their priorities after their first-round playoff exit against San Antonio, completed a trade with the Knicks that was clinched by agreeing to take back the contract of New York’s out-of-favor guard Raymond Felton as well.

The trade cost Dallas two starters — point guard Jose Calderon and center Samuel Dalembert — along with prized young point guard Shane Larkin, reserve guard Wayne Ellington and the 34th and 51st picks in Thursday’s draft.

The Knicks have agreed to trade Tyson Chandler (left) and Raymond Felton to the Mavericks. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images
The deal was first reported by ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

Chandler is the player Dallas has missed most since it decided to let go several key contributors in free agency after the team’s championship run in 2011.

Chandler, 31, wound up landing a four-year, $60 million deal in free agency with the Knicks that year, a deal that has one season remaining.

The departures of Chandler and Felton are believed to be just the start of a roster overhaul by new Knicks president Phil Jackson, with Jackson pursing as much salary-cap flexibility as he can in the hopes of convincing star free-agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony to stay.

“The journey to build this team for the upcoming season and beyond continues,” Jackson said in the announcement. “We have added players with this move that will fit right in to our system while maintaining future flexibility.

“We would like to thank Raymond and Tyson for their time and hard work with the organization over the past few years.”

If the Knicks keep all players acquired in the deal they will have saved $3 million in cap space for this summer but forfeited $5.2 million in cap space in the summer of 2015, when they are expected to chase big-name free agents. The Knicks are currently over the salary cap and will only be able to use trade exceptions to lure free agents this summer.

The Mavericks will have approximately $26.5 million in salary cap space before re-signing Dirk Nowitzki to a hometown discount deal. A source told ESPNDallas.com that the Mavs’ front office is optimistic that the addition of Chandler significantly increases the team’s odds of successfully recruiting LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, two superstars available in free agency.

“It makes us real players for LeBron and Carmelo,” the source said, adding that pairing one of the perennial All-Star small forwards with Nowitzki and Chandler could give Dallas the NBA’s premier frontcourt.

With Chandler entering the final season of his contract, the Mavs then also would be positioned to make a run next summer at another premier free agent, such as Kevin Love, Marc Gasol or Dallas native LaMarcus Aldridge.

“We think Tyson makes our defense better and we still maintain quite a bit of cap flexibility,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban told ESPNDallas.com via email.

Chandler was the emotional catalyst for the Nowitzki-led Mavericks when they beat the Miami Heat in six games to win the franchise’s first title in 2011.

Cuban made the much-debated decision not to offer him a long-term contract because of concerns over how the new labor deal would keep Dallas from making other moves. Chandler, who had a history of injuries, turned down a one-year deal worth about $20 million for the security of the four-year contract with the Knicks.

Chandler is going into the final season of that deal at $14.5 million, and Felton has one year at $3.8 million with a player option for another season in the same range.

Calderon just finished the first season of a four-year, $28 million contract with the Mavericks, who also signed Monta Ellis to a multiyear deal last summer. It was the first time Dallas had committed to any player beyond one year since Nowitzki signed his most recent extension in 2010.

Nowitzki will join Anthony in free agency, but he is expected to re-sign with the Mavericks.

The Knicks are getting one of the best 3-pointer shooters and a steady hand at the point in Calderon, but he sometimes sat late in close games because he was a defensive liability. He averaged 11.4 points and shot 45 percent from 3-point range last season.

Felton is coming off a trouble-plagued season that included his arrest in February in a felony gun possession case. He was expected to plead guilty in exchange for community service and a $5,000 fine.

Felton, who turns 30 on Thursday, averaged a career-low 9.7 points and saw a significant drop in his shooting percentage last season.

Dalembert had an up-and-down season in the first year of a two-year deal with Dallas, while Larkin and Ellington were used sparingly.

Larkin, the son of Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin and a first-round pick a year ago, saw his playing time drop dramatically when Devin Harris returned from toe surgery at midseason.

Harris is a free agent and wants to return to Dallas, but he would like the three-year contract he and the Mavericks agreed to last year before the toe injury scuttled the deal. He settled for a one-year contract.

Information from ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, ESPNDallas.com’s Tim MacMahon, ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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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.