10 Greatest Knick All-Star Moments: #1

As you may know, on Sunday February 20th Amar’e Stoudemire will become the first Knick to start in the NBA All-Star Game since Patrick Ewing did so in 1992. In honor of this momentous occasion, I decided to take a look back at the ten greatest moments in Knicks All-Star history, including a couple great moments from the larger All-Star Weekend. Some of these come from the recent past, while others date back to a time before I, and perhaps some of you, were alive. What all these moments have in common is that they show that Knicks players know how to step up for the Midseason Classic.

1. Willis Reed Begins His Triple-Crown Season (1970)

In 1970, everything was coming up very Willis Reed. The big man who was drafted out of Grambling State five years earlier had been a double-double machine since his rookie season, and in the ’69-’70 season, he reached a new scoring average high and led the Knicks to win 60 games in the regular season. His appearance in the 1970 All-Star game was a very impressive outing, in which he put up 21 and 11 and led the East to a 142-130 victory, good enough to take home MVP honors. The real significance of this lies in the fact that his MVP award would go on to become the first leg of a historic triple crown. Reed would also be named the regular season MVP and the Finals MVP, after coming back from a Game 7 injury to will the Knicks to victory over the Lakers in what is widely considered to be one of the greatest Finals series of all time. This was the first time that a player achieved all three honors in one season. While his gutsy Game 7 return is one of the iconic images of the NBA, it is important to remember that Reed was not only the best player in the Finals, but the best player for the whole season, as well as in the future Hall of Famer-packed All-Star showdown. Reed’s season was one of the finest any player has ever had, and the beginning of his MVP award sweep has to be considered the finest All-Star moment in Knicks history.

10 Greatest Knick All-Star Moments: #2

As you may know, on Sunday February 20th Amar’e Stoudemire will become the first Knick to start in the NBA All-Star Game since Patrick Ewing did so in 1992. In honor of this momentous occasion, I decided to take a look back at the ten greatest moments in Knicks All-Star history, including a couple great moments from the larger All-Star Weekend. Some of these come from the recent past, while others date back to a time before I, and perhaps some of you, were alive. What all these moments have in common is that they show that Knicks players know how to step up for the Midseason Classic.

2. Walt Frazier’s MVP Performance (1975)

By 1975, Walt “Clyde” Frazier was an absolute mega-celebrity in New York City. In his seven seasons with the Knicks prior to 1974-75, he had become not only the Knicks’ top scorer, passer, and defender, but he had asserted himself as one of the largest personalities in New York sports history. Today, especially among younger fans, Clyde is often remembered more for his flashy clothes and cars than his on-court talent. If you go back and watch videos of the man in his prime, though, it becomes instantly clear that there was nothing worth more attention than his fluid, effortless style of play. Nowhere was his incredible play more evident than at the 1975 All-Star game, where Frazier scored 30 on 10-for-17 shooting, and contributing four steals and five rebounds. The above video is fairly deficient in Clyde highlights, but check out a flawless behind-the-back bounce pass from Frazier at #7.

10 Greatest Knick All-Star Moments: #3

As you may know, on Sunday February 20th Amar’e Stoudemire will become the first Knick to start in the NBA All-Star Game since Patrick Ewing did so in 1992. In honor of this momentous occasion, I decided to take a look back at the ten greatest moments in Knicks All-Star history, including a couple great moments from the larger All-Star Weekend. Some of these come from the recent past, while others date back to a time before I, and perhaps some of you, were alive. What all these moments have in common is that they show that Knicks players know how to step up for the Midseason Classic.

3. Ewing, Starks, and Oakley Represent (1994)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loUAnCmmNHc

To anyone reading this, the word “1994” most likely brings up a host of conflicting emotions: pride, nostalgia, and joy, but also disappointment, regret, and sadness. The ’94 Knicks were the best team the city had seen since the glory days of the ’70s. Taking full advantage of Michael Jordan’s first retirement, they charged their way to the NBA Finals, only to lose to Olajuwon’s Rockets in a heart-wrenching Game 7. But to be sure, the 1993-1994 is one of the most memorable in Knicks history. For the first time in over two decades, the Knicks were the toast of the Eastern Conference, and they got there with one huge star (Ewing) and a roster full of scrappy veterans and role players. John Starks and Charles Oakley served as perfect complements to Ewing, with Starks able to drain threes when the big man was double-teamed and Oakley offering his toughness and rebounding prowess to make Ewing’s life much easier. This trio was rewarded with places on the Eastern All-Star team, the first time three Knicks players were on the roster since _______.

10 Greatest Knick All-Star Moments: #4

As you may know, on Sunday February 20th Amar’e Stoudemire will become the first Knick to start in the NBA All-Star Game since Patrick Ewing did so in 1992. In honor of this momentous occasion, I decided to take a look back at the ten greatest moments in Knicks All-Star history, including a couple great moments from the larger All-Star Weekend. Some of these come from the recent past, while others date back to a time before I, and perhaps some of you, were alive. What all these moments have in common is that they show that Knicks players know how to step up for the Midseason Classic.

4. Latrell Sprewell’s Redemption (2001)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwBWZh_YoU4

When the Knicks traded away John Starks, Chris Mills, and Terry Cummings to the Golden State Warriors in February 1999, many fans and commentators thought the move was far too risky. Just 14 months earlier, Sprewell had been suspended by the NBA for a year after choking Warriors coach P.J. Carlesimo in practice. Not only was Sprewell’s behavior a concern, but many thought that that much time off from the League–in addition to his 12-month suspension, the lockout pushed his Knicks debut back another two months–would result in some serious rustiness. Sprewell proved the doubters wrong, though, when he led the eighth-seeded Knicks to the Finals of the shortened 1999 season, where they lost in five games to the Spurs. After another season and a half of great playing, Sprewell was voted an All-Star in 2001. Although he had played in the game three previous times (1994, 1995, and 1997), his 2001 appearance was not only a classic example of personal redemption but proof that sometimes the riskiest decisions end up also being the smartest ones.

10 Greatest Knick All-Star Moments: #5

As you may know, on Sunday February 20th Amar’e Stoudemire will become the first Knick to start in the NBA All-Star Game since Patrick Ewing did so in 1992. In honor of this momentous occasion, I decided to take a look back at the ten greatest moments in Knicks All-Star history, including a couple great moments from the larger All-Star Weekend. Some of these come from the recent past, while others date back to a time before I, and perhaps some of you, were alive. What all these moments have in common is that they show that Knicks players know how to step up for the Midseason Classic.

5. Kenny Walker Takes it to the Sky (1989)

Kenny “Sky” Walker’s career with the Knicks was, by most counts, a disappointment. After being selected with the fifth pick in the 1986 draft, Walker made a solid effort in his rookie season. Unfortunately, knee injuries would plague him, and he would go onto leave the NBA and play in Spain after the 1990-1991 season (only to return to the league in 1993 as a Washington Bullet). Because of this, Walker’s victory in the 1989 Slam Dunk Contest serves as both a memorable highlight of his career and a depressing reminder of what could have been. A healthy Walker made good on his nickname by putting his freakish athleticism on full display for the contest, despite the fact that his father had died just three days earlier. His Clyde Drexler-beating performance, which was no doubt an emotional experience for him, was both powerful and graceful, combining elements of Larry Nance, Julius Erving, and Dominique Wilkins. A truly underrated Dunk Contest champion.

10 Greatest Knick All-Star Moments: #6

As you may know, on Sunday February 20th Amar’e Stoudemire will become the first Knick to start in the NBA All-Star Game since Patrick Ewing did so in 1992. In honor of this momentous occasion, I decided to take a look back at the ten greatest moments in Knicks All-Star history, including a couple great moments from the larger All-Star Weekend. Some of these come from the recent past, while others date back to a time before I, and perhaps some of you, were alive. What all these moments have in common is that they show that Knicks players know how to step up for the Midseason Classic.

6. David Lee Gets His Due (2010)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TAni5yjceg

From 2006 until the summer of 2010, David Lee was arguably the only consistent bright spot on a series of Knicks teams that were responsible for many headaches among the readers of this blog. In the few seasons following his drafting in 2005, Lee would go on to become one of the hardest-working big men in the league, finally reaching his peak in 2009-2010, when he averaged 20.2 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. That same season, he was finally rewarded for his solid play, when David Stern named him an All-Star reserve as a replacement for Allen Iverson. Lee was the first Knick All-Star since Latrell Sprewell and Allan Houston made the team in 2001, and many fans thought his selection was overdue by a year or two. Despite limited minutes in the game and a stat line nowhere near as impressive as the one from the 2007 Rookie-Sophomore game , he exhibited some real enthusiasm, as you can see in the above video.

10 Greatest Knick All-Star Moments: #7

As you may know, on Sunday February 20th Amar’e Stoudemire will become the first Knick to start in the NBA All-Star Game since Patrick Ewing did so in 1992. In honor of this momentous occasion, I decided to take a look back at the ten greatest moments in Knicks All-Star history, including a couple great moments from the larger All-Star Weekend. Some of these come from the recent past, while others date back to a time before I, and perhaps some of you, were alive. What all these moments have in common is that they show that Knicks players know how to step up for the Midseason Classic.

7. Dave DeBusschere Leads East in Final All-Star Appearance (1974)

By the time the 1973-1974 season had rolled around, Dave DeBusschere had cemented his place as a Knicks legend. He was an anchor on the championship teams of 1970 and 1973, along with Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Bill Bradley, and, in ’73, Earl Monroe, and he had come to be known as one the most tenacious and feared defenders in the league, having been named All-Defensive First Team five times. His appearance in the 1974 All-Star Game was his eighth, and he made it special by leading the East squad in scoring with 16 points. Althought the East lost, this was a fitting way for DeBusschere–who would go on to be named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history–to end his All-Star career.