Unsung Knick History – The Knicks’ Version of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”

This is the third in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of examinations into different games, events and decisions that impacted Knicks history in some way, shape or form. Stories that are not as famous as, say, LJ’s 4-point play or Willis Reed playing Game 7, but still have a place in Knicks history, especially for die-hard fans. Here is an archive of all the stories featured so far.

If you are unfamiliar with Shirley Jackon’s famous short story, “The Lottery,” well, you should probably stop reading this piece and go off and read that short story first, as A. It’s awesome and B. I’m about to spoil it for my analogy. In any event, in Jackson’s story, the reader discovers that the “lottery” that a small town is holding is actually to determine who gets stoned to death to ensure a good harvest for the town. Well, that was basically what the Knicks used their draft for over a strange five-year period from 1960-1964 where their five first round draft picks (all among the top three picks in the draft) played a combined eight seasons for the Knicks!! Getting drafted in the first three picks is normally a good thing, but for the Knicks draftees, like the “winners” in Jackson’s lottery, it was a sign of impending doom!
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