Unsung Knick History – There Are No Station Wagons In Basketball!

This is the twenty-fifth 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, “The Dunk” 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.

Why yes, that is an A League of Their Own reference. Thanks for noticing.

This week’s piece is slightly off the beaten path in the sense that while it is definitely about the Knicks, the effect of the event was less direct on the Knicks than past editions. Still, when you see the Knicks actually act to eliminate a team from the National Basketball Association (NBA), I think that certainly has a definitive impact on Knicks history.

And that’s exactly what the Knicks did to the Sheboygan Red Skins, one of the inaugural members of the NBA, and at the time of their elimination from the league, the longest-running team in the NBA!

What did they do that led to the Knicks forcing them out of the NBA? Read on to find out!

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Unsung Knick History – Be Careful What You Wish For, You Might Just Get Swept

This is the twenty-fourth 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, “The Dunk” 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.

Last week, I wrote about how the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks finished off the 1999 National Basketball Association (NBA) season with one of the more bizarre games you’ll see, with both teams going into the game hoping that they would lose, as the Heat wanted the Knicks to get the #7 seed and play the Pacers while the Knicks wanted to remain the #8 seed and play the Heat. Jockeying for playoff positioning is a somewhat standard practice, but it is a practice that could backfire spectacularly if you’re not lucky.

The 1996-97 Charlotte Hornets were not lucky.

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Unsung Knick History – Duane Causwell, Iverson’s Big Steal and the Game No One Wanted to Win

This is the twenty-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, “The Dunk” 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.

Remember last week’s column about the 20-point comeback the Knicks had against the Miami Heat during the 1999 season? The comeback that spurred the Knicks on to make the playoffs? I originally was going to write about a much odder game from the 1999 season, but I figured that I would be remiss in not mentioning the comeback story first. Now that I’ve done so, we can examine one of the strangest games that the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat ever played – May 5, 1999, the game that neither team wanted to win!

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Unsung Knick History – The Comeback That Saved a Season

This is the twenty-second 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, “The Dunk” 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.

When you look back upon the Knicks’ miraculous run to the NBA Finals in 1999, it is sometimes difficult to remember just how bleak things looked earlier in the season. On Monday, April 19th, the Knicks lost to the Philadelphia 76ers (on a last second miss by Patrick Ewing, one of seemingly 453 last second missed by Ewing that season), bringing their season record to 21-21, with 8 games left to play in the season. They were 1/2 games behind the Charlotte Hornets for the #8 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets had just beaten them badly a game earlier and the Knicks had to face them two more times. The Knicks were also just a game ahead of the Toronto Raptors. Things looked bleak. Knick general manager Ernie Grunfeld and coach Jeff Van Gundy were set against each other. Knick President Dave Checketts sided with Van Gundy…at least temporarily, and demoted Grunfeld on April 20th.

Ewing finally hit a big shot in a dramatic win against the Hornets on Friday, April 23rd. After making the first free throw to give the Knicks a two-point lead with 40 seconds to go, Camby missed the second free throw but managed to retrieve his own miss. Ewing then knocked down an ugly runner over over Derrick Coleman to give the Knicks a four-point lead with under 30 seconds to play. So the Knicks moved a half game ahead of the Hornets for the #8 seed. Still, the Knicks’ next three games were on the road – the Miami Heat, the Hornets and the Atlanta Hawks.

When their game began against the Heat on Sunday, April 25th, the Knicks were tied with both the Hornets and the Toronto Raptors, with each team having the same 22-21 record. So to say that this game against their hated rivals, the Heat, would make or break their season, would not be saying too much.

And they would be playing without Patrick Ewing.

What happened next very possibly gave the Knicks the confidence they needed to face the Heat in the 1999 Playoffs. It was a game where, in the locker room after it ended, the Heat’s Tim Hardaway had to say, ‘This is about as bad as it gets.”

Read on to find out why it was “as bad as it gets”!

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Unsung Knick History – Dentistry 1, Knicks 0

This is the twenty-first 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, “The Dunk” 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.

I’ve written in the past about how the Knicks had a stretch of high draft picks in the early 1960s that was particularly brutal for the team, as it seemed like none of the players turned out the way that the Knicks hoped. However, according to an old WolfStreet article, none of them can quite compare to the Knicks’ first round pick in the 1950 NBA Draft (seventh overall) who spurned the Knicks’ advances to instead pursue…a career in dentistry!

Read to discover more about the City College of New York (CCNY) basketball great (and longtime dentist) Irwin Dambrot, and how his legendary run with CCNY in the 1950 college playoffs was later tarnished forever.

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Unsung Knick History – The King’s Court(room Battle)

This is the twentiteth 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, “The Dunk” 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.

This piece is interesting in the sense that it ties together two past installments of Unsung Knick History, the recent discussion about the troubles that the Knicks had to go through to sign Chris Dudley and the even more recent discussion about the troubles that the Knicks had with their salary cap during the mid-80s, spotlighted by their inability to re-sign Bernard King. This story is even about a King! Just not Bernard, but rather, his brother Albert.

So sit down and discover how the New York Knicks went to federal court in their efforts to sign Bernard King’s younger brother and how their failure to do so created a salary cap rule still used to this day!

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Unsung Knick History – The Night Willis Fought the Entire Laker Bench…and Won!

This is the nineteenth 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, “The Dunk” 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.

On Sunday night, the Knicks lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in a game that became quite heated at times. Andrew Bynum was ejected from the game and Ron Artest received both a flagrant foul and a technical foul. The flagrant foul came when Artest clotheslined Amar’e Stoudemire when the Knick center drove to the basket. The technical foul came when Artest actually put his hand around Knick forward Shawne Williams’ neck before quickly pulling his hand back. It was a bizarre move that would surprise no one if it resulted in the league fining Artest.

The heated nature of the game inspired me to go back forty-four years to the Knicks’ home opener of the 1966-67 season, and an even more heated game between the Knicks and the Lakers that resulted in second-year Knick power forward Willis Reed essentially fighting the entire Los Angeles Lakers’ bench…and winning!

Read on for more!

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