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Playing their home games at Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks are a long storied franchise whose rich history has added to the tapestry of the NBA landscape. A founding member of the ABA, the Knicks were absorbed into the NBA as part of a merger.
Making a splash in those early years, the Knicks advanced to the NBA Finals in three straight seasons, but walked away without any championships. As the team began to age, their dominance began to wane. It would not be until the late 1960s when basketball fans saw the Knicks make a resurgence as a powerhouse franchise under the leadership of Red Holzman. He was able to bring a title to New York in 1970 and again in 1973. He was fortunate enough to work with an amazing cast of players which included Phil Jackson, Walt Frazier, Dick Barnett, Dave DeBusschere, Willis Reed, Jerry Lucas, and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe.
The 1970 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers is best remembered for the heroics of Willis Reed, who went down with a torn muscle in his right leg in a game five win. The Knicks were not able to pull off a victory in game six without their injured captain, setting up a decisive game seven. Reed returned to the floor for the final game of the season with a limp and a determination to win. Inspiring his team, the Knicks took home the trophy as NBA champions. Reed, for his efforts, was named the MVP of the Finals. Having already been named the MVP of the All-Star game and the league’s MVP that season, he was the first player to win all three MVP awards in a single year.
While the Knicks had their ups and downs throughout the 1980s, they experienced a wonderful period of success in the 1990s with major stars like Patrick Ewing and John Starks leading the team. A conference title in 1994 sent the Knicks to the Finals against the Houston Rockets. The hard-fought series ended after seven games with Houston emerging victorious.
Unfortunately for the New York faithful, this franchise has not had much success since their 1999 NBA Finals appearance where they were eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs in five games. They have made the postseason six times since 2000 and have not seen postseason action since 2013 despite a roster which has included Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.
Today’s group has been through quite an interesting shift as bigger names like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis have been traded away. A cultural change is underway as management continues to right the ship. Can it be done with the current squad of Emmanuel Mudiay, Dennis Smith Jr., and DeAndre Jordan? Only time will tell. However, Coach David Fizdale and general manager Scott Perry are committed to bringing a winning team to the floor.
New York has been home to many legendary players over the years. Among the best to ever wear a Knicks uniform are Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Bernard King, Earl Monroe, Charles Oakley, Dave DeBusschere, Allan Houston, and John Starks. Additional information about the history of the New York Knicks as well as about the current squad can be found by clicking here.