The 2008-09 season was supposed to be a fresh start for the Knicks. They had finally fired Isiah Thomas and parted ways with Stephon Marbury. Donnie Walsh had been brought in to right the ship and he lured Mike D’Antoni away from Phoenix to coach the team. Walsh had a top six pick in the 2009 draft and selected intriguing sharpshooter Danilo Gallinari.
That Knicks team started off hot (yes, hovering around .500 for the first few weeks of the season equates to “hot” for a franchise that hadn’t won a single playoff game since Bill Clinton was in office). Alas, it wasn’t meant to be as Walsh traded away the team’s most expensive/productive players (Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph) in order to clear space to make a run at LeBron James in 2010. Those Knicks missed the playoffs again and finished with a 32-50 record that season.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Shockingly, despite a recent three-game winning streak, the Knicks are on pace for the worst season in franchise history.
The Knicks haven’t tallied a high number of wins (in fact, dating back 2001, the Knicks have lost 638 games, which is the most in the NBA over the last 13-plus seasons); however, New York has been prolific in another department: An NBA-high 87 players have suited up for the Knicks since the start of the 2008-09 season.
Back in the peak of the lunacy which was “The Summer of LeBron,” Will Leitch of New York Magazine painstakingly listed every player who that the pleasure of playing for the Knicks since the day LeBron James entered the NBA.
It made Knicks fans sigh, shrug and smile.
Well, Knicks fans have no choice but to smile at their plight this season. Unfortunately, they’ve become accustomed and conditioned to it.
So, as the Knicks are about to “start fresh” and once again hit the reset button, I thought it was high time to renew a proud tradition. Below I have dutifully listed every player to put on Knicks uniform since their previous “fresh start,” back in the fall of 2008.
* Quincy Acy:
Doesn’t play a ton, but plays hard when he’s on the floor, so he stands out. In fact, he was serenaded with loud MVP chants while he was at the free throw line during a blow out loss to the Hornets earlier this month (a game in which the Knicks trailed by as many as 45 points in the middle of the third quarter).
* Cole Aldrich:
Currently ranks third highest in PER among Knicks this season. Think about that for a second.
* Lou Amundson:
One of only two active players to have played for at least 10 different NBA teams.
* Carmelo Anthony:
The Knicks traded half their team to acquire him in February of 2011 and signed the 30-year Anthony to a $124 million contract this past summer (despite the fact no other team could offer more than $97 million). He has played absolutely brilliantly at times during his tenure in New York, but the fact remains: The Knicks have won one playoffs series and a grand total of seven playoffs games in his five seasons with the club.
* Renaldo Balkman:
Knicks GM Isiah Thomas drafted Balkman with the 20th overall pick in the 2006 NBA draft (Rajon Rondo was taken with the next pick – No. 21 overall). Last we heard from Balkman, he was banned for life from the Philippines Basketball Association after choking a teammate.
* Andrea Bargnani:
In what will go down as one of the worst trades in Knicks’ franchise history, New York traded a first-round pick and two second-round selections (along with Marcus Camby, Steve Novak and Quentin Richardson) to Toronto for Bargnani prior to the start of 2013-14 season. The results have been beyond disastrous. How angry/frustrated are Knicks fans? Last Monday at MSG, the Knicks put up baby pictures of various Knicks on the jumbotron. Well, as soon as Bargnani’s baby picture was posted on the big screen, boos rang out inside MSG. Yes, they booed a baby Bargs!
* Earl Barron:
The only player on this list that averaged a double-double in his Knicks career! Yes, Barron played in the final seven games of the 2009-10 season and averaged 11.7 points and 11.0 rebounds in those seven contests.
A knee injury effectively ended the former Pacers career in 2006, but after a three year hiatus, he returned to appear 25 games for the 2009-10 Knicks. Walsh drafted him in Indiana and gave him an opportunity to come back to the league with N.Y., but Bender couldn’t overcome his debilitating injuries. “I’ve never drafted a player with more potential. I can tell you that without even thinking about it,” Walsh was quoted as saying about Bender.
* Mike Bibby:
The estranged son of former Knick Henry Bibby, a past-his-prime Mike played the final season of his career in New York.
* Chauncey Billups:
Came over with Carmelo in the blockbuster deadline deal in February of 2011, and played well for New York before hurting himself in Game 1 of the Knicks first-round series vs. the Celtics. Billups may be best remembered by Knicks fans as being the player New York had to burn their amnesty clause on in order to create the cap space to sign Tyson Chandler. Many fans bemoaned the fact that this move prevented New York from amnestying Amar’e Stoudemire.
* Ronnie Brewer:
Knicks fans were initially excited that N.Y. was able to snag Brewer for just the veteran’s minimum in 2012. He won the starting shooting guard spot but ended up shooting just 36 percent from the floor and 41 percent from the free-throw stripe in the 46 games he played for the Knicks.
* Derrick Brown:
Raymond Felton (before things soured) recommend the Knicks take a flier on his former Bobcat teammate, Derrick Brown. The Knicks claimed him off waivers and Brown saw spot duty over the final eight games of the 2010-11 campaign.
* Jose Calderon:
Over his first 11 years in the NBA, Calderon’s career cumulative FG percentage stood at 48 percent, and he had never shot below 42 percent from the floor in any one season. Calderon is currently shooting 39 percent from the floor. The Knicks owe him $15.2 million over the next two seasons. And Tyson Chandler, the player they gave away to get Calderon, is averaging a double-double and shooting better than 67 percent from the floor for Dallas.
* Marcus Camby:
A cult hero during his first stint with the Knicks, he helped carry an undermanned squad all the way to the NBA Finals in 1999. In July of 2012, New York traded away two second-round picks to acquire re-acquire Camby in a sign-and-trade. He played in three games for the Knicks in the 2012-13 season, before they traded him away in the Bargnani deal.
* Anthony Carter:
Knicks were so depleted at PG during his stint in NYC that he played significant minutes in 2011 playoffs for New York, despite the fact he was nearly 36 years old.
* Tyson Chandler:
First Knick to ever win the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award. Chandler was the heart and soul of the team and the Knicks most valuable player when he was completely healthy. Unfortunately, it seemed like he was always sidelined by one ailment or another during the Knicks’ postseason runs. He was dumped onto Dallas this past summer and is unsurprisingly bouncing back with a terrific all-around season for the Mavericks.
* Wilson Chandler:
One of the gaggle of goods the Knicks had to part with in order to pry Anthony from Denver. Ill Will has always possessed an enticing ceiling, but hasn’t been able to maximize that potential, even now in his eighth season.
* Earl Clark:
The former lottery pick and New Jersey native appeared in nine games for the Knicks last year and is playing in China this season.
* Chris Copeland:
Copeland was toiling in obscurity (playing in Belgium from 2010 through 2012) before earning a spot on the Knicks’ roster after a strong showing in the 2012 Summer League. After strong rookie campaign in New York, the Indiana Pacers signed him to a two-year $6.1 million offer sheet that the Knicks declined to match.
* Mardy Collins:
First round pick of the Knicks that never quite lived up to the Walt Clyde Frazier comparisons some attached to him coming out of Temple.
* Joe Crawford:
Jordan Crawford’s brother played 23 minutes in two games in 2009.
* Jamal Crawford:
The Knicks had very few good players and even fewer exciting players during the depths of darkness that were the mid-2000’s. Crawford was the exception, with his dynamic handle and superlative shooting touch. He was allergic to defense, but he at least gave fans something to cheer about on the offensive end.
* Eddy Curry:
Not only did Isiah Thomas overpay Eddy Curry by signing him to a six-year, $56 million contract, Thomas also overpaid to get him. As part of a sign-and-trade with Chicago, he traded away two UNPROTECTED future lottery picks: a 2006 first round pick, which was used to select LaMarcus Aldridge, and a 2007 first-round pick that was eventually used to select Joakim Noah. It’s torturous for Knicks fans to think about, but how different might the Knicks now look if Thomas hadn’t pulled the trigger on this trade?
* Samuel Dalembert:
Slammin’ Sammy was brought to replace the huge hole in the middle left by the departed Tyson Chandler. Phil Jackson tried to trade Dalembert early and often over the first few months of the season. Eventually Jackson swallowed millions and just waived him. Nobody claimed Dalembert off waivers.
* Baron Davis:
Davis’ most memorable moment as a Knick? Perhaps: “Baron Davis Says He Wasn’t Making A Smoking Gesture When He Made That Smoking Gesture”
* Toney Douglas:
When asked how he might adjust to NBA play, Douglas replied that, among other things, he’d simply “Do what Toney Douglas do”.
* Chris Duhon:
Pop quiz, hotshot: Who holds the franchise record for most assists ever in one game by a Knickerbocker? Yup, you guessed it.
* Cleanthony Early:
There will be very, very little for Knicks fans to be get excited about in the second half of this disastrous 2014-15 season. Watching Early play 30+ minutes a night and finding out if he has a future as an NBA rotation player may literally be the only thing to look forward to.
* Raymond Felton:
Felton played well for the Knicks for the first half of 2010 season under head coach Mike D’Antoni. Then Felton was traded to Denver in the Anthony deal. Then Felton got fat during the lockout and showed up in Portland out of shape. Then the Knicks traded a 2016 2nd round pick and the rights to current Houston Rockets rookie Kostas Papanikolaou to Portland in a sign-and-trade to bring Felton back to New York, signing him to a four-year, $14.9 million deal in the process. Then Brooklyn rapper Fabolous rapped about Felton cheating on his wife. Then Felton’s estranged wife purportedly brought Felton’s Belgian-made semiautomatic handgun to the 20th Precinct station house. Then the Knicks traded Felton again.
* Landry Fields:
It appeared the Knicks had struck gold with Fields. An unheralded second-round pick, Fields earned Rookie of the Month honors twice in his rookie season and was named to the NBA All-Rookie team. Once he became a free agent, it actually wasn’t the Knicks that overpaid him (to his credit, Landry was always a good sport). Instead, in a perplexing turn of events, the Toronto Raptors signed Fields to a ridiculous $19 million contract simply to prevent the Knicks signing Steve Nash, who actually ended up on the Los Angeles Lakers. Fields, who is being paid over $6 million annually, has knocked down a grand total of three three-pointers in his three seasons with the Raps.
* Dan Gadzuric:
Another player who played his final NBA game in a Knicks uniform. Gadzuric appeared in two games in 2012.
* Danilo Gallinari:
Try NOT to smile while watching Gallinari sing “Halo” by Beyonce.
* Langston Galloway:
Poured in 21 points and grabbed five rebounds in his first career start last week. Per the Elias Sports Bureau: Galloway is the fifth Knicks player since 1970-71 to score 20+ points and grab at least five rebounds in his first career NBA start. The other Knicks to do this are Dean Meminger (1971), Henry Bibby (1974), Bill Cartwright (1979) and Channing Frye (2005)
* J.R. Giddens:
Played his final NBA game in 2010, for the Knicks.
* Tim Hardaway Jr.:
Many were hoping Hardaway would take the “next step” this year; instead, his FG%, three-point % and FT% all dropped in his second NBA season. And his defense hasn’t gotten any better, either.
* Josh Harrellson:
Went by the nickname “Jorts” because he wore jean shorts. He also once stunk up Bill Walker’s car.
* Al Harrington:
Amazingly, Harrington cost the Knicks two wins in one week by getting called for technical fouls because he hung on the rim. Twice!!
* Jordan Hill:
Donnie Walsh selected Hill No. 8 overall in the 2009 NBA draft. That was one spot after the Warriors selected Stephen Curry, and one spot before the Raptors selected DeMar DeRozan. Hill was dumped in a cap-clearing trade halfway through his rookie season in order to create the cap space needed to make a run at LeBron in 2010.
* Eddie House:
Here’s an Eddie House Tribute video.
* Larry Hughes:
Just one of many, many players on this list to have earned more than $12 million in one year to play basketball (not very well) for the Knicks.
* Jerome James:
No “Worst Contracts in Sports History” article will ever be complete with the inclusion of Jerome James. In 2004-05, James, a middling journeyman center, averaged 4.9 points and 3.0 rebounds for the Seattle Supersonics, but had a strong showing in the playoffs. It was enough to get Thomas to sign him to a five-year, $30 million dollar contract. James appeared in a total of four games over the final three years of that deal (while pocketing a cool $18 million)
* Jared Jeffries:
Per Wikipedia: In 2014, Jeffries began hosting ‘Modern Fishing with Jared Jeffries,’ a fishing television series on the Outdoor Channel.
* Jerome Jordan:
A backup big for the Knicks in 2011-12, Jordan is now a back up big for the Brooklyn Nets.
* Solomon Jones:
I don’t remember this, but the internets say he started a single game for the Knicks in the 2012-13 season. He never actually scored a point as a member of the Knicks.
* Jason Kidd:
Whenever he became a free agent at any point in his career, Kidd would flirt with the Knicks every summer in order to drive up his asking price, before eventually signing elsewhere. Until, that is, the final year of his career. On July 5, 2012, Kidd signed with the Knicks. The next week, he was arrested for DWI after he crashed his car into a Cablevision pole in the Hamptons. He actually played very well early in his lone season in New York, but ran out of gas down the stretch. Kidd failed to score a single point his final 10 games as Knick (all playoff games), which turned out to be the final 10 games of his illustrious, Hall-of-Fame career. He was 0-for-17 from the floor in those 10 contests.
* Marcus Landry:
Carl Landry’s brother was the 15th man on the Knicks roster in 2009-10.
* Shane Larkin:
Knicks fans were jazzed the Knicks snagged the young Larkin in the deal with the Mavs, as he offered some youth and upside. Then the Knicks announced they weren’t going to pick up his option for the 2015-16 season.
* David Lee:
On the right team he would have been the consummate blue-collar, role player. On the Knicks, he was a focal point of the offense and put up big numbers on bad teams. To his credit, he used his time in New York to improve his game (foul shooting climbed from 58 percent to 82% percent and he developed a reliable jump shot) and in 2010 he became the first Knick named to the All-Star team in nearly a decade (Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell in 2001).
* Jeremy Lin:
True Story: I once had the privilege of interviewing Legendary Knicks PG and broadcaster Walt Clyde Frazier and I asked him what was the loudest he’d ever heard the Garden. His immediate response: “Linsanity.” I pressed him and playfully reminded of Willis Reed walking out of the tunnel before Game 7, and Larry Johnson’s four-point play etc. Clyde repeated his answer assertively and without hesitation: “Linsanity. Unequivocally.”
* Kenyon Martin:
Martin tormented and bullied the Knicks for years as a member of the Nets. He spent parts of two seasons playing in New York, and was actually relatively effective when healthy.
* Roger Mason Jr:
* Tracy McGrady:
A once great NBA player. The Knicks traded for him solely for his expiring contract in February of 2010. He wasn’t great for the Knicks. Last we heard, he was playing minor league baseball.
* Darko Milicic:
The player selected ahead of Melo, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the 2003 NBA Draft is now a kickboxer.
* Timofey Mozgov:
After the Anthony blockbuster was consummated, rumors circulated that Walsh was unwilling to include Mozgov in the package, which led to Jim Dolan stepping in and overriding Walsh. Dolan wanted Anthony desperately and wasn’t going to allow Mozgov to be the deal breaker. Dolan and Walsh’s relationship may have never recovered. The Nuggets just recently dealt to Mozgov to the Cavs in exchange for two first-round draft picks.
* Toure’ Murry:
At one point, the Knicks had two players with apostrophes in their first name on the same team!
* Demetris Nichols:
The former Syracuse Orangeman played briefly for the Knicks in 2009. Last we heard, he was playing in Russia.
* Steve Novak:
Exploded on the scene in 2011 after the Knicks signed him off the scrap heap prior to the start of the season. Novak led the NBA in three-point shooting that season and signed a $15 million contract the following offseason. For a minute there, he had all of New York doing the “Discount Double Check” after hitting three-pointers in their rec league games.
* Pablo Prigioni:
Knocked down three three-pointers and tallied a total of 14 points in the Knicks’ Game 6 series-clinching victory over the Boston Celtics in 2013. This is the first and only time the Knicks won a playoff series in the last 15 years.
* Zach Randolph:
Starbury was really, really, really excited when the Thomas traded for Z-Bo. However, this clip succinctly sums up Randolph’s stint with the Knicks.
* Anthony Randolph:
Randolph was acquired as part of the deal that sent David Lee to Golden State. He was 20 years old at the time of the trade and his “potential” and “athleticism” was referenced anytime you heard his name. After languishing on D’Antoni’s bench for half a season, he was shipped to Minnesota as part of the three-team trade featuring [Carmelo] Anthony.
* Andy Rautins:
Became BFF’s with Ladry Fields and co-starred in the “Landry and Andy Show.”
* Quentin Richardson:
Knicks fans liked Q-Rich because Q-Rich hated Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
* Malik Rose:
Reportedly once fought Nate Robinson in the shower over a football bet. Rose hated losing, thus did not fit in well the 2008-09 Knicks.
* Anthony Roberson:
Played well in summer league. For some reason, Knicks offered him a two-year deal. He did not play well after summer league ended.
* Nate Robinson:
We all have our favorite “Nate moment.” It seems unfair to pick just one. But, I suppose this is as good as any: “Nate Robinson shoots on wrong basket, D’Antoni snaps”.
* Sergio Rodriguez:
Nicknamed “Spanish Chocolate”.
* Cheikh Samb:
Once a Knick, Always a Knick.
* Mouhamed Sene:
Per Wikipedia: “Mouhamed Sene is cited in the TV show One Tree Hill as the player who was drafted instead of Nathan Scott after his accident.”
* Iman Shumpert:
Yeah, I think it’s safe to say that Knicks fans fell head over heels for Shumpert right off the bat. He cried uncontrollably when he realized his dream of getting drafted. He then greatly exceeded expectations his rookie year, averaging 9.5 points per game and playing ferocious defense. He had cool hair, wrote a theme song for the team (#KnicksTape), played with an edge and a swagger and defended with a toughness that reminded fans of the Knicks squads from the 90’s (which is the quickest way to Knicks fans’ hearts). Alas, for a number of different reasons, he never reached his potential in NYC and was shipped out with J.R. Smith in a cap clearing move earlier this month (after the Knicks decided NOT to trade him the prior season – when they likely could have received a first round pick in return)
* Courtney Sims:
Once a Knick, Always a Knick
* J.R. Smith:
Man, Swish’s era in NYC deserves its own 30-for-30 documentary. It’s impossible to encapsulate the Smith experience in just a line or two. Netw3rk penned a poignant goodbye letter that sums up why NYC loved (and hated) J.R.
* Chris Smith:
Even by Knicks standards, this was truly bizarre. New York was reportedly investigated for potentially circumventing the salary cap (a kick back to brother J.R. and CAA management?) by giving a valuable roster spot to J.R.’s little bro.
* Jason Smith:
Blocked a Josh Smith dunk attempt earlier this season.
* Amar’e Stoudemire:
Walsh wanted LeBron, but had to settle for STAT, who proclaimed “The Knicks are back!” upon his NYC arrival. Stoudemire was a beast during the first few months of his Knicks career, at one point scoring at least 30 points in a club record nine straight games. Stoudemire garnered NBA Player of the Month honors in December of 2010, when he averaged a whopping 29.8 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks, while shooting better than 53 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the free-throw line. MVP chants rang out inside MSG on a nightly basis. As we know, his body eventually betrayed him and the Knicks were stuck with an albatross contract.
* Kurt Thomas:
A throwback to the beloved 90’s Knicks. Long live the “Kurt Thomas Game”
* Tim Thomas:
He once wore two headbands at the same time. Sadly, he didn’t do that while playing in New York.
* Lance Thomas:
The Brooklyn-born power forward is currently on his second 10-day contract with the team.
* Ronny Turiaf:
Every teams needs a guy that is wildly animated on the bench.
* Jeremy Tyler:
Played 41 games for the Kniks in 2013-14, currently playing for Shanxi Zhongyu of China.
* Beno Udrih:
Mike Woodson crazily blamed Udrih for a wild J.R. Smith three-point attempt, which birthed the hashtag “#BlameBeno”
* Bill Walker:
Why you should feel sorry for Knicks fans, reason No. 3,876: There was a good six months there when NY fans had to try and convince themselves that Bill Walker was pretty good and could be a solid role player if the Knicks built up the rest of their roster.
* Rasheed Wallace:
Will be forever fondly remembered for inventing the now ubiquitous “Three To The Dome.” He also gave the Garden faithful an epic “Ball Don’t Lie!” As an added bonus, he scared Woody.
* James “Flight” White:
Knicks fans thought they had the 2013 Dunk Contest locked up when the team signed him for the 2012-13 season, but White didn’t even make it out of the first round of the contest.
* Chris Wilcox:
Played a nondescript 30 games in the lost 2008-09 campaign.
* Shawne Williams:
Out of the league in 2009, ‘Extra E’ returned to the NBA and revitalized his career shooting corner 3’s for Coach D’Antoni in 2010, averaging a career-high 7.1 ppg.
* Sheldon Williams:
“The Landlord” was traded to NY in the Melo blockbuster.
* Travis Wear:
As an undrafted free agent who was seventh on his college team (UCLA) in scoring during his senior season and only played in two summer league games, Wear most certainly took the road less travelled to the NBA.
* Metta World Peace:
Knicks fans were furious and heartbroken when the Knicks took Frederic Weis over Artest with the 15th pick in the 1999 NBA Draft (including Artest, who was wearing Knicks shorts underneath his suit that day). So, everybody was excited when the New York native formerly known as Ron Artest (and now known as Panda’s Friend) signed on to play in his hometown. He took the F train from Queens to MSG for the Knicks home- opener in 2013. The relationship eventually soured and the Knicks bought-out World Peace, who is now playing in China with stuffed panda dolls sewed onto his shoes.
When trying to figure out just why the Knicks are so bad this year, refer to this list for all the explanation you need.
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