Who's gettin' slapped tonight?

#21. Greg Anthony

Best Season as a Knick: 1992-93, 2 Wins, 0 Losses, 0 Draws, 1 Win by Way of Knockout

Like Chris Childs, Derek Harper and a few others on this list, Anthony deserves recollection less for what he contributed on the court than for what he symbolizes today: the rough-and-tumble Knicks of two decades past.  Anthony was a serviceable rotation player on the Knicks’ Finals squad of 1994 and even turned himself into a solid starter as the ‘90’s wound down, but his exploits on one unassuming March day in 1993 that burned him into our memories forever.

Things were already getting heated between the Knicks and Suns near the end of the first half when, after Doc Rivers committed a dubious offensive foul backing down Kevin Johnson, a little backtalk turned to a bench-clearing shoving match.  Matters appeared settled as John Starks launched a desperation three to end the half, but in springing Starks open for the shot, Rivers got run through by Johnson, who was supposed to be fighting over the screen but took the opportunity to simply shoulder tackle Doc.

A melee ensued.  It was one of those standard pro sports brawls where a few guys were legitimately heated, most guys were just keeping up appearances, and absolutely nobody would have known what to do if they weren’t being held back or actually caught up to the guy they were “chasing.”  Then Greg Anthony raised the stakes; as Johnson was distancing himself from the fray, Anthony comes flying in and sucker-punches Johnson from behind.

Video of the fight can be seen here.  You’ll notice a) Anthony is a second-year player who isn’t even dressed on the active roster for this game, and b) more importantly, he’s wearing one of the ugliest shirts ever worn by an NBA player.  It looks like something Jimmy Buffett would’ve gotten married in.  The shirt takes the brawl to a whole new level, I think you’ll agree.

More famously, of course, Anthony was tossed from Game 5 of that season’s Eastern Conference Finals, a game the Knicks won, after a flagrant foul on Michael Jordan.  Check that one out at around the 7:30 mark of this video.  Not a knockout victory per se, but the Knicks won the game and kept up their reputation as the bullyballers of the NBA.  That’s what mattered to the Knick teams of that era, that’s why we remember them so fondly, and that’s why today we show a little love to Greg Anthony.  Decent player, great left hook.

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