In a period of time that featured much more failure on the court than success, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the past 12 years and take a look at what type of talent the Knicks actually had.
In coming up with these rankings, I took into account time spent in a Knicks uniform, overall production and how well the team performed. For instance a legend such as Patrick Ewing doesn’t make the cut, being that the only season of the 2000’s that Ewing spent in a Knicks uniform was 1999-2000. The same goes for Larry Johnson, as while he had a great run in New York, he only averaged 10.3 points combined in 2000 and 2001.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the Top 10 New York Knicks players of the 2000’s.
Didn’t Make the Cut: Ewing, Johnson, Charlie Ward, Tim Thomas, Nate Robinson, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler
10. Tyson Chandler (2012): Chandler’s only spent one season in the Big Apple, but it was a big one, averaging 11.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Despite only wearing a Knicks uniform during this past season, he makes the list for winning Defensive Player of the Year and for the overall impact he had on a team that made the playoffs.
9. Stephon Marbury (2004-08): Here’s a guy whose name I was hoping to never have to type again as I was not a big Marbury fan, but he did average 17.6 points and 6.9 assists in a Knicks uniform, including a big 2005 season in which he averaged 21.7 points and 8.1 assists. Yet he was never able to prove he was a winning-type of point guard at anytime in his NBA career.
8. Jamal Crawford (2005-09): Crawford started for the Knicks initially and then was reduced to a bench role under Larry Brown, but still put up solid numbers, averaging 18.0 points and 4.4 assists in a Knicks uniform. The Knicks never made the playoff though during Crawford’s run in New York.
7. Marcus Camby (2000-02): Camby went onto greater things during his NBA career, but had a solid stop in New York after he was acquired in 1999. During his three years in the Big Apple this century, Camby averaged 10.1 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.
6. Kurt Thomas (200-05): The Knicks made the playoffs three times since 2000 with Thomas on the roster and he did an admirable job for the Knicks, averaging 11.5 points and 8.1 rebounds. He brought toughness and energy to the Knicks and had a very nice run.
5. David Lee (2006-10): Lee started slowly after being drafted in the second round in the 2005 NBA draft, but turned himself into a very nice player. He averaged 12.6 points and 9.5 rebounds while in New York and made the All-Star team in 2010 when he had his best year as a pro, averaging 20.2 points and 11.7 rebounds.
4. Latrell Sprewell (2000-03): Sprewell spent five years in a Knicks uniform, four of them coming after 2000. Despite the controversy that surrounded his career, Sprewell was very good for the Knicks, averaging 14.6 points per game in New York. In addition the Knicks qualified for the postseason three times since 2000 with Sprewell in uniform.
3. Amar’e Stoudemire (2011-12): Stoudemire has spent only two years in the Big Apple and is the main reason the Knicks started to turn things around. He’s averaged 21.4 points and 8.0 rebounds in a Knicks uniform and may be higher on the list if it wasn’t for the injuries and a rough 2012 season.
2. Allan Houston (2000-05): Looking at six of Houston’s nine years in New York, he averaged 18.7 points per game during that time span and it was a shame that his career came to a premature end. New York made the playoffs three times in that span and although they never won a series, Houston remains one of the more popular Knicks in recent memory.
1. Carmelo Anthony (2011-12): Melo is the best pure talent the Knicks have had in uniform since 2000 and while he’s come under criticism, Anthony has averaged 24.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists in a Knicks uniform. He’s helped the Knicks make the playoffs both seasons since being acquired from the Denver Nuggets and although things haven’t exactly gone as smoothly as Knicks fans may have hoped for, you can’t doubt that Melo is the most talented player to wear a Knicks uniform in a very long time.