New York Knicks: 15 greatest individual performances of all-time

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John Starks, New York Knicks

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

15. John Starks bench explosion

John Starks has always been a fan favorite among the orange and blue faithful. Undrafted coming out of Oklahoma State University, he fought his way into the league and eventually became a key member of the Knicks during their consistent playoff runs during the 1990’s.

Never a big-time scorer, he was known more for the energy he brought towards the defensive end, taking on the challenge of guarding the elites like Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller without ceding an inch to either.

By 1998, Starks had assumed a bench position for the Knicks. He was 32 years old, and the team clearly felt that with Allen Houston in the fold, he’d be better off bringing his talents off the pine.

On January 29th though, Starks looked like he should have been in the starting lineup, with seemingly every shot he took dropping through the net en-route to 32 points including nine 3-point makes on just 12 attempts against the Milwaukee Bucks. It was almost as if he and Ray Allen had swapped talents for just a game.

Remember, this was not the NBA we see here today, where teams are shooting from the outside at a record clip and the sheer amount of shots taken per game is at one of the highest it’s ever been. This was the rough, pound it out style of the 90’s where big men were all the rage and most teams took as many perimeter looks in 48 minutes as the current Houston Rockets take in a quarter.

Unfortunately for the Knicks, Starks’ effort came in a slim loss by the final score of 115-112. However, for a guy who was most known for his defensive prowess, it was crazy to see him with that much success on the other side of the court if only for one game.

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