The 15 greatest bigs in New York Knicks history

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
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Kurt Thomas

If there is one thing New Yorkers love when it comes to basketball, it’s a mean attitude in the paint. Kurt Thomas was exactly that, perhaps the meanest.

After getting tossed around from the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks in his first three seasons as a pro, it was starting to look like his identity would be a fringe player at best. He wasn’t putting up huge numbers, and he wasn’t particularly athletic.

However, when he finally in a relevant position to carve an identity on the biggest stage of all: New York in the NBA Finals.

At age 26, after a tenuous early career, Kurt Thomas found himself playing 23.6 minutes a night for a squad that pried their way into the NBA Finals, giving Ewing once last chance at the glory.

While Thomas only averaged 8.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in that season, he was a critical part of the Knicks bad-boys identity in the turn of the millennium, which was good enough to keep his value high enough for an 18 year run as an NBA big man. Not too bad.

He, like Marcus Camby, had the benefit of learning from two class-act professional centers in Patrick Ewing and Herb Williams.

Ultimately, he only played eight seasons for the Knicks, averaging 10.6 points and 7.5 rebounds, but his impact in Knick culture and history is far greater than that.