Who has starred for the New York Knicks over the past decade?
NBA.com recently revealed its All-Decade teams for the 2010s. Only one player from the New York Knicks made the cut, but who would make the All-Knicks All-Decade team for the same time period?
Looking back, the past 10 years were filled with some ups and a whole bunch of downs. It’s easy to get caught up in the James Dolan-induced hullabaloo and point out the shortcomings of the organization over the years. However, between those moments of madness were moments of magic.
The criteria in selecting players is primarily based on a combination of longevity and performance specifically from 2010-19, but also factors in overall contributions to the success of the team. Now, we will look back at some of the best players (and moments) of the last 10 years of the Knickstape.
G: JR Smith (4 seasons)
NYK Stats: 15.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.1 SPG
Awards: 2013 Sixth Man of the Year
After spending much of the lockout-shortened season playing in China, Smith signed with the Knicks just in time to be an integral part of their most recent postseason runs.
Smith was a constant source of entertainment for fans but could never get out of his own way on the court. One day, he’s setting the franchise record for three-pointers made in a game. The next, he’s forgetting the score and costing the team a win. One year, he wins Sixth Man of the Year. The following offseason he’s forcing the Knicks to sign his younger brother.
Smith has always been an incredible talent and for the most part, his time with the Knicks encapsulates everything JR’s game represents. Knockdown shooting, high-flying poster dunks, head-scratching decisions and plenty of off-court antics.
G: Jeremy Lin (1 season)
NYK Stats: 14.6 PPG, 6.2 APG, 3.1 RPG, 1.6 SPG
“Linsanity” is more of a cultural phenomenon than an actual award, but it was still enough to land Jeremy Lin a spot on this team.
The 26-game stretch, now widely known as “Linsanity,” was arguably the most electric regular-season stretch Madison Square Garden saw over the past decade.
Lin had his first real opportunity to play thanks to countless injuries throughout the roster. He wasted no time bursting onto the scene. In his first career start, he went toe-to-toe with All-Star Deron Williams and put up 25 points, seven assists and five rebounds, all career highs.
Just one week later, Lin and the Knicks bested Kobe Bryant‘s Lakers. The talented point guard outscored Bryant 38 to 34 in the win.
A few days later, Lin hit a game-winning three-pointer against the Raptors in what is now the most iconic shot of his unreal stretch.
Lin led the Knicks to seven consecutive wins in the first seven games he received significant playing time. He was the first player in NBA history to score over 20 points and have at least 7 assists in each of his first five starts.
Lin scored 136 points in his first 5 starts, the most by any player since the merger.
Lin guided the Knicks to a 9-3 record before the All-Star break, and many people believe he saved the Knicks season (as well as many people’s jobs). At the end of that magical season, the New York Times called Lin “the Knicks’ most popular player in a decade.”
F: Kristaps Porzingis (3 seasons)
NYK Stats: 17.8 PPG, 7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 2 BPG
Awards: 1-time NBA All-Star
Kristaps Porzingis‘ time with the New York Knicks ended almost as quickly as it began. He was the lone bright spot of the Phil Jackson-era as well as hope for a successful future post-rebuild.
In 2017-18, the 7-foot-3 Latvian set a Knicks record with 300 points in the first 10 games of the regular season. Bernard King held the previous record with 298 points.
After the torrid start to the year, Porzingis went down with a torn ACL and missed the rest of the season as well as the 2018-19 campaign. A combination of the injury, an expiring contract, and a mess of other details caused Porzingis to want out of New York, and the Knicks granted the Unicorn his wish by trading him to Dallas.
Although his stint in New York was brief, Porzingis’ time on the team will not be forgotten. Here, he established himself as a star in the league and played a big part in turning the franchise around, getting it back on track, and creating hope for a better future.
F: Carmelo Anthony (7 seasons)
NYK Stats: 24.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.0 SPG
Awards: 3-time All-NBA selection, 7-time All-Star, 2013 Scoring Champion
Carmelo Anthony’s time with the Knicks was turbulent overall; but the remains that Melo is one of the best offensive players the NBA has ever seen, and will rightfully go down as one of the best Knicks of all time. It’s crazy how quickly people forget that ‘Melo was simply a walking bucket during his tenure in the Big Apple.
Anthony amassed over 10,000 points during his time with the Knicks. He still owns the Madison Square Garden record for most points scored in a game with 62, despite sitting out most of the 4th quarter. Plus, who could forget the pull-up daggers he hit against the Bulls on Easter Sunday?
Unfortunately, the one knock remains that Anthony was never able to get the Knicks over the hump in the postseason. Still, he led the Knicks to the franchise’s first playoff series win of the century, and despite getting bounced by LeBron’s Heat, Anthony shouldered and accomplished more than any player in recent Knicks history.
C: Tyson Chandler (3 seasons)
NYK Stats: 10.2 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.2 BPG
Awards: 2012 Defensive Player of the Year, 1-time All-NBA, 1-time All-Star, 1-time All-Defense
It’s hard to understate Tyson Chandler‘s importance to the Knicks teams early in the decade. The Knicks acquired this defensive presence from the Dallas Mavericks the year after he anchored them to a title in 2011. He went on to do more of the same during his time in New York.
After Chandler’s arrival, the Knicks jumped from 22nd to fifth in the NBA in defensive efficiency. In 2012, he led the NBA in field goal percentage, at 68.0 from the field. At the time, that was the third-best mark in NBA history.
That same year, Chandler became the first Knicks player ever to win Defensive Player of the Year. He followed up that season with his first All-Star appearance in 2013.
Chandler was a rebounding machine with the Knicks. He routinely put up 20 rebound games thanks to his signature move of volleyball spiking offensive rebounds back out to the top of the key.