2. Best head coaches in Knicks history: Joe Lapchick
Modern-day fans might not know much about Joe Lapchick, but long before the Knicks were the easy target of NBA pundits, they were one of the original competitive teams. Joe Lapchick was a big reason why.
After coaching at nearby St. John’s, he became the richest coach in the league by joining the Knicks in 1946. He led the team into the 1950s when the BAA merged with the NBL to form the NBA. Working the sidelines for seven seasons in the newly-formed NBA, he never finished below .500, and led New York to the NBA Finals in three straight seasons from 1951 to 1953. While the Knicks never won a championship under Lapchick, running into George Mikan and the Minneapolis Lakers, they were perennial contenders.
Lapchick still holds the second most regular season wins in franchise history. His 30 playoff wins ranks fourth, which is incredible considering the playoffs were shorter when he was leading the Knicks to three consecutive NBA Finals appearances.
One of the Original Celtics, Lapchick spent a lifetime working in basketball as a player and coach. The Yonkers native is second only to one man in the ranking of best head coaches in Knicks history.