New York Knicks: Best players to wear #3 jersey

Nerlens Noel, New York Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Nerlens Noel, New York Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Since it’s March 3rd, the third day of the 3rd month of the year we decided to look at the best players to have worn the number 3 jersey for the Knicks. There have been 23 players that have worn the #3 jersey. There have been some famous players like Dennis Scott, Tracy McGrady, Kenyon Martin, and Brandon Jennings. But they were all past their primes when they joined the Knicks. So let’s take a look at the list by starting with the honorable mentions.

The first Knicks

Let’s honor the old-timers from when the NBA started. The first two on the list sound more like accountants than basketball players, but we are talking about the NBA in the 1940s

  • Bob Cluggish – 1st player to wear #3, in 1946/47 season, played one season with Knicks, averaged 4.4 ppg
  • Irv Rothenberg – 2nd player to wear #3, in 1948/49 season, played one season with Knicks, averaged 5.9 ppg

Former coaches

The next two were not great players but turned out to be Hall of Fame coaches: Al McGuire and Rick Carlisle.

Al McGuire

Al McGuire, Knicks.  (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

Al McGuire played 3 seasons with the Knicks from 1961 – 1964. In his best season, he averaged 6.1 ppg. Al McGuire went on to be a Hall of Fame college coach at Marquette where he won a national championship. He was also known as a colorful college basketball broadcaster. He is originally from New York City and played at St. John’s University.

Rick Carlisle

Rick Carlisle, Knicks
Rick Carlisle, Knicks. (Photo credit should read JESSICA RINALDI/AFP via Getty Images) /

Rick Carlisle the player was known for being playing 3 seasons with the Boston Celtics during their championship run in the 1980s, from 1984-1987. He did play part of one season the Knicks, 26 games for legendary coach Rick Pitino during the 1987-88 season. Patrick Ewing’s first trip to the playoffs. Carlisle went on to win coach of the year in 2002 with the Detroit Pistons. Then coached the Indiana Pacers for 4 seasons before landing in Dallas in 2008. He won a championship for the  Mavericks in the 2010-11 season.