20 People who turned their backs on the New York Knicks

The New York Knicks have a troubled past.

New York Knicks, Pat Riley
New York Knicks, Pat Riley / Focus On Sport/GettyImages
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Pat Riley

It’s been almost 30 years since Pat Riley faxed his resignation to New York, shocking the entire city. The four years he spent as head coach of the Knicks were successful, and just like that, his stint ended. 

New York hired Riley before the start of the 1991-92 season. Following a first-round playoff sweep to the Bulls in 1991, Riley guided the Knicks to the second round of the postseason in 1992 (another loss to Chicago). The following season, New York made it to the Eastern Conference Finals before coming up short to Chicago once again. Finally, in 1994, the Knicks beat the Bulls in the second round and went on to the NBA Finals, where they were ousted by the Rockets. In what ended up being Riley’s final season, New York lost to Indiana in the second round. 

Riley racked up 223 wins with the Knicks. He turned the team into a legit contender like he promised he would, so why would he leave? In his fax, he cited his desire for more responsibility, something that wasn’t granted to him by New York. It turns out he had already agreed to go to the Heat, which resulted in a tampering charge for Miami. 

He guided the Heat to a championship as a head coach in 2006 and added two more rings to his collection in 2012 and 2013. Riley's still Miami’s president and is fresh off a 2023 NBA Finals appearance.