The New York Knicks are one of the biggest brands in the NBA, if not all of professional sports. They’ve won two championships, boast a legendary core of alumni, and have the biggest television market in the country. Their history should speak for itself.
Unfortunately over the past decade and a half, they’ve had one of the most tumultuous span of years since their success in the 1990s. Through incompetent front office decisions, off-court controversies and pitiful play, they became a laughing stock around the league for the better part of the 2000s.
Fortunately, they seem to be on the right track, winning their first playoff series since the 1999-00 season this year. It was a long road back to relevance for the Knickerbockers, filled with almost comical levels of failure. Let’s look back at some of the biggest fails in the Big Apple in the last decade and a half…
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15. Signing AMAR’E STOUDEMIRE
Okay, we really can’t blame the Knicks for this one. It was the summer of 2010 and they finally had enough money to rope in a big name. Of course, we remember this offseason as the formation of Miami’s Big Three, but the first domino to fall was Stoudemire. All signs pointed to LeBron ending up anywhere but New York, so the Knicks had to pull the trigger.
Now just three years into his five year, $99.7 million deal, the STAT experiment hasn’t been so successful. After Carmelo Anthony came and pushed him out of the number one role, where he was thriving, Stoudemire’s been on and off the injury list and it has become apparent he’ll never be his old self again. Now the Knicks are stuck with that enormous contract.
14. Trading for ANTONIO McDYESS
The Knicks decided to trade for McDyess with Marcus Camby, Mark Jackson and the rights to Nene in June of 2002. Jackson was aging, but had started all 82 games for New York this season before. Camby was often injured, but was also a young, dominant defensive big man. Nene, who was drafted to be part of the deal, has put together a solid NBA career, scoring 12.6 points a game on 55 percent shooting.
McDyess was coming off a serious knee injury, a ruptured Patellar tendon, but when healthy was a stud for the Nuggets. He put up over 20 points and 12 rebounds for Denver in the season before the injury. It was a gamble for the Knicks, and it didn’t pay off. He reinjured the knee in a preseason game and played just 18 games for New York before being shipped away in a trade we’ll cover later.
13. 50-point home loss
The Knicks have played at Madison Square Garden since 1968, but had never lost as badly there as they did on January 24, 2010. New York was trounced by the Dallas Mavericks by 50 points in the midst of a season where they’d finish with just 29 wins.
Just so you understand how awful this game was, the Knicks shot only 33 percent from the field and their leading scorer was Jared Jeffries, who overachieved his way to 14 points. In one of the ugliest stretches ever endured in franchise history, this may have been rock bottom. The Knicks were finally able to find success the following season after living through horror stories like this game year-in and year-out.