From time to time, TOK will be celebrating Knicks Birthdays. Everything involving the current Knicks is a path to pure despair and depression, so this is an attempt to cheer things up a bit. Because we all love presents, cake, and going down the rabbit hole that is Knicks Memory Lane.
Happy February 26, folks. Today means robust Happy Birthday wishes go out to these three former Knicks:
Years active: 2004-05; 2008-09.
Thomas’ first stint as a Knick came about when he was acquired in the middle of the 2003-04 season in a three team deal with the Hawks and Bucks completed a month after the Knicks hired Lenny Wilkens mid-season. The Knicks gave up Michael Doleac, Keith Van Horn and a 2nd round pick (which ended up being Ronny Turiaf, who eventually became a Knick himself) for Thomas and Nazr Mohammed. The trade helped PROPEL the Knicks to the 7th seed with a 39-43 record, and a first round meeting with the rival Nets, a series which brought us what is probably both the high point and low point of Thomas’ Knick career, his feud with now-Knick Kenyon Martin:
Thomas was traded on the eve of training camp in 2005 in a deal that is still haunting the Knicks. The Knicks sent Thomas, Mike Sweetney, Jermaine Jackson a 2006 1st round pick (which ended up being LaMarcus Aldridge), a 2007 1st round pick (which ended up being Joakim Noah) and two second round picks (which ended up being Kyrylo Fesenko in 2007 and Jon Brockman in 2009, WHEW!) to the Bulls. The Knicks received Antonio Davis, a 2007 1st round pick (Wilson Chandler)…and…Eddy…Curry.
Time is a flat circle.
Thomas came back to the Knicks early in the 2008-09 season in a salary dump as the Knicks prepared for the vaunted Summer of 2010. The Knicks got Thomas and Cuttino Mobley from the Clippers for Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins. He played 36 games that season before being dealt at the trade deadline in a package for Larry Hughes.
As a Knick, Thomas played 131 regular season games, averaging 12 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists while shooting 41.2% from 3-point range.
Years active: 2000-03
Back in the late 90s, Lavor Postell and now-former Knick Ron Artest helped lead the last truly good St. John’s team; earning a berth to the Elite 8 in 1999 and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament in 2000. Only one of them became a Knick right away, and of course, that was Postell, drafted by New York in the 2nd round of the 2000 draft.
The Knicks weren’t yet the dumpster fire they’ve become since, so the fanbase wasn’t yet in the habit of latching onto the 15th man and proclaiming him a future All-Star. But that’s okay, because Postell took care of that himself.
Ever the fringe, garbage time player, Postell had a few decent performances during the 2002 season when injuries predictably Allan Houston. And he predicted them. The morning before a game on March 27, 2002 in Detroit, Postell said things like this:
“In my mind, I’m an All-Star on the rise.”
“From my rookie year to now, my game is unbelievable. I want to play ball so bad, man, I don’t think you understand.”
“My time’s coming.”
And for two games, he proved to be clairvoyant. That night, Postell dropped 20 points and followed it up two nights later with an 18 point performance. But, um, that was about it. He played 12 games the following season and never played in the NBA again. He averaged 3.1 points in 62 career games.
A year ago, he joined the U.S. Army. No, really.
Years active: 1992-94
After a very solid 11-year, 4-time All Star run with the Mavericks, Blackman finished his career with the Knicks, playing his final two professional seasons in ’93 and ’94 in New York. He played 115 regular season games over those two years, and was a role player on the ’93 team that lost to Jordan’s Bulls in the East Finals, playing about 15 minutes a game during the playoffs. His role diminished the following season, appearing in just 6 postseason games during the Knicks’ near-run to the title.