Ghosts, zombies, and witches are scary and all, but to fans of the New York Knicks, things like J.R. Smith’s shot selection and the size of Amar’e Stoudemire’s contract are equally terrifying. The Knicks have always been known as intimidators, especially since the 90′s, when there was no such thing as an easy bucket. Read on to see some of the most horrifying Knicks of the past quarter-century. Enter at your own risk.
Metta only has one game in blue and orange under his belt, or else he’d probably be much higher up on this list. Do I have to bring up the Malice at the Palace in order to put a scare in to anyone who has ever sat in the first 10 rows of an NBA game? Sure, Ron’s way more sane than he used to be, but he still carries an intimidation factor with him wherever he goes. Just ask Tyler Hansbrough.
9. Kurt Thomas
Opponents always had to fear hard screens and physical play down low when playing against the Knicks from 1998-2005 (and for 39 games last year). Even as he grew older, Thomas was well respected around the league because of his physical demeanor. Plus, you have to be scared of someone who had the gall to go after Dennis Rodman.
Mason was a 6-7, 250 pound enforcer for Patrick Ewing and the Knicks of the early 90′s. If there was anybody you wanted in your corner when fights broke out (and they often did in those days), it was him. Mason’s stature alone was enough to put a scare in to opponents, but when he lost his cool, all bets were off. The obscure hairdos were just a part of his costume.
7. Latrell Sprewell
One incident changed the way fans felt about Sprewell forever. He was a really good basketball player, but will forever be remembered for choking last year’s Nets coach, P.J. Carlesimo. The Knicks took a huge gamble by trading for him, and for the next five years were scared of a relapse. Sprewell’s violent past made him more intimidating than he really was on the court.
Ewing is the only one on this list because if his intimidating game. In fifteen seasons as a Knicks, he swatted away 2,758 shots, an average of 2.7 per game. He was the ultimate rim protector and deterred any opposing player from entering the paint, even if he didn’t get his hands on the ball. Nothing was scarier than the physical nature of the 90′s Knicks.
5. Stephon Marbury
Sometimes it’s ok to push around a bigger guy, but it’s never a smart idea to mess with a crazy one. Marbury was scary enough during his Knicks career, whether it be his behavior towards Larry Brown or how his contract was hampering the salary cap. However, he totally went off the deep end upon leaving the NBA. Whether it was eating vaseline, dancing to “Barbie Girl,” or putting on makeup and dancing to Michael Jackson, Marbury put fear in to all of our hearts.
Oakley was the ultimate enforcer and number one body guard for the Knicks in the 90′s. He’s known around the NBA was one of the toughest to ever play the game and would never back down from anyone. Whether it was the first game of the preseason or a heated playoff battle, opponents always had to be afraid of messing with one of Oakley’s teammates. Plus, fans sitting courtside always had to be scared of the Oak-man diving in to the stands for a loose ball.
3. Pat Riley
Pat Riley was scary because he was the mastermind of the 90′s Knicks aggressive defense. After perfecting the up-tempo style of the Showtime Lakers, he wanted to prove he could win with defense and half court sets too. Adapting to the style of Patrick Ewing, Riley built his team through the frontcourt, and was the maestro behind their physical play.
2. James Dolan
It’s always scary when the wrong man has power, and unfortunately for Knicks fans, Dolan is that guy. He always keeps us on our toes, whether it be signing off on lopsided trades, changing GMs with the season right around the corner, or proclaiming it’s “champions or bust” to a team that’s not even predicted to have a home series, but at least he’s willing to invest in the team. Still, Knicks fans always have to be terrified about what he’s going to do next.
1. Isiah Thomas
Is it possible to be scarier than James Dolan, the man with all the saying power in the Knicks organization? I think it was proved that Isiah puts more fear in to New Yorkers when Dolan made the decision to go with Steve Mills over Glen Grunwald. Twitter totally blew up with just the mention of Isaih’s name. It’s not the first time that we’ve heard whispers of Thomas returning, and every time, Knicks fans shudder at the thought of his incompetence returning to the front office.