Every week at Turn On The Knicks our staff will debate an issue of the week surrounding the team here in Roundtable Format. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter, and follow the site right here. Let us know if you agree/disagree.
LeBron James unintentionally set the basketball world on fire by mentioning Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Oscar Robertson (?!?!) as the NBA’s best four players of all-time. Since the rest of the nation is putting in their two cents on the debate, today, TOK will be too.
Who is on your New York Knicks Mount Rushmore?
Chris Celletti - To me, there are three shoo-ins with one spot up in the air. The trio that is unquestionably on there is Walt Frazier, Willis Reed and Patrick Ewing. Reed would have put up bigger numbers had injuries not forced him to retire at the age of 31, but he averaged a double-double in each of his first seven seasons, and sits as the franchise’s third leading scorer and second leading rebounder. Frazier is near the top of almost every statistical category and, with Reed, led the Knicks to their only two titles in franchise history. And forget his playing days, Clyde’s incredible broadcasting style has probably prevented a number of suicides over the past 15 years of mostly-terrible Knicks basketball. And then there’s Ewing, the franchise’s leading scorer and rebounder and the man who played the most games and minutes in a Knicks uniform. Had the Knicks figured out how to win one more game in 1994, he would have been one of New York Sports’ all-time legends. He damn near is anyway. The fourth spot is up for grabs, and with the Knicks’ poor history of coaching, I’m inclined to give it to Red Holzman for being the only man to coach the Knicks to a championship.
Kevin Smith - Patrick Ewing is the leader in most statistical categories for the Knicks, making him a George Washington of sorts for the team’s Mount Rushmore. The championship teams of the 70′s need to be represented, making Walt Clyde Frazier and Willis Reed must-haves, as well. As for the last spot, Red Holzman is probably the most deserving, but a project like this needs to be funded by a wealthy individual, and James Dolan loves nothing more than being associated with the best. My guess is that if there were to be an actual New York Knicks Mount Rushmore constructed, Dolan would love to have himself on it.
Aaron Jacobs - Without a doubt Patrick Ewing is on the Mount Rushmore for the New York Knicks, probably one of the best players to never win an NBA Championship thanks to the freight train that was the Chicago Bulls. I am a bit biased, after all Ewing is one of my favorite players of all time, but I don’t think any Knicks fan would argue for him being left off. Next you have to go with Walt “Clyde” Frazier as the second on the Knicks Mount Rushmore due to his championships, plus a career PER (Player Efficiency Rating) of 21. thus making him the best point guard in Knicks history. Next up would have to be Willis Reed, 7 time all-star and a dominant decade averaging 18.7 points and 12.9 rebounds per game, and without a doubt the best center in Knicks history if it weren’t for Patrick Ewing. Last, but not least, was the most difficult player to choose when rounding out the Mount Rushmore, and after thinking long and hard I had to go with Earl “The Pearl” Monroe because he won a title with Walt Frazier and formed one of the best backcourts in NBA history in the process, no the numbers weren’t eye popping, but as far as impact he was huge for the Knicks when he was traded here.
I would like to mention that Red Holzman deserves a lot of love because the Knicks have had really poor coaches throughout the years and he coached them to a championship. Also, Dave DeBusschere is probably one of the most underrated Knicks of all time and never seems to get enough love, overshadowed by Frazier and Monroe, he was a major part of the championship teams too. Just one more to throw in would be Bernard King, who only played 138 games as a Knickerbocker, but every one was memorable by The Garden faithful.