Forty-five years ago to the day, the Knicks acquired Dave DeBusschere from the Detroit Pistons in a move turned New York in to an NBA powerhouse.
The Knicks of the 1970′s brought New York it’s only two NBA Championships. Walt Clyde Frazier and Willis Reed get most of the notoriety, but they were the true essence of a team, and everybody in the locker room mattered. Their achievements wouldn’t have been made possible without Dave DeBusschere, and what he did wouldn’t have been possible without a trade to the team who so desperately needed him to put them over the top.
On December 19, 1968, the Detroit Pistons traded Dave DeBusschere to the New York Knicks for Walt Bellamy and Howard Komives, giving New York the perfect front court compliment to Willis Reed. While Reed took care of all the dirty work, DeBusschere was able to keep the floor spread, which was a rarity for most bigs at the time. However, you couldn’t be fooled by his outside touch. DeBusschere also had the grit to use his size on the block. There was pretty much nothing on the court that he couldn’t do, which is why the Pistons felt confident making him a player/coach at only 24 years old. In six seasons with the Knicks, DeBusschere averaged 16.0 points 10.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, finishing as a two-time NBA Champion and Hall of Famer.