TOK extends a huge congratulations to Bernard King on his election to The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. To many Knicks fans of this generation, Bernard King is nothing more than “the guy that Melo grew up modeling his game after,” but in his prime, King could go toe-to-toe with any scorer. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of watching him play, now is your chance.
King spent only four seasons in New York, but he made the most of his stay here. In 1984 he became the first player in 13 years to post back-to-back 50-point games (touched on at 1:53 in the first video), the same year that he dropped a then Madison Square Garden record 60 points on the Nets (featured in the second video). Despite playing in only 55 games, the 1984-85 season was his best statistically with the Knicks, when he averaged a whopping 32.9 points per game.
What’s most amazing is that King scored so many points while doing most of his damage in the mid-range. In 874 games played in the NBA, he attempted only 134 threes, making only 23 of them. King was often injured and never got to fulfill his true potential in New York, leaving one to only dream about the kind of damage the Knicks could have done with him and a young Patrick Ewing.
Comparing Melo’s game to Bernard King is actually quite fair. Anthony can definitely bully opponents on the block a little better, but both their games are predicated on the mid-range and they can both heat up and single handedly score their teams to victory.