This season has been one of the more memorable ones in recent memory for Knicks fans. While we all eagerly wait on the championship hardware, the regular season accolades have started trickling out, starting with the Sixth Man of the Year Award. J.R. Smith’s 18.1 points per game earned him the honors this season, but despite it being his first time winning the trophy, it’s not the first time a Knick has taken it home.
The Sixth Man of the Year Award has been given to the best substitute since the 1982-83 season. Including Smith, a member of the Knicks has won it three times.
The first winner was Anthony Mason in 1994-95. Mason was a powerful small forward, something that’s near extinct in today’s NBA. Still, you couldn’t let his size fool you. Just as much as Mason liked to bang in the post, he liked to put the ball on the floor and blow by you, at time acting as New York’s one-man press breaker. 1994-95 wasn’t his best season statistically, but he filled up the stat sheet, averaging 9.9 points 8.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists.
Throughout his whole career, John Starks was known as one of the NBA’s biggest spark plugs, so it makes a lot of sense that he had his name etched on the Sixth Man of the Year Award. Over the 1996-97 season, he came off the bench to average 13.8 points with 1.9 threes and 1.2 steals, displaying his usual cocky confidence and contagious winning attitude.