NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 25: Renaldo Balkman #44 of the New York Knicks controls the ball during the second half against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden on December 25, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
All my SB Nation friends have been doing these posts about their favorite "Cult Classic" players-- as Steve Perrin describes them, "players that earned a following within their fanbase that was, shall we say, disproportionate to their skill levels on the basketball court".
That sounds like roughly 700 players the P&T community has embraced in its five years (well, in the first couple of years, it was really just me, two readers, and my mom fawning over Randolph Morris). I revel in our cultishness, so I figure I ought to open up a thread for some "Cult Classic" reminiscence of our own. During the P&T era, I think we're talking about:
Randolph Morris. Isiah Thomas's secret weapon, plucked out of free agency through a draft eligibility loophole, then left to toil on the Knicks' bench behind far less interesting big men. I maintain that those sorry 07-08 Knicks should've just let Dolph spin.
Brian Greene. Him, too. Miss you, Greenie.
Cheikh Samb and Mouhamed Sene. The '08 Knicks were rife with untapped potential in the form of huge Senegalese guys on ten-day contracts.
And of course...
Renaldo Balkman. I refuse to acknowledge that Humpty was and is anything less than a superstar talent, but I guess he fits the bill.
I'm probably missing some, and, of course, there are guys from the teams that preceded the P&T era-- particularly from the mid-2000s, when any appreciation of the Knicks at all was disproportionate to the on-court product-- who definitely would've drawn our fervent adoration had the blog existed. I loved Lee Nailon, for instance. Jamison Brewer. Jackie Butler. So much Jackie Butler. Further back in my Knicks fanhood, I obsessed over guys like Erick Strickland, Scott Brooks, and, of course, Rick Brunson. I was not a healthy child.
I'm sure those of you who've been around longer than I have could go on for days, and I encourage you to do so in the comments.