Who are the three greatest players in Knicks history?
There's roughly a 99-percent chance you just chose Patrick Ewing, Willis Reed and Walt Frazier, in one order or another. If you didn't, then congrats on being a contrarian douche. It's those three guys, and everyone else.
The gentlemen at HoopsCritic seem to agree with me, bunching Ewing, Willis and Clyde within seven spots of one another on their 50 All-Time Greats list. Break out your rhetorical knives and throwing stars, people, because they have Ewing (No. 34) ahead of The Captain (No. 36):
The Captain rarely gets his due, often forgotten despite having a breathtaking resume. Willis Reed is one of only 10 players to win a MVP award, Finals MVP, and Championship in the same season. He was the leader and Finals MVP on the only two title teams the blue, orange, and white have ever mustered. Reed had a shortened but dominant run leading the Knicks in their golden era. Despite retiring in 1974, to this day Reed is one of only 10 players to own multiple Finals MVP awards. The Resume: Eighth Overall Pick 1964 - New York Knicks 7x All-Star 5x All-NBA All NBA Defense Rookie of the Year All-Star MVP MVP 2x Finals MVP 2x Champion Hall of Fame
Although Patrick Ewing was ultimately unable to bring the NYC faithful a Championship, he brought them as close as you could possibly go, one game away. He finished in the top five of MVP voting on six separate occasions he was an unfortunate victim of the Jordan/Olajuwon era. Many would argue he was the greatest to ever wear the Knicks uniform, Championship or not. The Hoya Destroya sits 24 in rebounds, 21 in points, and seventh in points all time. The Resume: First Overall Pick 1985 - New York Knicks 11x All-Star 7x All-NBA 3x All-NBA Defense Rookie of the Year Hall of Fame
It's the classic (read: boring) argument that will never die: Reed vs. Ewing. I agree with their placing here -- both were similarly dominant during their respective peaks, but Ewing played seven more seasons -- then again, I'm just another dumb millennial living with my parents.
Coming in ahead of the two big men, at No. 30, is everybody's cool uncle:
The co-pilot on a couple Championship teams, a cool cat, and one of the better defensive point guards to lace em up. Despite never winning the MVP or Finals MVP, and openly admitting Willis Reed was the leader of the Knicks Clyde finds himself higher on the list. A true testament to the charismatic nature of Mr. Frazier.
Moving beyond charisma and cool, our man Clyde ranks with Gary Payton as the premier defensive point guard in NBA history. His combination of size and speed helped to reinvent the position, and he dominated in the pre-three-point-line, center-dominated '70s. Oh, and he put together the single greatest performance in any Finals Game 7. Ever. Even a Celtics blog can admit it.
So take a bow, Clyde...you're the greatest Knick of all time. Do you agree, fair readers?