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‘Knicks of Legend’ Fairytale Playoffs: (1) Team Flynn vs (6) Team Wolfe

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Team Clyde vs. Team Dysfunction

NBA: Toronto Raptors at New York Knicks Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Time for round three of the Posting and Toasting fairytale playoffs! Today we’ve got the head honcho China Joe Flynn facing off against Willis I-Don’t-Have-Reed-On-My-Teaming Rainbow Alex Wolfe.

Remember, you decide who’s the bestest here. Round one between Jon Schulman and Dillon Dente was Monday, while the Marceda vs. Miranda duel took place on Tuesday (and you can still vote!). See who makes the most compelling argument and vote below!

Alex Wolfe, No. 6 seed

Round 1, pick 6 - Bernard King

Best NYK season: 32.9 ppg, 5.8 reb, 3.7 ast

Getting the sixth pick in a five-player draft — definitely about the most Knicksy outcome, right? I’m already ahead of the game.

Ironically, much like the Knicks when Kristaps Porzingis fell to them with the fourth pick in 2015, I had a fucking dynamo fall into my lap at pick six after Porzingis was taken way too early. Thanks, Stingy!

King Bernard (was that a nickname of his back in the day? It should’ve been) averaged 32.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists in his best season as a Knick (and as a pro, quite frankly). My man had a phenomenal 25.2 PER that year, which is some LeBron- or Durant-type shit. Bernard wasn’t much of a 3-point shooter, but scorers can always learn new tricks (just ask Carmelo). A SF in a bygone age, King slots in as my starting PF as I try to run the wheels off of Joe and the rest.

Round 2, pick 7 - Stephon Marbury

Best NYK season: 21.7 ppg, 8.1 ast, 3.1 reb, 1.5 stl

I’ve already caught some ire in the comment section of the draft article for skipping Earl “The Pearl” Monroe in this spot, but hear me out. My ideal plan was to take Carmelo and King, uniting the fan with the idol. But looking back, I think Miranda did me a favor.

There have been exactly two point guards in Knicks history to average greater than 20 points and eight assists over an entire season — Joe’s top pick, Clyde Frazier, and my second-round pick, Stephon Marbury. Starbury is (in some ways rightfully) associated with one of the darkest eras in Knicks history, but in his first few seasons in New York he was an all-out baller. Can’t hold it entirely against him that he had a terrible GM (Isiah Thomas) and a rotating cast of some of the sorriest coaches you could ever hope to see (like Marceda’s clownface D’Antoni). Starbury’s running point for my squad, naturally.

Round 3, pick 18 - Walt Bellamy

Best NYK season: 23.2 ppg, 16 reb, 3 ast

I’ll fully admit to not exactly knowing the book on Bellamy before taking him here. And truth be told, I really wanted Bob McAdoo in this spot. But Bellamy is a hell of a consolation prize.

Bellamy was traded to the Knicks in the early stages of the 1965-66 season, and proceeded to tear it up for the final 72 games of that year, averaging over 23 points and 16 boards. At 6’11” and 225 pounds, he’d be perfectly mobile in today’s game and slot in next to King as my center. And he won’t even fight his own teammates for rebounds to get over 20 like Joe’s center.

Round 4, pick 19 - Latrell Sprewell

Best NYK season: 18.6 ppg, 4.3 reb, 4 ast

Look, I won’t sugar coat it — Spree’s best days were absolutely behind him after he became a Knick. But I don’t care!

Advanced stats hate Sprewell. His numbers won’t jump off the page. He’ll probably never make the Hall of Fame. But damn it, he could step up when the team needed him:

That Finals run made me a Knick fan and Sprewell was the man during that run. How could I not pick him? Spree’s my starting SF and designated lockdown defender. I feel like he and Starks are getting in a fight too, which would be awesome.

Round 5, pick 30 - Richie Guerin

Best NYK season: 29.5 ppg, 6.9 ast, 6.4 reb

C’mon, I’m dreaming, right? I didn’t think there was any shot that I’d get a six-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA player at this spot. And Richie can sling the ball a little! Look at those seven assists!

On top of everything else, I now have the two top-scoring Knicks in a single season. Ever. Richie and Bernard would combine for over 60 points by themselves in their best forms! Also, let’s do a little fact check from Dillon on Monday:

I’m rolling with my squad of three Hall-of-Fame players. By my count, no other team had more than two (double-check me on that).

Consider yourself double-checked. With Guerin at the shooting guard spot and my starting five filled out, I’ve got three Hall-of-Famers (King, Bellamy, Guerin), one guy that has gone on to basically own the city of Beijing and one guy that will take no shit, period. I’m riding high.

Round 6, pick 31 - Jamal Crawford

Best NYK season: 20.6 ppg, 5 ast, 2.6 reb

I’m basically just collecting 20-point scorers at this point. Who’s going to stop this team from dropping All-Star game numbers?

J Crossover spent most of his time on the Knicks as a starter, and has since gone on to win the Sixth Man of the Year award three times. Much like Marbury, it’s easy to forget just how good Crawford was here because he was part of the Dark Ages. His defensive deficiencies are also very real. But none of that matters here. The best version of Crawford will be played in what we later discovered to be his best role of sixth man. Crawford will pick up minutes at shooting guard and some duties at the point off the bench.

Round 7, pick 42 - Kenny Sears

Best NYK season: 21.0 ppg, 9.3 reb, 1.9 ast, .256 WS/48 (!!!)

I think I found myself another bargain here. I was admittedly steamed when my dream combo of Spencer Haywood and Wilson Chandler went off the board, but upon checking out Sears, I felt pretty good about this pick.

Feels kind of dirty, getting a two-time All-Star and yet another 20-point scorer this low. Sears only shot around 50 percent at his best, but his robust 86 percent mark from the free throw line makes me think he could have a 3-point shot in there somewhere. On top of that, Sears posted a ridiculous .256 win shares per 48 in the 1958-59 season (good enough for the 84th-best in NBA history and highest ever for a Knick). I envision the 6’ 9”, 200-pound Sears as the perfect guy to either sub in for Bellamy to go super small, or sub in for Spree or King to go big.

Round 8, pick 43 - Gerald Wilkins

Best NYK season: 19.1 ppg, 4.4 ast, 3.7 reb

Wilkins feels like a really, really good get in the final round. While everyone else is left drafting scrubs like Charlie Ward and Phil Jackson, I just casually nabbed “The Jordan Stopper.”

Wilkins was a pretty damn good player for a second-round pick, arguably one of the best guys the Knicks have ever taken in that round. He started 73 games in his second season, and was a pretty decent 3-point shooter (.351 in 1986-87) before it was really fashionable. For some 3-and-D off the bench, I could do a hell of a lot worse.

Coach - Mike Woodson

Is Woody really deserving of being taken before Red Holzman? Nah, probably not. But I have a specific vision to pull off with Bernard King as a stretch four, and Woody’s the guy to do it. King imitating Carmelo would be idol imitating fan, which would be fiction imitating life imitating art, or something. I don’t know. What I do know is that Woody managed to make Ray Felton, Pablo Prigioni and old-ass Jason Kidd work as a PG rotation. Now he gets Stephon Marbury to lead the crew and multi-tooled Richie Guerin at shooting guard. Jamal Crawford’s best play as a Knick was way better than JR Smith’s, don’t @ me. He’ll win Fairytale 6MOY. And Woody (underratedly so, I might add) was a master at controlling big personalities (Melo, JR, Amar’e, K-Mart, Sheed, etc.) of which this team has in spades with Starbury and Spree.

The Fairytale League is big, man. That’s why I’m forcing Woody to be his best by giving him a lineup that absolutely has to be small and will cook every other team.

Rotation:

Starbury at point guard

Guerin at the two

Spree at three

King as my dynamic small-ball power forward

Bellamy as my big dog in the middle

J Crossover as my sixth man extraordinaire

Sears as my do-everything forward

And lastly, Wilkins as my 3-and-D “Clyde stopper.” (He’ll just call him Waldo Franken so he doesn’t get psyched out.)

Joe’s team will be scrappy. They’ll overachieve. It’ll be cute. But how are you going to stop 186.6 combined points of firepower?! The short answer — you can’t. You just sit back and watch history be made. Plus, Joe’s team has Tyson Chandler so they’ll all come down with E. coli right before the game and I’ll win via forfeit. A win’s a win!

Joe Flynn, No. 1 seed

Round 1, pick 1 - Walt Frazier

Walter Frazier Jr.—better known as Clyde—is the greatest Knick of all-time. Full stop. No other Knick—big or small, old or young—can match Clyde’s all-around dominance and clutchness.

Consider for a moment the Clyde of 1969-70, which was a pretty good season for the ‘Bockers, if I remember correctly. The 24-year-old point guard from Southern Illinois averaged 20.9 points (on 51.8% shooting!), 8.2 assists and 6.0 rebounds, while also playing what was universally regarded as the NBA’s finest defense at the point. His .236 win shares per 48 minutes led the NBA, which is almost inconceivable for a guard playing before the advent of the three-point line. I like WS/48 as a metric to judge overall performance, but it does tend to favor bigs over guards—between 1959-60 (Wilt’s rookie year) and 1986-87 (Magic Johnson), the only guards to lead the NBA in WS/48 were Jerry West and Clyde. And Clyde was 2-1 against West’s Lakers in the playoffs, including his 36-point, 19-assist, 7-rebound masterpiece in Game 7.

Rockin’ Steady, indeed.

Round 2, pick 12 - Tyson Chandler

Knicks’ franchise history is rife with quality centers, and I bet heavily on the idea that a quality 5 would still be available with the 12th pick. And, lo, my faith was rewarded.

Yes, Tyson Chandler caught a cold in two consecutive Aprils. Yes, he checked out on the 2013-14 club once Mike Woodson made it clear that players repped by CAA ran the team and could get away with anything—God, that was a weird season—but I’ll take this guy on a normal basketball team any day of the week. Tyson won Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 by accomplishing the seemingly impossible task of anchoring a top-10 Knicks defense in the 21st century (still the only time it’s been done in the post-Van Gundy Era). On offense, he’ll get you 10-12 points a night flushing home pick-and-roll lobs from Clyde at a ridiculously high shooting percentage. And if you’re mad about Tyson being picked in the second round, feel free to swap him with the next guy...

Round 3, pick 13 - John Starks

The game is about getting buckets while stopping the other guy from doing the same. Few Knicks shooting guards were better in that regard than Starks. He joins Clyde in by far the most fearsome defensive backcourt in Knicks history. Ain’t nobody scoring on that pair.

Round 4, pick 24 - Jerry Lucas

With a somewhat offensively-limited Chandler at the 5, I was looking for a a power forward who can score both inside and out. Enter Hall of Famer Jerry Lucas, who averaged 16.7 points and 13.1 rebounds for the 1971-72 squad. His all-around offensive savvy and skill on the glass fits perfectly with this club. Plus, he has a photographic memory!

Round 5, pick 25 - Larry Johnson

“First of all I’d like to say all praise is due to Allah!”

Every once and awhile Jeff Van Gundy will wax nostalgically on air about LJ, who was one of his favorite players ever. The former Hornets All-Star transformed himself into the perfect role player in New York, albeit one who was still capable of averaging 12-16 points per game. We’ll need some grit at the 3 to check the likes of Bernard King, and I love Johnson in that role. I’ll take the ‘98-’99 version, who averaged 35.9% from 3 and hit the legendary 4-point play.

Thank you very much. Allahu Akbar!

Round 6, pick 36 - Cazzie Russell

Cazzie Russell didn’t make his first All-Star team until the season after he left New York, but that was more due to the stacked Knicks roster at the time. The former first overall pick was a consistent double-digit scorer for the Knicks and a tremendous sixth man for their first championship club.

Round 7, pick 37 - Ray Williams

My team’s secret weapon. Like Michael Ray Richardson, Ray Williams played for the Knicks after their ‘70s glory years. Williams could play either guard position, and play them well. In 1979-80, he averaged 20.9 points on 49.6% shooting, 6.2 assists and 5.0 rebounds. As you can see in this clip of his 30-point performance against the eventual world-champion Celtics, he was relentless in attacking the basket.

Either Ray or Cazzie can take over for Starks if he’s in one of his “shoot the team out of the game” cold streaks.

Round 8, pick 48 - Phil Jackson

I’m not trolling here, I swear! Every good Knicks team needs a goon, and Phil was a true O.G. in that department. He could always step in at the 5, take some punishment, dish out some more punishment, and grab a few rebounds. As we learned from his stint as team president, he isn’t afraid to piss people off.

Coach - Jeff Van Gundy

Van Gundy was willing to switch up his approach on offense, from the more post-centric attack of Ewing’s late prime to the guard-focused approach when Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell became the Knicks’ go-to scorers. After the triangle nonsense of the past few years, I think we all can appreciate a more flexible approach.

Oh, and his team WILL defend. Not the a lineup featuring Clyde, Starks, LJ and Tyson needs much coaching up on that end. No easy buckets!

Vote now!

Poll

Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Alex
    (82 votes)
  • 51%
    Joe
    (86 votes)
168 votes total Vote Now