There has been a recent trend toward star power in the NBA. In 2008, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett led the Boston Celtics to a 17th NBA title. Since then, other teams have tried to assemble their own versions of the Big Three. But the strategy is not new. In fact, the New York Knicks have had their own flavors of a Big Three. Here are some of the best Knicks trios of all time.
Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler
Stoudemire, Anthony and Chandler are the Knicks’ current incantation of the Big Three. These three players have a chanceto be great for the Knicks. Anthony has averaged 24.8 points and 6.4 rebounds in his career. Stoudemire has averaged 21.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Chandler adds defense and rebounding. He is averaging 10.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game with the Knicks, better than his career averages. Chandler has fit in well. He has added much needed defense, rebounding and leadership to the team. But the question remains on whether or not Stoudemire and Anthony can be effective together. So far, they haven’t.
Patrick Ewing, John Starks and Charles Oakley
Growing up, it was all about Ewing, Starks and Oakley for me. The Ewing years were one of the best runs in franchise history. From 1987 to 2000, Ewing led the Knicks to 13 straight playoff appearances. In 1996, Ewing was selected as one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players. His sidekick was power forward Charles Oakley. Oakley was the perfect counterpart for Ewing. He gave the Knicks defense, rebounding and muscle. He did the dirty work. Oakley made it easier for Ewing to lead the team, be the focal point of the offense and defend. Starks was not a star in the NBA, but he had some great moments. He was an emotional leader for the Knicks, a crowd pleaser. When Starks got hot, the Knicks were practically unbeatable. Unfortunately, he got cold too. His streaky shooting (2 out of 18) cost them in Game 7 of the 1994 NBA Finals. Many feel that Ewing never had enough talent around him to win a title. But the Knicks were very successful with Ewing, Starks and Oakley. If it were not for Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, who knows how many NBA titles they might have won?
Willis Reed, Walt Frazier and Dave DeBusschere
Reed, Frazier and DeBusschere are the greatest Knicks trio of all time. There may never be a group like them on the Knicks. Together, they brought home two NBA Titles (1970, 1973). Reed, Frazier and DeBusschere were great players that were even greater together. When Earl Monroe joined the team in 1971, the Knicks had four future Hall of Famers. They also had four of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players.
I was too young to really appreciate the Knicks teams of the 70s. The talent and synergy on that team accomplished greatness. Stoudemire, Anthony and Chandler have a chance to be great too. But if they are going achieve similar success, they must figure out how to play together. Now.
Who is your favorite Knicks Big Three? Leave a comment below.
Edwin Torres was born in New York City. He has been a Knicks fan since the early 1980s. He has visited Madison Square Garden on many occasions to watch the Knicks and his favorite player, Patrick Ewing. For more articles, follow him on Twitter @FlipPoker.
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