The 1973 New York Knicks owned New York City. They were the toast of the town, and rightfully so. As a kid growing up in the New York area, I can still remember how good that team was. I used to watch them play on TV, and used to listen to Marv Albert call the games on my little transistor radio.
The recent acquisition of center Tyson Chandler, combined with last year's signing of Amare Stoudemire and the February trade for Carmelo Anthony, has got me thinking a lot about that 1973 New York Knicks team. That was the last Knicks team to win an NBA Championship. I believe the 2011-12 Knicks have a decent chance to go on and win a championship this season.
If the Knicks do go on to win a championship this season, they will match that 1973 team from a winning standpoint, but from another perspective there is no way this year's team can match 1973's team. The 1973 New York Knicks had seven Basketball Hall of Famers on it. Here are those seven hall of famers, listed by their 1973 scoring averages.
First, here's a little trivia for Knicks fans. What current Knicks player is the son of a player who was on the 1973 NBA Champion New York Knicks?
The Seven Basketball Hall of Famers on 1973 New York Knicks Team
1. Walt Frazier - 21.1 points per game in 1973
The New York Knicks owned New York City back in 1973, and Walt Clyde Frazier epitomized the team. He was the essence of cool, and he was a great basketball player. Clyde Frazier led the 1973 Knicks with a 21.1 scoring average, and also averaged 5.9 assists and 7.3 rebounds per game. He shot 49% from the field that season.
For his career, Clyde Frazier played 13 seasons and averaged 18.9 points, 6.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.
2. Dave DeBusschere - 16.3
Dave DeBusschere averaged 16.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game in 1973. I remember him as being the all around tough guy on the team. For his career, DeBusschere averaged 16.1 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. Dave DeBusschere was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983. He passed away from a heart attack at age 62 in 2003.
3. Bill Bradley - 16.1
Dollar Bill Bradley, he spent his money wisely otherwise known as being cheap, averaged 16.1 points per game for the 1973 New York Knicks. Bradley played the game with constant motion, he almost never stood still during a game, and was a great passer and all around teammate. For his career, Bradley only averaged 12.4 points per game in the NBA.
That might seem light for hall of fame player, but you have to include in what Bradley did in college at Princeton, where he averaged 30.2 points and 12.1 rebounds per game, and led Princeton to the Final Four in 1965. He scored 58 points in the 1965 consolation game vs Wichita State, and was named MVP. Bill Bradley was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983.
4. Earl Monroe - 15.5
Earl the Pearl Monroe averaged 15.5 points per game for the Knicks in 1973. Pearl was easily my favorite Knicks player, he could light up the scoreboard anytime he wanted to in any game. As a shooting guard, he made 48.8% of his shots in 1973. For his career, Earl the Pearl Monroe averaged 18.8 points per game. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990.
5. Willis Reed - 11.0
Willis Reed was the Knicks big man, and he averaged 11.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in 1973. For his career, Reed averaged 18.7 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. Willis Reed is best known for hobbling onto the court to play in Game Seven of the 1970 NBA Finals with a fully torn muscle in his thigh. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.
6. Jerry Lucas - 9.9
Jerry Lucas averaged 9.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for the Knicks in 1973. For his career, Lucas averaged 17.0 points and 15.6 rebounds per game, the fourth highest rebounding average in NBA history. Jerry Lucas was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980. The media loved the 1973 Knicks, especially Jerry Lucas, who has a photographic memory and loves to show it off.
7. Phil Jackson - 8.1
Phil Action Jackson averaged 8.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game coming off the bench for the 1973 Knicks. You wouldn't know it by looking at him now, but Phil Jackson was an energetic player and a fan favorite on the Knicks. For his career, he averaged 6.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
Phil Jackson is not in the Basketball Hall of Fame for his playing days. He won 1,155 games and 11 NBA Championships as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. He was inducted into the asketball Hall of Fame as a coach in 2007.
Trivia Answer - newly signed Mike Bibby is the son of Henry Bibby, who averaged 4.2 points per game for the 1973 Knicks.