Remembering 10 NBA Players Who Are "Forgotten" Knicks

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By WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM/66AM New York

Since 1947, 502 players have suited up for the Knicks.

Many are stars and some are Hall of Famers, but these are 10 recognizable names that you might not remember wearing the Knicks’ iconic orange and blue unis.

NO. 10: MATT BARNESBefore he established himself as one of the league’s feistiest defenders, Barnes signed with the Knicks on the eve of the 2005-06 season. The retirement of Allan Houston opened up a roster spot, but Barnes’ stint at The Garden was brief, ad he was waived after six games. Barnes would eventually become a fixture of the “We Believe” Golden State Warriors, a combatant, and later, a teammate of Kobe Bryant. Barnes would earn a championship ring in his final season after returning to the Warriors in 2016-17.

NO. 9: KEITH VAN HORNA longtime favorite of Nets fans, Van Horn was acquired by the Knicks as part of a four-team trade in the summer of 2003 that sent Latrell Sprewell to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The lanky scorer averaged 16.4 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game for the ‘Bockers before being shipped to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team trade that brought Tim Thomas and Nazr Mohammed to The Garden.

NO. 8: AL HARRINGTON

Al Harrington & Wilson ChandlerNick Laham/Getty Images
Though Harrington enjoyed a seven-year stint with the Indiana Pacers, his most productive stretch may have come during a 140-game spell with the Knicks. Acquired from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Jamal Crawford, Harrington averaged 19.2 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game during his stay in Manhattan.  

NO. 7: METTA WORLD PEACEFormer general manager Ed Tapscott’s inexplicable decision to draft French big man Frederic Weis over Ron Artest was a hammer blow to the millennium-era Knicks. While Weis never played in the NBA and is best known for being posterized by Vince Carter at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Artest reached All-Star level and earned the 2004 Defensive Player of the Year Award with the Pacers. He would later help the Los Angeles Lakers win the 2010 NBA Championship.

Knicks fans finally got their long-awaited wish when the former St. John’s standout arrived in the summer of 2013 on a two-year deal. A knee injury limited World Peace to 29 games as a Knick, though, and the remainder of his contract was bought out in Feb. 2014.

NO. 6: CHAUNCEY BILLUPSArriving from the Denver Nuggets as part of the blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade, Billups averaged 17.5 points per game and 5.5 assists per game across 21 regular season appearances. However, Billups suffered a knee injury in Game 1 of the 2011 playoffs and missed the remainder of the postseason as the Knicks were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round. Though he expressed a desire to remain in New York, the franchise used an amnesty clause to waive the veteran point guard – opening the cap space needed to sign Tyson Chandler.

NO. 5: DERRICK ROSE

Derrick RoseAl Bello/Getty Images
Rose landed in New York after multiple knee surgeries and a contract year status that persuaded the Chicago Bulls to deal away the 2011 NBA MVP. While being filmed for “Pooh: The Derrick Rose Story,” the three-time All-Star broke down in tears upon learning that his hometown Bulls traded him.

Though Rose averaged 18 points per game as a Knick, the organization panicked when he left the team without notice in Jan. 2017. A downbeat Rose cited family reasons for his absence, and as he considered retirement, a fourth knee surgery in nine seasons ruled him out for the remainder of his lone season at The Garden.

The 2016-17 Knicks should have achieved better than a 31-51 record given the star power of Rose, Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, and Joakim Noah, but the mixture of off-court drama and the force-feeding of Phil Jackson’s triangle offense doomed this group from reaching their true potential.

NO. 4: RASHEED WALLACEWallace ended a two-year retirement to join the 2012-13 Knicks, but a broken foot limited ‘Sheed to 21 games and the veteran big man retired before the 2013 playoffs.

“Rasheed has given this team everything he had,” then-Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said following Wallace’s retirement. “He is a winner, true professional, and leader on and off the court.”

Some fans, though, will remember his three-to-the-dome celebration which was adopted and still used by Anthony.

Ball don’t lie.

NO. 3: DIKEMBE MUTOMBOIt’s okay to wag your finger if you don’t remember Mutombo’s short-lived spell as a Knick. The Hall of Famer dressed for 65 regular season games and three playoff games for the ‘Bockers, and his highlight as a Knick was a 10-block performance against the Nets that set a franchise record.

NO. 2: JASON KIDD

Jason KiddElsa/Getty Images

The 10-time All-Star and Hall of Famer played his final season as a member of the 2012-13 Knicks. Kidd shifted to the off guard and helped Mike Woodson’s Knicks open the season with an 18-5 record, and though he played a big role in a 54-win campaign, the legendary guard ran out of gas in the second half and playoffs as the Knicks were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the Pacers.

Currently an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kidd is a candidate being considered for the Knicks’ vacant head coaching position, so he may not be “forgotten” at MSG for much longer.

NO. 1: TRACY MCGRADYTracy McGrady was a Knick? Yeah, it happened briefly.

The Hall of Famer was acquired from the Houston Rockets during the 2009-10 season, and he dropped 26 points in his Knicks debut at MSG in a 121-118 loss to the Thunder. All told, though, the seven-time All-Star averaged just 9.4 points per game in 24 games as a Knick.

Other players considered for this list: Glen Rice, Baron Davis, Antonio McDyess, Jalen Rose, Kenyon Martin, Doug Christie, Mike Bibby, Vin Baker, and Xavier McDaniel. 

Follow Sean Hartnett on Twitter: @HartnettHockey

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