A list of the worst picks in Knicks history could very well include every pick they’ve ever made outside of Patrick Ewing and Kristaps Porzingis, but we would be writing that article for the rest of time. Here are the 10 worst they have ever made:
Yes, you are seeing that correctly. Charlie Ward won college football’s highest honor and then opted to play basketball instead. A smart choice, given that a career in basketball guarantees you boatloads more money, a healthy body, and your sanity. The Knicks thought they were getting a steal with Ward at the 26th pick, a freak athlete who could develop into a modern-day guard. Nope. He averaged just seven points per game and six assists his first year starting. He would ultimately ride the bench for the rest of his career, thinking about that Super Bowl he could’ve won and the legs he wouldn’t have at the expense of billionaire owners.
The Knicks chose Greg Anthony with the 12th overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft with the hope of securing a dominant backcourt with John Starks to compete against the Chicago Bulls. Anthony played in all 82 games his first season, but averaged just under six points per game. His poor play would lead to worse production, and decades later, an arrest for soliciting a prostitute. Not to say his poor skill with the Knicks led to his arrest years later, but we gotta blame it on something, and this is most convenient.
According to court documents, the 47-year-old married father of four was in his room at around 5:45 p.m. when the undercover officer arrived and told him a sex session would cost $80.
“Oh, I don’t wanna say all that,” Anthony allegedly responded.
“I just need to know so I don’t have any surprises,” the officer said.
“Oh, just whatever,” Anthony reportedly said.
After the two discussed the type of sex, the undercover officer then asked, “You want me to dress up?” Anthony responded, “Oh, yeah,” according to the documents.
Moments later, the officer gave a signal for the arrest team to move in.
10. Renaldo Balkman
Balkman was supposed to be a home run for the Knicks. A Dennis Rodman-like defender who also hailed from Staten Island, Renaldo appeared to be the hometown hero Knicks fans so desperately needed. Then basketball commenced and everyone realized why Balkman wasn’t highly recruited out of high school. He was MVP of the NIT tournament, something literally anyone on planet earth could be if they wanted to waste a few weeks of their life. But what makes the Balkman pick so painful was that the Knicks passed on Rajon Rondo, who was taken one pick later by the Boston Celtics.
9. Monty Williams
It’s painful to write anything negative about Monty, who has been one of the most exemplary figures throughout his time in the NBA. He won an NBA championship as a staff intern with the San Antonio Spurs, was assistant coach for the Portland Trail Blazers, the youngest head coach in the NBA at the time he was hired, an assistant coach with the U.S. national team in Rio, and an associate coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He’s known as an excellent coach and a better person.
Unfortunately, his skills on the court did not match his prowess on the sidelines and in the locker room. He was chosen 24th overall by the Knicks, averaging just over three points per game for the team.
8. John Wallace
John Wallace was taken with the 18th pick in the 1996 Draft and is a classic case of a player who cannot meet his potential in New York. He averaged under five points per game for the team his first year and was lated traded to Toronto. His first year in Toronto he averaged 15 points per game, blossoming into the player the Knicks hoped he could be. The Knicks would then bring him back in 1999, only to see him put up lackluster numbers once again. It’s as if Wallace just didn’t want to play well for the Knicks, further proving the conspiracy that the government is against any kind of Knicks success.
7. Jerrod Mustaf
The Knicks drafted Maryland center Jerrod Mustaf with the 17th overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft. His time in New York was short, as is tradition with Knicks first round picks. He was with the team for a cup of coffee, only putting up four points per game. Mustaf would then take his talents overseas where the Turkish language and culture made more sense to him than the logic within the Knicks organization.
6. Walter McCarty
The Knicks took Walter McCarty in the 1996 Draft from the National Champion Kentucky Wildcats, just one pick after selecting John Wallace at 18. McCarty was supposed to add to the toughness of the mid-’90s Knicks, but only toughened up the seat cushions on the bench. Per usual, the Knicks got rid of a talent they’d just acquired in the draft, only to see him emerge as a solid role player for a rival team, the Boston Celtics.
5. Kenny Walker
The Knicks were on the rise in the late 1980s after winning the sweepstakes to one of the most highly touted prospects ever to enter the NBA, Patrick Ewing. The next year, they landed the fifth overall pick in hopes of securing another cornerstone to what was starting to look like a team on the rise. They chose Kenny Walker to pair with Ewing and help lead the team back to glory. Walker had just finished an impressive four year career at the University of Kentucky and was loved by scouts. He made an instant impact his first two seasons in New York, averaging over ten points per game. The Knicks switched him to small forward his third year, not to fix something that wasn’t broken, but to break something that showed any glimpse of promise and progress.
4. Mike Sweetney
Mike Sweetney is one of the names of the 2003 NBA Draft you don’t hear about, in a class that included LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade. The Knicks used the ninth pick to scoop up Sweetney, seemingly because the last highly touted big man out of Georgetown seemed to work out for them. But the Knicks realized pretty quickly that they’d whiffed after Sweetney only started one game his rookie season. In his best year, he only averaged eight points per game.
3. Channing Frye
In 2005, the Knicks were in the same position they are today, desperate for a point guard and floor general. So in a draft deep with guards, the Knicks made the logical move and drafted a center. They took Channing Frye with the eighth overall pick instead of opting to move up for Chris Paul, Deron Williams, or Raymond Felton. Frye was projected to be a consistent double-double producer, but ended up consistently sucking, averaging just under ten points and five rebounds per game. Why god? Why?
2. Frédéric Weis
More famous for being jumped over by Vince Carter in the 2000 Olympics, Weis went 15th in 1999, one slot above hometown hero (Queens, St. Johns) Ron Artest. Weis NEVER played in the NBA, while Artest – the obvious choice – became an excellent two-way player and one of the most destructive defenders ever.
1. Charles Dolan Picking His Son James to Run the Team
Talk about a pick you can never live down. However, it didn’t take place in the NBA Draft, so here is the real #1:
1. Jordan Hill
The Knicks wanted to outdo themselves when it came to Hill. They figured instead of trading a drafted talent after his first year, why not do it mid-season to make even less sense? The Knicks accomplished just that and dealt Hill only 24 games into the season, after choosing him eighth overall. What makes Hill’s selection so heartbreaking and the worst pick in Knicks history is that besides the best shooter in NBA history, Stephen Curry, being selected one pick earlier, the slew of talented players taken after Hill whom the Knicks were sure as hell not gonna select because why would they: DeMar DeRozan, Jrue Holiday, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, Darren Collison, Taj Gibson, DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Beverley, and Danny Green.