“He was good. Until he went to the Knicks.”
If you’re a Knicks fan, there’s a pretty good chance you either hear or say that phrase at least once every couple of weeks. The Knicks’ history—especially in the Isiah Thomas years and over the last two decades—is riddled with players who have come to the Big Apple as big stars with high expectations, only to fail miserably.
The Knicks once again made a splash with a big name when they traded for Derrick Rose Thursday and based on some of the responses on social media to the trade, Knicks fans think the 2011 MVP is washed and will soon join this ignominious list of The Definitive List of the Knicks' Most Washed-Up Acquisitions.
1. Tracy McGrady
2. Penny Hardaway
Long after Penny was one of the NBA’s brightest stars with the Magic, he was a role player with the Knicks. The team acquired him—and the back end of his seven-year, $86 million contract—in the infamous Stephon Marbury trade. He played in just 83 games for the Knicks in three-and-a-half years there.
3. Antonio McDyess
Antonio McDyess’ 18-game Knicks career came at a steep price: The team traded Marcus Camby, Mark Jackson, and the draft rights to Nene to get him in 2002.
4. Jerome James
5. Steve Francis
The Knicks traded Penny Hardaway and Trevor Ariza to the Magic to get Francis back in 2006 and he came with huge expectations. Francis and Stephon Marbury formed the highest-paid backcourt in the league, but Francis only played 68 games with the Knicks and was off the team by 2007.
6. Eddy Curry
In 2005, the Knicks acquired Curry, Antonio Davis, and a first-rounder that became Wilson Chandler for Jermaine Jackson, Mike Sweetney, Tim Thomas, two first-rounders, and two second-rounders.
The two first-rounders ended up becoming LaMarcus Aldridge and Joakim Noah. Curry played just 10 games with the Knicks after the 2007-08 season, as his weight ballooned to over 300 pounds.
7. Stephon Marbury
This was Thomas’ signature move with the Knicks. Marbury came into the team in a trade with the Suns in 2004, and along with Penny Hardaway, was acquired for a package that included Antonio McDyess, Maciej Lampe, Howard Eisley Charlie Ward, and two draft picks. He had five years and $91 million left on his contract at the time, which made him one of the highest-paid players in the NBA.
“Starbury’s” tenure with the Knicks came with dissappointing play on the court, a sexual harassment scandal off of it, and a grand total of zero Knicks playoff wins. His contract was eventually bought out in 2009 after he was banned from team premises.