Starting PF: Dave DeBusschere

  • Stats from 1969 to 1974:  
  • 16.0 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 3.1 APG, 0.9 STL 

Forward Dave DeBusschere was the epitome of the blue collar, defensive-minded Knicks of the 1970s, earning raucous chants of “DE-FENSE!” with his hard-nosed play and penchant for rebounding the basketball.  In fact, no “DE-FENSE!” chants are likely heard on a nightly basis today without the efforts of Red Holzman and DeBusschere’s Knicks of the ’70s, a time when “The Garden was Eden.”

DeBusschere was an eight-time All-Star (1966-1968, 1969-1974),  six times with the Knicks, a six-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection (1969-1974), all with the Knicks, and an All-NBA Second Team selection with New York in 1969.

Alongside Frazier and Monroe, DeBusschere was named to the 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996, had his number 22 retired with New York, and was named to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983, when, two years later, as assistant coach and director of basketball operation for the Knicks, DeBusschere would land the number one overall pick in center Patrick Ewing.

DeBusschere, with sheer tenacity on defense and all-around physicality on the court, would anchor a style of play head coach Pat Riley would later mimic with Ewing and forward Charles Oakley as his front court tandem that brought Holzman’s Knicks, at least defensively, back to life in the 1990s.

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