No. 4 Worst: Mike Sweetney
A big man from Georgetown—what’s not to like? Well, actually a whole lot. Sweetney was taken with the ninth overall pick in 2003 and his time in New York—and the NBA for that matter—was exceptionally short.
Sweetney struggled with depression during his rookie year and even admitted to a failed suicide attempt. He struggled with the loss of his father just prior to beginning his career with the Knicks and he never gained his footing in New York.
He struggled to maintain his weight and couldn’t stay on the floor for extended minutes because of it. Highly touted out of Georgetown, Sweetney averaged a double-double in college and looked to be destined for success in the NBA. Patrick Ewing was a not-too-distant memory for Knicks fans and while no one was expecting Sweetney to become the player Ewing was, fans expected much more than they got.
Sweetney was out of the NBA after four years and was yet another failed pick soon to be forgotten by the Madison Square Garden faithful.
No. 4 Best: Kristaps Porzingis
Sure, he’s young and this might be a little high for Kristaps Porzingis, but he’s already shown what he’s capable of. After making his first All-Star game, he’s shown the flashes of a superstar. But can he stay healthy? If the answer to that question is yes, then Porzingis has the potential to take this Knicks team back to the promised land.
After being booed on draft night, Porzingis took everyone by surprise his rookie season. He averaged 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. And he’s only getting better. This season, before his ACL injury ended his season, he was leading the NBA in blocks with 2.4 per game. He’s showing the ability to be a dominant force on the offensive and defensive end of the floor.
It isn’t too early to declare Porzingis as No. 4 on this list. He’s as talented as any Knicks player in the last two decades and after years upon years of missing out on that All-Star talent in the draft, they finally found their man.
It seems like a distant memory that fans were lamenting the fact that the team had just missed out on can’t miss prospects like D’Angelo Russell and Jahlil Okafor. Or even worse, they had passed on the stud point guard Emmanuel Mudiay. It’s funny how quickly things change.