No. 3 Worst: Renaldo Balkman/Mardy Collins
This pair was just too
good bad to separate. Isiah Thomas worked his magic in the latter half of the first round to draft Balkman with the 20th pick and Collins with the 29th pick. During his first two seasons in New York, Balkman averaged 4.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Balkman would return to the Knicks to end his career but his return was only a prelude to his exit from the NBA.
In four total seasons with the Knicks, Balkman never showed the same tenacity that he exuded during his NIT Championship run with South Carolina. Isiah Thomas’ biggest issue was that he saw a winner in Balkman, but he forgot that the NIT means absolutely nothing.
Collins wasn’t much better than his counterpart. He only played two seasons and a few games in New York as he was shipped off to the Clippers after playing in nine games during the 2008-09 season. He averaged a measly 3.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game during his stint with the Knickerbockers.
The real issue with these two was that Balkman was taken the pick before the Celtics snagged Rajon Rondo out of Kentucky. A few picks later, Kyle Lowry went to Memphis.
And Collins was Isiah’s only chance at salvaging the 2006 NBA Draft. But rather than take a guy like Paul Millsap, Daniel Gibson, P.J. Tucker, or for God’s sakes even Steve Novak, Thomas decided to take Mardy Freaking Collins.
No. 3 Best: Walt 'Clyde' Frazier
You may know Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier as the broadcaster with the extensive vocabulary when you tune into the Knicks game on MSG. But the man was dishing and swishing long before he was timing his rhyming from the analyst chair.
After being taken with the fifth pick in 1967, Clyde lived up to all the expectations and then some. The six-time All-Star brought two championships to New York in what was the golden age of the New York Knicks. The Hall of Famer had the individual accomplishments in addition to playing on winning basketball teams year in and year out.
He averaged 193 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game in New York. He still leads the franchise in assists with 4791 in his career with the Knickerbockers. Over 50 years later, his track record speaks for itself.
A legend on the court, a friendly voice on the broadcast, and most of all, a fashion icon. We don’t deserve Clyde.