The Zander Hollander Complete Handbook of the 1988-89 Knicks – 2 of 5

Analysis of Zander’s Knicks Prediction

As seen below, Pitino had made the Knicks winners in the 2nd half of the season, and Zander was predicting an over .500 season. The Knicks did much better than Zander predicted — they won 52 games.

Analysis of Zander’s Analysis of Jackson

As Mark Jackson was in process of winning Rookie of the Year with stellar play, Magic Johnson at one point in the season said that the Knicks now had a leader who could lead them and Ewing to be championship contenders. This was very high praise and a monumental quote to me, the avid Knicks fan. Zander captured this — quoting Magic in the Mark Jackson bio, “‘What I see in him, is myself’, praised Magic Johnson.”

On Ewing and Oakley

Note the first few sentences of Patrick Ewing’s bio below — proof that Ewing didn’t become a monster until his 3rd season in the league, when Mark Jackson helped him become that monster. Before Pitino and Jackson, the Knicks management had tried making Ewing a power forward, and there were rumors that they were thinking of trading him and keeping Bill Cartwright, who was considered a great post up center that Ewing — wasn’t. But Mark Jackson came in and said words to the effect of “Ewing is the best big man in the game, and my role as point guard is to get him the ball”. This was unheard of and ballsy at the time. Ewing the best big man? Not at that time. But Jackson kept getting him the ball and Ewing became all that he could be.

The Knicks had traded for Charles Oakley to pair him with Ewing, creating one of the great front-court tandems of all time. “Hands as big as Nebraska” — pure Zander Hollander.

Reprint provided under Fair Use doctrine of Copyright law.
Reprint provided under Fair Use doctrine of Copyright law.

For the rest of Oakley’s bio, click to the Next page.

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