The 13 Knicks Rebuilds Since their Last Title in 1973

Since the NY Knicks last won a title in 1973 it seems like they’ve had 35 rebuilds over the last 45 years. It’s actually been over a dozen — of all kinds:

  • Rebuilds based on free agents,
  • Rebuilds based on youth and the draft,
  • Rebuilds built on sign-and-trades and the draft,
  • Rebuilds based on new GM’s and regime changes, new coaches, etc.

The current one under Scott Perry is based on youth and the draft — so far — and perhaps a sprinkling of an elite free agent coming. Over the next 13 days, we’ll take a look at the Knick rebuilds since 1973.

1. The Bob  McAdoo Rebuild

One of the best rebuilds on paper was the Bob McAdoo rebuild of 1975-77. The 1st rebuild.

Orchestrated by:

  • Knicks GM Eddie Donovan.



  • After a half season of the McAdoo trade not propelling the Knicks (they finished 40-42 in 1976-77) the Knicks signed Jim Cleamons and gave Cleveland Walt Frazier as compensation. (Word at time was Frazier had lost a step defensively and GM (and friend) Willis Reed wanted to trade him before he lost value.)
  • On paper one of the best Knick teams ever, the 1977-78 Knicks won 43 games — Haywood was injured and missed most of the season. The Knicks blew past Cleveland in the 1st round. Then Philly double-teamed McAdoo and swept the Knicks in 4 in the 2nd round.

The end:

  • The Knicks finally had McAdoo and Haywood playing together in 1978-79, but started badly, and gave up on the McAdoo/Spencer Haywood team — trading Haywood in January and McAdoo in February.
  • Knicks were deemed to have offensive individual players that didn’t jive, and not enough defense. It was on to rebuild #2..

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