New York Knicks Are the Best Team in Basketball: This Day in Sports History

Brian Giuffra
Walt "Clyde" Frazier.
Walt "Clyde" Frazier. / Focus On Sport/Getty Images

It was a time of upheaval in New York City, a time when disco, cocaine, corruption and crime ran rampant around its streets, and it was also a time when the New York Knicks were actually the kings of basketball. I know those statements seem crazy now, but it's all true. On this day in 1973, New York looked nothing like it does today, especially the basketball team.

Led by Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Dave DeBusschere, Bill Bradley, Willis Reed, Earl "The Pearl" Monroe and, yes, Phil Jackson, the Knicks dominated the Lakers in the NBA Finals, winning the series 4-1 to claim their second (and most recent) championship.

Similar to the city in which they played, things weren't all honky dory for that Knicks team. They had lost in the Finals the year before. Frazier and Reed weren't the chummiest of teammates. Many of their players were on their last legs. And yet, they were able to overcome it all to beat a Lakers team that featured Wilt Chamberlin, Jerry West and Pat Riley.

Looking back at that series, two of the players turned out to be among the best coaches of all time (Jackson, Riley), one became one of the best executives (Jerry West), one became a U.S. senator (Bill Bradley) and one claimed to have had sex with 20,000 women (Chamberlin). My, oh my, how things have changed in New York.