“I didn’t know what to expect when they signed me (in 2009), and I’m glad to be back, but I think this is it. I’m the oldest player (on the Spurs) now, and I feel like it. I’m not trying to see any more years. I’m pretty sure this is it. My body just can’t take it. I’m not Juwan Howard. I can’t believe he’s still out there, even though he is in great shape.” — Antonio McDyess
On draft day in June 2002, Scott Layden was serenaded with boos from Knicks fans for using the seventh pick to grab Nene Hilario in what later proved to be a very weak draft. With the hope of rebuilding the team, Layden used the pick along with Mark Jackson and Marcus Camby to acquire one of the best power forwards in the game at the time, Antonio McDyess. Knicks fans at the Garden did not care much for that transaction either, nor the subsequent drafting of guard Frank Williams. At the time, Layden thought McDyess made the team younger and better. It sounded like a decent trade for a star who could score and required a double team from defenders. Layden had hoped to avoid the lottery again the next year, when LeBron was expected to come out. As luck would have it, during the 2002-2003 preseason McDyess re-injured his knee, suffering a fractured knee cap that basically ended his Knicks career. After playing 18 games and averaging 8 points for the Knicks, McDyess was involved in the trade that brought New York Stephon Marbury and Anfernee Hardaway.
Eventually, McDyess would regain enough form to become a starter and valuable rotation man for the Detroit Pistons and the San Antonio Spurs, his current team. He played in ninety playoff games combined for those two teams. He’s had a good career but many Knicks fans will remember his time as a Knick as the bridge from one horrible era of management to another.
How do you remember McDyess?