Insane NBA Finals streak involving Knicks continues in 2022 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The New York Knicks’ season effectively ended on March 31 when they were eliminated from playoff contention. Still, a staggering streak for the organization is still alive thanks to the result of the Eastern Conference finals.
As one of the Basketball Association of America’s original franchises, the Knicks have been around for 75 years. Though they have eight NBA Finals appearances and two championships, they were somehow connected to each Finals from 1947 through 2021.
Reddit user [NYK] Qyntel Woods pointed out the phenomenon in 2019 after the Toronto Raptors advanced to that year’s Finals. Famous former Knick Jeremy Lin was on that Toronto roster, maintaining New York’s streak of a former, current or future player in every Finals.
Woods went through each Finals and pointed out one player in each series who was on the Knicks at one point in their career. The Knicks didn’t reach the Finals during their first four seasons, but Philadelphia Warrior Ralph Kaplowitz (1947), Baltimore Bullet Connie Simmons (1949), Washington Capitol Sonny Hertzberg (1950) and Minneapolis Laker Slater Martin (1951) kicked off the streak by playing in New York at some point in their BAA/NBA careers.
The streak kept going after Woods’ post first went up. Here’s a look at the players that were pointed out in the post from each year since 2010, along with players from the 2020 and 2021 Finals:
2010: Nate Robinson, Boston Celtics
2011: Tyson Chandler, Dallas Mavericks
2012: Eddy Curry, Miami Heat
2013: Tracy McGrady, San Antonio Spurs
2014: Toney Douglas, Miami Heat
2015: David Lee, Golden State Warriors
2016: Channing Frye, Cleveland Cavaliers
2017: Matt Barnes, Golden State Warriors
2018: J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers
2019: Jeremy Lin, Toronto Raptors
2020: J.R. Smith, Los Angeles Lakers
2021: Bobby Portis, Milwaukee Bucks
The streak got put in danger heading into the 2022 conference finals. Portis (Bucks), Elfrid Payton (Phoenix Suns) and DeAndre Jordan (Philadelphia 76ers) were among the former Knicks knocked out in the second round, leaving the hopes of the streak to the Mavericks and Celtics.
Dallas had three guards who previously played for the Knicks: Reggie Bullock, Frank Ntilikina and Trey Burke. Meanwhile, center Luke Kornet was Boston’s only player who had previously played in New York.
The Mavericks and Celtics advanced to the conference finals with second-round, Game 7 wins. The Mavs, however, fell short of the Finals after falling to the Warriors in a gentleman’s sweep. The Celtics were then on the verge of giving away a 3-2 series lead to the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals, but the team won Game 7 in Miami on Sunday to send yet another former Knick to the Finals.
Though the Knicks and Celtics are longtime adversaries, New York can thank Boston for extending its improbable Finals streak another year.
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