Knicks’ latest trade continues crazy ‘curse’ for team
Over the last two-plus decades, the New York Knicks have been through Van Gundy, Sprewell, Starbury, Isiah, Linsanity, Me7o, Bing Bong, and a whole lot more. Yet the team is still hounded by one particular “curse” that has managed to outlast them all.
The New York Knicks traded away former first-round pick Kevin Knox to the Atlanta Hawks this week as part of their deal for Cam Reddish. Fred Katz of The Athletic pointed out that the trade continued an unbelievable “curse” for the Knicks known as “The Charlie Ward Curse.” Since Charlie Ward, who was drafted by the Knicks back in 1994, no Knicks first-round pick has managed to secure a second contract from the team.
Here is the full list of Knicks’ first-rounders after Ward and before Knox (buckle up): John Wallace, Walter McCarty, Dontae’ Jones, John Thomas, Frederic Weis, Donnell Harvey, Nene Hilario, Michael Sweetney, Channing Frye, David Lee, Renaldo Balkman, Mardy Collins, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Jordan Hill, Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr., Kristaps Porzingis, and Frank Ntilikina.
All of those players were traded or otherwise let go before they could land a second contract with the team.
Some on Twitter pointed out that Lee technically got a new one-year deal from the Knicks in 2009. But it was not a multi-year contract and is generally not seen as having broken “The Charlie Ward Curse.”
The Knicks do have a few more chances to finally break the persistent curse in the coming years. RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, and Immanuel Quickley, all of whom were first-round draft picks following Knox, offer plenty of promise for second contracts with the Knicks. But you never know if a blockbuster trade involving those guys will come along in between now and then.
For the time being, “The Charlie Ward Curse” remains the most powerful curse in basketball other than this even more unstoppable curse.
Photo: Jan 4, 2022; New York, New York, USA; Executive Chairman and CEO of Madison Square Garden, James Dolan, walks off the court after the New York Knicks defeated the Indiana Pacers 104-94 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports