Thursday, August 5th, 2010 at 10:40 am  |  58 responses

For Old Time’s Sake: John Starks

If ya’ll don’t know yet, I’m a Knicks fan. Yeah, I posted a Reggie video but I got love for the game and respect for what he did as a player no matter how much pain he caused my elementary school attending, starter jacket-wearing a$$. Although I have yet to experience the joy of my team winning an NBA Championship, John Starks provided some very memorable moments for all of us. Coming from a humble background, it was great to see Starks rise to All Star status and cement himself as one of the best Shooting Guards of the Mid 90s. I had a poster of this dunk on my ceiling for at least 10 years and it’s still one of my favorite moments in NBA history. Yes, that Rockets series finale was brutal but still got nothin but love for #3.


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  • pache

    yess best for old time sake yet. starks is the real deal

  • Stark2

    Dude was my favorite Knick and I still say the best in-game dunk in the playoffs. It gets double points for being so late in the game and making Jordan look like a putz.

  • http://slamonline.com GotHandles?


  • http://www.waterwalkinwear.com WaterWalkinWarrior

    I remember 2 Starks moments. The best and the worst. “The Dunk” and the night he went “clank, clank, clank, clank, clank, clank, clank, clank, clank, clank…(you get the picture)”. I kept yelling at him to pass it to Hubert Davis (I think that was his name.) He did have one of the best dunks of all time though.

  • tavoris

    If people thought Reggie was overrated yesterday, then I’m interested to see what they think of Starks.


    That was amazing. Never gets old.

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    Oh yes. Quality. Starks and Ewing were the team I ran with on NBA Jam. I could stomp everyone…except Shawn Kemp.

  • kh

    ^^^cosign tavoris

  • Martey

    @at warrior. Yep it was Hubert Davis.One of my favorite players of all time for his heart. Man he took it to the best when he wasn’t considered one of the best and rose to the occasion time and time again. I remember that series in Indiana against Reggie where he just caught fire and hi-fived Spike at the end. Plus the Chicago wars.. Man the Knicks need to follow this blueprint to get back to respect and fear in the league. No need for megastars, just gritty players and defense. Starks-Ewing-Oakley-Mason…those were the days in New York.

  • http://www.twitter.com/gerardhimself Gerard Himself

    imagine being in that crowd after the dunk. Electrifying

  • newzealanderinlondon

    a stark reminder

  • http://slamonline.com Matt Lawyue


  • hammer

    Wow! I remember that play like it happened yesterday. I was 13 when I saw that dunk live. And I was pissed! Bulls were and still my team and I dispised the knicks. My dad was rooting 4 the knicks. He hated my bulls. Oh I hated starks even more after that dunk. But time passes and I have 2 say that is 1 of the best in game dunks I have ever seen. Gotta luv the ol skool!

  • hammer

    I’m sorry stark2. Have 2 disagree w/u and say that the best in game playoff dunk was pip on ewing. Now that was nasty! The starks dunk in my mind is #2 followed by kj on the dream @ #3

  • The D Train

    Starks made some clutch shots and talked sh1t to even MJ. He’s a FIRST BALLOT HOF’ER! PERIOD! And don’t try to debate me using logic, stats or data, because I will drown you out with my Stephen A Smith voice. PERIOD!!!

  • http://slamonline.com Spaceship Jay

    I think Starks would murder in today’s nba, on both sides of the floor. MUR-DER.

  • unrel

    i loved starks game.. especially on d.. those John Starks steals.. when he was just dive.. dude played hard and wasn’t afraid of anyone.. but i wouldn’t call him a first ballot HOF’er.. that’s stretchin it a bit..

  • larrylegend

    Starks makes Artest look soft! all heart, man, all heart! remindes me a little bit of ml carr, earning every minute on the floor!

  • permaculture james

    Starks was a box of chocolates — you never knew what you would get. That was great (in its way… or complete heartbreak) on a team that kept scores low and could be predictable with Ewing backing down in the paint and doing his turnaround fadeaway. I still can’t decide if I hate or love his Miller head butt: like an angry dog straining against the leash, a fire that NYCers could identify with.

  • hammer

    I have a feelin that if u appreciate players w/heart,determination, toughness and would sacrifice anything and everything 4 his teammates there won’t b a lot of haters here or anywhere on starks. I used 2 hate starks but as time passed and I grew older I have 2 say starks is 1 of my favorite players of all time. I miss players like starks and 4 that matter 90′s nba basketball. That competitivness that was on display during that era is absent n 2days nba. I remember 1 time when starks was about 2 b traded 2 chicago @ the end of his knicks career. And he absolutely refused 2 go there. He instead got traded 2 the jazz which he did accept. As a bulls fan I didn’t hate him 4 that. In fact I admired and respected him even more 4 that. He refused 2 play 4 the enemy that denied him the ring that he coveted. Much props!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Starks was mad inconsistent. Murder is a strong word.

  • The Philosopher

    Agree with hammer on many points.

  • The Philosopher

    To this day I believe Pat Riley choked on that Finals Finale.
    Starks as well, but more on Riley. Riley could have prevented that.

  • MBE18

    He was fun to watch

  • JTaylor21

    ANOTHER reason MJ is not the GOAT, I’m just playing. All Joking aside, there isn’t and never will be a G.O.A.T.

  • RM

    I gave away my starks knicks jersey (white/blue/orange) 10 years ago (if not more) to my cousin in Serbia.
    Yesterday he visited me and gave it back (i begged for it)..

    Damn im happy!

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com CHI-TOWN SAID IT..

    ppl who say there isnt a GOAT sound stupid to me. so there isnt a greatest all time at anything if thats the case.

  • total scrotal implosion

    Knicks fans, a message from a spurs fan: haw haw(nelson muntz)

  • marcus

    I’ve seen this clip thousands of times. But watching it today, I never noticed how Ewing pushed BJ Armstrong down with two hands in the back!!! That was so blatant & the refs missed it, lol

  • http://slamonline.com JL

    yah marcus. that was a huge push. but he already passed him with the pick though. there was no denying starks on that play.

  • http://slamonline.com Spaceship Jay

    @Allenp; I used the term “murder” only because as inconsistent as he was, the only thing he may have been consistent in was heart. I’ve seen many-a-guard take plays (if not games) off simply because they weren’t the first option that night. I feel like Starks would eat that type of attitude with a cherry on top.

  • mj23

    What made that dunk special is he switched to his left hand. it was a spur of the moment move by Starks.

  • Brian

    Yes Hammer, the 90′s NBA on NBC can’t be topped. It is impossible to overstate what a bad job ABC does these days.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Players in every era have taken plays off. You’re thinking of Starks in the playoffs going at the Bulls and Pacers.
    Do you remember him in March playing the Warriors? I don’t, so I can’t say he would never take plays off.
    He competed hard. But he was undersized, his handle was a little shaky, and his jumper, while wet, could desert him.
    I can’t see him dominating.

  • Scottie Pimpin’

    that angle doesnt do this dunk justice. even i was like whoa.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    @mj23: I agree, the switch to the left hand makes this dunk all the more special.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    one of the most amazing dunks of all time by hard playing guy who for the most part gave his all.. he wouldnt dominate in todays game tho

  • http://thephotoriot.com davidR

    checkout ewing’s screen on poor bj armstrong

  • Robb

    I remember watching that play live. I couldn’t believe it. And MJ is the G.O.A.T.

  • The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    2 me the GOAT debate is pointless.

  • The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    2 me the GOAT debate is pointless cuz it’s always the contemporary who has the edge. Most of my young fellas who started following the nba in the years 2k are convinced that Mr Bean is better than Jordan. When 2 me comparing KB 2 MJ is like enjoying Nikki Minaj new single over Missy Elliot “all in my drill”, like comparing Biggie and Gorilla Black (Shyne) or saying that Dru Hill was better than Jodeci… Pointless!

  • O

    Starks was my favorite Knick for a while. I copped his rookie card for $3 (prolly got jipped), and even copped his sneakers. He was alll heart and got down and dirty. Sure he missed every shot in game 7, but still couldn’t hate him for it. I’d trade half of the current Knicks team to have him in his prime again.

  • O

    Sidenote: Jodeci was waaaaaay better than Dru Hill.

  • The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    @ O: Yes, that’s just my point, Jodeci=MJ, KB=Dru Hill, but most of those 2 whom Dru Hill is their contemporary music will tell u that they are better when 2 me there’s no comparison. It’s a generation thing. Like in soccer now it’s Zidane>Maradonna>Pele.

  • ClutchPerformer

    Zidane>pele? In what world? Let alone mardonna >pele, the hand of god would like to speak with you
    Mj is goat buff said, Saying there’s no goat is ignorant
    Youngin who say kob > mj know nothing beyond their era and uninformed
    StArks was a beast in the playoffs, he helped the Knicks b a threat vs bulls but we know got the last laugh on the play

  • JTaylor21

    @Fresh price, please don’t tell me that you really believe that zidane is even remotely close to being as good as Pele and Maradonna. Them two guys are like national treasures to the futbol world even guys like Cruyff, Zico (the White Pele), Ronaldo, and Garrincha would eat zidane for breafast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and midnight snack. Don’t even get me started on the highly overrated beckham and christano. See I cherish/love basketball but futbol is my first true love.



    If EWING was Frank White STARKS has got to be jimmy jump, left handed bangers all day and he got into it with everyone MJ, Rodman, Reggie it didn’t matter

    all heart all hustle all love from safeway to the mecca he was a bad mfer

    94 Knicks basketbrawl never 4get…

    at guard at 6-3 from OKLAHOMA STATE

  • tavoris

    John Starks in todays league = JR Smith. That is all.

  • The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    @JT and all, what I was trying 2 say is most poeple tend 2 say that their contemporary is the best (and I don’t agree with that) and that is why I’m not in the GOAT debate. I only judge what I’ve seen. I’ve been watching international soccer since the WC 1986 in Mexico and of that area, 2 me El pipe de oro is the best by far. I’ve been following the nba assidiously since the Olympics in Barcelona (1992) and 2 me MJ is the best of that area. Of course, I’ve read about Pele, Cruyff, Bekenbaur, Eusebio, Meazza… Wilt, West, Big O, Russel, Baylor and I’ve seen their highlights, but I did not have the opportunity 2 watch them play in a mid january regular season game, so I can’t really compare… That’s just my opinion. Now if 2 some of u saying that makes me stupid, thank u n go in peace.

  • JTaylor21

    @tavoris, JR Smith in my opinion is a better player than starks. Dude’s a better shooter, better athlete and could avg. 23-25 ppg if he played for another team and started.

  • oms23

    I was a bulls fan all the way but starks dunk on Jordan was crazy he just got higher and higher and left handed too him playing for Utah made him look lik just another player

  • oms23

    @ jtaylor yeah Jr was more athletic but starks had better ball I.q

  • tavoris

    @JTaylor – speaking more of his streakiness and unreliability. Almost all players in todays NBA are better athletes. Starks was a better defender by a country mile, a better passer, and a better character guy. NEITHER of them could be counted on to make the big shot.

    At any rate, JR gets over 13 shots a game, and only averages 15 points, why? because he has a poor shooting percentage, doesn’t draw fouls, and can’t hit free throws. He’s capable of some incredible things offensively, but he’s NOT gonna get you 25 a game in the NBA (on any team) consistently.

  • The Philosopher

    Starks was more clutch than J.R. Smith.

  • hammer

    Have 2 agree w/jtaylor. So many players can b mentioned b4 u get 2 zidane. Pele,maradona,beckenbauer,muller,ronaldo(not overerrated cristiano ronaldo)zico,klinsmann,garrincha,hugo sanchez,romario,baggio. U could even put arguments n 4 batistuta,thierry henry,dennis bergkam and patrick kluivert and then zidane can b mentioned.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Tavoris, what’s strange is that Smith used to shoot 80 percent from the free throw line. To be honest, dude’s game has probably regressed in a lot of ways in the past few years in Denver.

  • tavoris

    Allenp-I agree. If he wasn’t a knucklehead, then he’d be the starting 2 in New Orleans, and CP3 would be happy.


    You can’t compare players from that era to this era. Game was so much more physical and defensive-minded back then as opposed to what it is now. Kobe’s legacy would be completely different if he had to deal with bad boys Pistons and the 94 Knicks and other rough-house teams of that caliber.