Former New York Knicks player Paul Westphal enters the Hall of Fame

Paul Westphal, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Paul Westphal, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks have had many great NBA players wear the famous orange and blue jerseys over their long, storied history. Paul Westphal becomes the latest brief member of the team to enter the hall of fame.

The career of Paul Westphal was filled with plenty of memorable moments, especially during his time with the Phoenix Suns. The latest member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame spent two seasons with the New York Knicks from 1981-83 adding another former Knickerbocker to the list of all-time great players.

The Knicks acquired Westphal after an injury-plagued season with the Seattle Supersonics in 1981 in hopes that he would return to his old form in New York. As a member of the Knicks Westphal averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 assists per game while starting as the team’s shooting guard in 71 of his 98 played games. Westphal helped the Knicks make the playoffs in 1983 earning him NBA Comeback Player of the Year honors as a valued role player.

Westphal is known for being a five-time All-Star with the Suns and being a member of the 1974 NBA champion Boston Celtics. During his five all-star selections, he averaged over 20 points per game each season as one of the better all-around guards in the league. Westphal was able to play either guard position for most of his career consistently compiling over five assists per game, helping to make teammates better around him.

After his time with the Knicks ended, Westphal would return to Phoenix and retire as a player eventually becoming the head coach. The Suns almost made it to the top of the mountain in 1993 led by star players Charles Barkley and Kevin Johnson falling short to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in six games. Westphal would make another coaching stop with the Sacramento Kings and a few assistant roles with the Dallas Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets most recently in 2016.

Westphal joins an impressive Knicks alumni group that has made their way through Madison Square Garden briefly but still is forever affiliated with the franchise. Tracy McGrady, Jason Kidd, and Dikembe Mutumbo are just a few names that Westphal will also be associated with in regards to his Knicks tenure and eventually getting the call for enshrinement.

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The diehard Knicks fan will probably be supportive during the ceremony, especially since the motto for the franchise has always been “Once A Knick, Always A Knick.”