Skip to main content

THAT TIME JOHN STARKS DELIVERED A PLAY simply known as 'The Dunk'

john starks (1)

Every older New York Knicks fan can recall where he or she was when John Starks earned a legend’s status at the Garden with a single slam dunk. Starks, coming off an appearance at the 1992 Slam Dunk contest, took matters in his own hands in the last seconds of game 2 in the conference finals against the Chicago Bulls.

After winning 60 games and the top seed in the eastern conference, the 1992-93 Knicks were still underdogs when they met the two-time defending champion Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals. Starks had been an underdog his entire career but found himself with the ball and a chance to take a commanding 2-0 series lead over the champs.

With 50 seconds left in Game 2, Starks dribbled on the right-wing as Patrick Ewing rushed over to set a screen intended to spring Starks into the middle of the court. But instead of using the screen, Starks hesitated, feinted middle, then exploded into the wide-open space along the baseline. Bulls forward Horace Grant rotated to meet him outside the paint but arrived a step late. Starks gathered off of two feet and rocketed into the rafters of Madison Square Garden.

Starks recollected how “The Dunk” on Michael Jordan unfolded in front of his eyes when he saw the opportunity for a clear drive to the basket after Ewing set a screen for him.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

“B.J. Armstrong jumped, and I saw that lane open up, and I was like ‘Oh, you gonna get it. “As soon as I saw Horace Grant, I thought, ‘You gotta go hard,’ and that’s exactly what I did.”

John Starks, via New York Post

He also admitted he didn’t realize who else was involved in the play until the following day.

“It wasn’t until the next day in the newspaper that I saw who was in the backside of that play. It was Michael Jordan. And I was like, ‘Gotcha!’ ”

John Starks, via New York Post

Knicks guard Starks shot a horrific 2-for-18 in that game, but as much as we were mad that the franchise blew another shot at a championship, we couldn’t blame Starks because we knew that he walked off the court with an empty clip. He was symbolic, despite being from Tulsa, Oklahoma, of the grit and hustle of a native New Yorker.

The Dunk,” as it came to be known, is still to this day one of the most memorable dunks in playoff history.

Kevin Love and Dwayne Wade confirm that LeBron James is the cheapest guy in the NBA

Kevin Love and Dwyane Wade confirmed that LeBron James is the cheapest guy in the NBA

Kevin Love and Dwyane Wade are a puzzled at how cheap LeBron James is.

We're entering the Luka Doncic-Jayson Tatum era, and Jimmy Butler and Steph Curry hope to postpone the invetable

We are entering the Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum era, and Steph Curry and Jimmy Butler hope to postpone the inevitable

The performances of Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum tell us they are going to be good for a very long time. Meanwhile, Steph Curry and Jimmy Butler are going to do everything to postpone the young stars' ascension to superstardom

anthony-edwards-chris-paul-min

Anthony Edwards bashes the Suns after Game 7: "They were talking so much sh*t. This is a disgrace!"

LeBron also warned the Suns to pipe down last year: "Stay humble.. You was at home a year and a half ago. Now you wanna pop off."

deandre-ayton-monty-williams-min

Monty Williams on Deandre Ayton playing only 17 minutes: "It's internal."

This sounds like the Suns as we know them are falling apart.

Damian Lillard reaveals one guy he'd like to team up with

Damian Lillard opens up about the player he dreams to team up with

Maybe there's a universe where Dame Lillard finally realizes that the Blazers won't go anywhere given their mediocrity over the last decade

Chris Paul after a Game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks

Phoenix Suns collapse in embarrassing 33-point blowout loss to the Dallas Mavericks

The Suns, who were the best team regular season team in the NBA (standing-wise), showed no fight, no heart, and no execution in Game 7

NBA reacts to a Mavs blowout win against the Suns

NBA Community reacts to the Dallas Mavericks blowout win against the Phoenix Suns

The NBA community was astonished by the Mavs blowout win against the Suns behind another great performance from Luka Doncic