top of page

Knicks Destroyed at Garden, 2,000 Frustrated Fans Hurl Abuse at Players, Reporters

Dec. 31, 1963 - One of New York City’s more intimate New Year’s Eve parties was held at Madison Square Garden tonight, where the New York Knicks fell flat on their collective face in losing to the San Francisco Warriors, 101-79. Because there were only about 2,000 spectators in the 18,000-seat Garden, individual fan reactions were clearly audible through the arena. It was so intimate, in fact, that some fans got tired of yelling good-natured abuse at the athletes and coach and started directing remarks at the exposed sportswriters. “I keep reading in the papers that [Knick forward] Art Heyman is improving!” one mezzanine resident kept shouting. “Show me where he’s improving!” The attitude was understandable, even though the singling out of Heyman was unjust. From top to bottom, this was one of the worst Knick performances of yet another dismal season. Think of any basketball sin — the Knicks committed it. In the closing seconds of the first half, they had to call a time-out to get the ball inbounds because the one possible receiver was covered. In the last minute of the game, trailing by 22 points, they committed a 24-second violation. The number of passes they threw away or had intercepted was astronomical. Their shooting was worse than the statistics showed (32 out of 98 for 33%) because they missed so many lay-ups and rebounds. New York’s scoring was evenly distributed, in that only three men reached double figures. “Bums! Bums! Villanova could beat you!” yelled one gallery commentator. Wilt Chamberlain of San Francisco netted a game-high 42 points and pulled in 27 rebounds. It was New Year’s Eve all right, but the Knicks — firmly ensconced in the Eastern Division cellar, 19½ games behind Boston — had nothing to celebrate. Neither did their fans.


bottom of page