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Knicks Trade Guerin to St. Louis

Oct. 20, 1963 - The New York Knicks are becoming a revolving door operation. Already beaten twice in two starts this season, they traded Richie Guerin (pictured #9) to the St. Louis Hawks today for “substantial” cash and a high draft choice and and acquired Len Chappell from the Philadelphia 76ers for an unnanounced bundle of cash. Coach Eddie Donovan said: “Chappell’s addition will give us more rebounding strength and enable me to play Tom Gola at guard, where we can benefit from his ball-handling, playmaking, and defensive ability.” Guerin, the highest scorer in Knick history and the mainspring of their offense in recent years, went to St. Louis for cash and next spring’s No. 2 draft choice. Since the Hawks figure to finish above the Knicks, this means the Knicks will be getting a third choice among the top 15 or so college seniors now active — their own first and second round choices, and St. Louis’s second. “It’s a little tough personally right now,” said Guerin today. “My wife is expecting, and she lost her mother only recently, so I’m not glad about moving away from home at this time. Otherwise, I’d be delighted. A couple of years ago, I might have felt like crying at leaving the Knicks. Now, I’ve seen all the older players traded off, and I’ve come to understand it as part of our business. No hard feelings. Otherwise, I’m looking forward to playing with the Hawks.” Guerin, a New Yorker, came out of Iona College in 1954 but spent two years in the Marine Corps before joining the Knicks. He has scored as many as 57 points in one game, and has averaged more than 20 a game in recent seasons. “I regard the securing of Guerin as a definite plus,” said Hawks’ coach Harry Gallatin. “I was a teammate of Richie with the Knicks in 1956-57, and I’ve thought much of him as a player and a man ever since. We needed a tall backliner with the ability to deal with a 6-4 Jerry West or a 6-5 Oscar Robertson. Len Wilkens, who is just 6-1, has been wearing himself out trying to guard taller stars. Now we can give him easier defensive assignments and let him concentrate on offense.” Guerin is 6-4.


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