You won’t forget where you were and what you were doing when you heard the tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s passing, which took place a year ago Tuesday. It was a tragic moment for the entire sports world when we learned Kobe, his daughter Gianna and seven other lives were lost in a helicopter accident. It felt like Madison Square Garden was empty that night when the Knicks took on the Nets. You could hear a pin drop in that arena. Sadness was in the air.
To honor the one-year anniversary of the passing of an NBA legend and discuss the current Knicks, we bring you a new episode of the “Big Apple Buckets” podcast with Sal Licata and Jerome “The Junk Yard Dog” Williams, featuring an interview with Knicks great John Starks.
Big Apple Buckets Opening with Sal & The Junk Yard Dog:
- Remembering the passing of Kobe Bryant one year later. JYD was 10 miles away from the crash. Fog in the air that morning. Memories playing Kobe at Staples Center. Stole ball from Kobe once. Kobe cherished life and being a dad. Asked him to play in Big 3, but Kobe wanted to focus on being there for his kids. I was at MSG for Knicks-Nets that night. You could hear a pin drop at the game. It didn’t even feel right. Don’t remember anything from the game. Tragic day.
- Immanuel Quickley with a career game in Portland. Should Quickley be starting?
- What’s going on with Obi Toppin? Julius Randle playing so well and plays same position as Toppin. Will take time for him to develop.
- Upcoming schedule and Knicks staying in the playoff race.
John Starks Interview:
Knicks guard (1990-1998), Knicks Alumni Relations, The John Starks Foundation, Stamford Cigar Lounge
- Watching the current Knicks, joyful seeing them play hard defense.
- Quickley acts like a 15-year veteran. Confidence and command out there.
- Julius Randle is a man amongst boys out there. Knicks attacking the rack instead of settling for threes like we see around the NBA a lot today.
- Taking us through “The Dunk” against Michael Jordan and the Bulls.
- Watching “The Last Dance” and how it captured the essence of the 1990’s NBA. It humanized Jordan and showed what drove him as a player.
- Remembering Kobe and facing him many times. He copied his game after MJ and was the closest thing to him. Doing a clinic in China and seeing how loved there he was. Appreciated him more later in his career.
- Guarding Kobe vs. guarding Jordan. Kobe was the bigger trash talker.
- Hakeem Olajuwon blocking the shot in Game 6. Thinks about it all the time and if his shot goes in, how it changes Knicks franchise history.
- Patrick Ewing injuring him in 1990 in practice and thinking about if he would end up sticking with the Knicks if that didn’t happen. Jeff Van Gundy said they would keep him regardless (after the fact).
- A ’90s Knicks memory that stands out the most. The fight with the Heat in 1996 and how he felt they would have went to the NBA Finals if they had finished off the Heat after being up 3-1.
- Everything he’s doing now: Knicks Alumni Relations, Stamford Cigar Lounge, fitness body board, paint edger. Man of many jobs.
Marc Berman Interview:
NY Post longtime Knicks beat writer
- Remembering the life of Harthorne Wingo and what he meant to that championship Knicks team in 1973.
- Should Quickley keep coming off the bench?
- Toppin could have used Summer League. He looks lost sometimes. Needs to improve on three-point shot.
- Memories covering Kobe. Aftermath and outpouring of love and tributes from current players after he passed was amazing.
Catch up on all episodes of “Big Apple Buckets,” a New York Knicks podcast, by subscribing to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes of the show drop Tuesday afternoons.