The Knicks held a moment of silence Wednesday night to honor Hall of Famer Dick McGuire, who died earlier in the day at age 84. And silence is what there will be more of at Madison Square Garden without him.
"You could sit with him and talk about the team, what he thought about the team and what he thought we needed," Knicks president Donnie Walsh said. "I'm going to miss that."
The Knicks and the NBA lost a legend when McGuire died Wednesday morning at Huntington Hospital in Long Island, N.Y. Incredibly, he was with the Knicks as a player, head coach, assistant coach, scout, and most recently in his role as consultant. He was a five-time All-Star, led the Knicks to three straight NBA Finals (1951-53), and remains third in franchise history with 2,950 assists.
His No. 15 jersey, retired in 1992, was to have the spotlight shone on it during Wednesday night's game against the Wizards. McGuire was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993, but personal accolades and ego were strangers to him. Even as age advanced on him, McGuire used to ride the Long Island Railroad to the Garden, walk into the building carrying a simple duffle bag with handwritten scouting notes, and talk basketball with anyone who would listen. Those who knew what was good for them did.
"He knew what it took to play in this league, and he knew what it took to win in this league," Walsh said. "... He was an everyday guy who loved living on Long Island, loved his family, and didn't take it too seriously."
His brother, legendary coach Al McGuire, died in 2001. They are the only two brothers enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Dick McGuire is survived by his wife Teri, four children, and seven grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending.