Rick Pitino Rumors
The 1988-89 Knicks, under coach Rick Pitino, attempted 1,147 3-pointers, up by more than 400 from the previous league high, and made 386, to shatter the former 271 standard. Saturday, as part of the Knicks’ 70th anniversary season, “The Bomb Squad” of Mark Jackson, Johnny Newman, Rod Strickland, Trent Tucker and Gerald Wilkins staged a Garden reunion and were honored in a ceremony. The group sat for an interview session before individual pictures as well as the club’s iconic Bomb Squad promo poster. “Congratulations, Bombinos. It was great watching all those 3-point shots,” Pitino said in a taped greeting.
“Rick turned me into a 3-point shooter. It was the last year I was a 3-point shooter,” Strickland said, laughing. “Rick told me, ‘I will never take you out of the game for shooting, but if you don’t take the next shot that Mark Jackson passes you the ball, you will be sitting beside me,’ ” Tucker said.
“I didn’t [do anything wrong in Boston] and I really wanted that to work out,” he said. “I wanted that Boston thing to work out. You’re the third pick in the  draft and you come and you think you’re going to be there for a long time, and most guys that get picked that high are. It didn’t work out and it was tough. “But the one thing that I will say is when I did get traded and I didn’t know any different at the time, at least when Rick came to be, he was honest with me. He told me, ‘Chaunce, look, I still think you’re going to be a great player in the league. There’s a lot of pressure on me to make the playoffs and I need a veteran point guard. I’ve really always been a big fan of Kenny Anderson.’ ”
Garfinkel, who was referred to as “Garf” by friends, relished kibitzing about coaching and all things round ball with a bravado born a block off of Broadway. He often held court with noted raconteurs like Hubie Brown and Rick Pitino past 4 a.m. at the Carnegie Deli, a short walk from his midtown apartment on West 55th St. He shuffled his way in and out of high school games with an ambling gait. Friends remembered a shtick that only Garfinkel, bespectacled with thick-frame glasses, could employ as he introduced clinicians at a no-frills camp that focused on defense and fundamentals. It came to be known for a format that matched stationmasters and top prospects.