By Daniel Friedman
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With Isiah Thomas going back to work at MSG with the Liberty, we look at five of the most hated individuals who’ve come through The World’s Most Famous Arena:
5. Wade Redden
The Rangers have had their fair share of free-agent flops, but at least many of them have been somewhat justifiable. Brad Richards was a veteran leader who was clutch in the playoffs, Chris Drury was the ultimate captain, and so on. But Redden was, well, useless. He did none of those things, and he ended up bringing nothing to the table. Rangers fans let him know all the time, and I’ve rarely seen a player have that much vitriol thrown upon him by a home crowd.
4. James Dolan
He owns the place, and you’d have to admit that he did a nice job fixing it up with the latest renovations. Still, Dolan is generally disliked by Rangers and Knicks fans, albeit for different reasons. Knicks fans think he’s too involved in basketball decisions, while Blueshirts rooters think he could care less about hockey. Either way, he doesn’t look particularly good.
3. Isiah Thomas
He ran the Knicks into the ground as an executive, by all accounts. Not only that, but he cost ownership a lot of money after being found guilty of sexual harassment charges filed by a former employee in 2006. Yet here he is, back in New York and back at the Garden.
2. Reggie Miller
I don’t think Knicks fans will ever get those images of Miller draining shot after shot out of their heads. Apropos, since getting under an opposing player’s skin was one of his strengths.
1. Denis Potvin
It takes a special kind of hatred for 20,000 people to yell in unison about how much they dislike you. That’s what happens several times during every Rangers home game, when someone in the crowd whistles a few bars and then everyone screams “Potvin Sucks!” Oh, and it doesn’t stop there — another timeless classic was “Beat Your Wife, Potvin, Beat Your Wife!” It all started with a hit that significantly altered Ulf Nilsson’s career, and the rest is history. Potvin has been retired for 27 years.