The New York Knicks are a franchise that has not seen much success in the modern era. Despite New York being one of the largest markets in the NBA, the Knicks haven't been able to create a team that could be a title contender. The closest they came to doing so was in the '90s with Patrick Ewing as their centerpiece.
The Knicks have been NBA Champions before the '90s, as their last title win came in 1973. They had also won the 1970 title, beating the Los Angeles Lakers for both their titles. The center on those championship-winning teams was Willis Reed, a former league MVP with New York.
More and more modern era players have been saying that they would beat players from the '80s and before since JJ Redick called out the glorification of players like Bob Cousy and how they wouldn't be good in the modern era. Similarly, former Knick and 16-year NBA veteran Al Harrington decided to say that 'he would bust Willis Reed's a**'. This has sparked anger from many Knicks fans that weren't happy to see their franchise legend be slandered.
Current players trying to pick on the legends of the game are becoming increasingly common nowadays. Whether this is misguided confidence or something based in fact, is something we will never be able to know because we can never have a way to see different eras on the same court.
Reed averaged 18.7 points and 12.9 rebounds throughout his career, en route to 2 NBA championships and an MVP award. Harrington averaged 13.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in his career, not registering any major individual accolades during his NBA career. He finished as runner-up in voting for Sixth Man of the Year in 2003 but missed out to Bobby Jackson of the Sacramento Kings.