John Starks is a former professional shooting guard. Although he was undrafted in the 1988 NBA draft after attending four colleges in his native Oklahoma, including Oklahoma State University, he gained fame while playing for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association in the 1990s.
Starks was listed at 6'5" and 190 pounds during his NBA playing career. In 1990, Starks tried out for the New York Knicks. In one practice, he tried to dunk on Knicks Patrick Ewing. Ewing threw him down and Starks twisted his knee. The team was not allowed to release him unless it healed by the end of December. When it did not heal by that time, the Knicks could not release him. As a result, Starks has referred to Ewing as his saving grace. Starks eventually became the starting shooting guard, becoming a key player on the team and playing eight seasons in New York from 1990 to 1998. He was a participant in the 1992 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Starks executed one of the most famous plays in Knicks history. In Game 2 of the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals against the Chicago Bulls, Starks was in the court's right corner. Ewing came to set a screen for Starks, who faked to the left, then drove along the baseline and, with his left hand, dunked over Horace Grant in front of Michael Jordan.
He has worked for the Knicks as an alumnus and fan development official, and as a pre-and-post-game analyst on MSG Network's home Knicks game coverage.