His name conjures memories. To New Yorkers of a certain age, he is royalty. A basketball Kennedy. A vestige of the best times at Madison Square Garden, when one of the Knicks’ stars was a model citizen whose hard-nosed, defensive game made him the ideal teammate — all qualities the city and Knicks fans appreciate.
Today, restaurant hosts will repeat his name back and ask about the relationship. Referees get curious when they notice. People reach back into their memory banks and start recounting parts of their childhoods when they find out.
His name conjures confusion. To those of a lesser age, he is a messy-haired kid on Long Island with a sweet jump shot and a last name whose consonants blend together.
“I get a lot of [people] mispronouncing,” the teenaged Dave DeBusschere said with a smile.