John Starks Is a Chameleon on the Subway


If you saw one of the most popular Knicks of all time riding the F train, would you recognize him? Former fan favorite John Starks, who often rides the subway, somehow manages to stay mostly anonymous. “By the time fans notice me, I’m like, gone,” Starks told us, perspiring through his suit at the JOE Joseph Abboud NBA Block Party over the weekend. “Most fans, they spot me and they look at me and they stare … and then I’m out the train.”

As he talked, passersby kept yelling, “Oye, es John Starks,” or, “That’s my man John Starks right there!” It was hard to imagine that such a recognizable New York personality, and a tall one at that, could stay elusive.

I’m not that tall,” the six foot five Starks dubiously claims. “I kind of blend in with everybody. If I was like four or five more inches, then I’d be tall.” Starks’s former teammate Allan Houston, who walked the runway outside JCPenney and was greeted with the loudest cheers of any current or former Knick, also enjoys the privilege of delayed recognition by fans. “You’re kind of gone before they have a chance to really say something, and then they just say curse words or they’re just so shocked that it was you,” Houston said. “To me, that’s the funniest.”