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New York Knicks 

The New York Knickerbockers or Knicks as they are more commonly referred to were founded in 1946. The team was one of the 11 founding teams of the defunct Basketball Association of America (BAA).

Along with the Boston Celtics, the Knicks are the only other founding team to still be located in their original city. In 1949, the BAA joined with the National Basketball League to form the National Basketball Association (NBA). 

History Of The Knicks

The Knicks reached the NBA Finals in 1951, 1952, and 1953 but failed to win. Finally, 17 years after their last Finals appearance, the Knicks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 4-3 to win their first championship in 1970.

The Knicks were crowned NBA champions in 1973, too, after defeating the Lakers again – this time 4 games to 1. Led by Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley, the Knicks showed signs of gaining past glory with solid teams in the 1990s, but championships remained elusive. 

As one of the oldest NBA teams, the Knicks have featured many of the NBA’s greatest players. Legends from the 1950s to the 1970s include Willis Reed, Bill Bradley, Walt Frazier, and Jerry Lucas. Modern Knicks legends and fan favorites include Patrick Ewing, John Starks, and Allan Houston. 

NY Knicks Timeline:

  • 1946: New York Knickerbockers founded in Basketball Association of America
  • 1951, 1952, 1953: Knicks reach NBA Finals but didn’t win
  • 1968: Knicks started playing at Madison Square Garden
  • 1970: Knicks defeat the Lakers to win their first NBA championship
  • 1973: Knicks defeat the Lakers to win their second NBA championship

Knicks At Madison Square Garden

Often referred to as, the “World’s Most Famous Arena,” Madison Square Garden has been the home of the Knicks since 1968. Also home to the NHL’s New York Rangers, the Garden has played host to numerous unforgettable moments in Knicks history. 

Knicks Key Rivalries

You wouldn’t be wrong in saying that the Knicks have more rivals than championships. With the Brooklyn Nets located across the East River, there’s no doubt these two teams have a natural rivalry. Compared to the rivalries with the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, and Miami Heat, the rivalry with the Nets is child’s play. 

As the other oldest NBA team, the rivalry with the Boston Celtics goes back to the BAA days. New York and Boston teams generally don’t get along regardless of the sport. Just ask the Yankees and the Red Sox. Much like the Yankees and the Red Sox, the Celtics and Knicks rivalry is one-sided. The Celtics have won 17 NBA championships to the Knicks’ two. The Celtics have an all-time 323-211 win-loss record versus the Knicks. 

The personality of the players involved can keep a rivalry going. For Knicks stars Patrick Ewing, John Stark, and Charles Oakley, facing the likes of Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, and Alonzo Mourning repeatedly created great basketball and lasting rivalries. 

The 2021-2022 Knicks Season

The 2020-21 season was a good one for the Knicks. Led by new head coach Tom Thibodeau, the Knicks finished fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 41-31 record. They’ve added some great talent in the offseason, too.

Last season’s star Julius Randle could not do it all in the playoffs. When the Knicks lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round, their lack of offensive creativity was exposed. The Knicks responded to that by signing Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier during the offseason.

Those moves alone may not put the Knicks over the top and into the NBA championship discussion, but they certainly signal that the Knicks are going to be a strong team in the 2021-22 season, which began on Oct. 19.

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