New York Knicks

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 21:13

History of New York Knicks

Information about the NBA team New York Knicks.

The New York Knickerbockers are a National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise that is better known today as the New York Knicks. Although the Knicks are not the most successful franchise in the NBA, the team has been able to collect a number of awards and accolades throughout its long history. Up until the end of the 2007-08 season, the New York Knicks have won a total of eight Division titles, eight Conference titles, and two NBA Championship titles. The Knicks are one of the most well-known teams in the league. Based in New York, one of the busiest major cities of the world, the Knicks are valued at an estimated $608 million, making it the most valuable basketball franchise. Read on to learn more about the New York Knicks' franchise history.

New York Knicks - starting-off on the right foot

In 1946, the Basketball Association of America (BAA) was founded and the New York Knickerbockers were one of the league's charter franchises. The Knicks played in the first BAA game ever, which was against the Toronto Huskies at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. After beating the Huskies to win their first franchise game, the Knicks were off to a good start, finishing with a winning percentage of over 50% in their three seasons in the BAA. When the team entered into the NBA, they would continue to show their basketball prowess.

In 1949, the BAA would merge with another popular American basketball league, the National Basketball League. The resulting league was named the National Basketball League, which continues to operate today. The New York Knickerbockers started their NBA history by making it to the NBA Playoffs in their first seven seasons in the league. In fact, the team was able to make it to the Finals for three consecutive seasons: 1950-51, 1951-52, and 1952-53. Although the team lost in each of the three Finals appearances, they became a well-known and well-respected team in the NBA.

New York Knicks - seven season drought

In the seasons that took place between 1959 and 1966, the Knicks encountered a winning drought. The 1959-1960 season marked the franchise's first basketball season with a winning percentage below 48%. During the 1961-62 season, Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scored 100 points against the Knicks, which stands as the league record for the most points scored by a single player in a single game. It was also during this winning drought that the Knicks would post the franchise's worst basketball season: the 1962-63 season, when the team had a record of 21-59 and a winning percentage of approximately 26%. The Knicks' highest winning percentage from the 1959-60 season up to the 1965-66 season was only 38.8%, in the 1964-65 season. One of the franchise's best players, Willis Reed, won the Rookie of the Year award in the 1964-65 season, but the team still struggled until the 1966-67 season.

New York Knicks - back and bigger than ever

The New York Knicks would finally make it to the NBA Playoffs once again in the 1966-67 season. It marked the first of a nine consecutive Playoff seasons and an era when the Knicks would play some of their best basketball ever. After losing in the NBA Eastern Division Semifinals for two seasons in a row, the Knicks finally made it to the Division Finals for the first time since 1953. The Knicks lost the Division Finals against the Boston Celtics, ending one of the team's most successful NBA seasons. Despite the team's loss to the Celtics, they were undeterred.

In the 1969-70 season, the Knicks were able to top the near-66% winning percentage they posted in the previous season. Players such as Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, and Bill Bradley continued to mature in the league and head coach Red Holzman did a great job of maximizing the team's efficiency. The Knicks put together a regular season record of 60 wins and 22 losses, resulting in a 66% winning percentage. After defeating the Baltimore Bullets in the Eastern Division Semifinals and the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Division Finals, the Knicks faced the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1970 NBA Finals. The teams stretched the series out to seven games, with the Knicks winning four games to clinch the 1970 NBA Championship title. Red Holzman won the Coach of the Year award, while Willis Reed won the All-Star MVP, the regular season MVP, and the Finals MVP awards for the 1969-70 season.

The New York Knickerbockers became one of the most dominant teams in the late '60s and early '70s. After winning their first NBA Championship title, the Knicks continued to make strong pushes for another title. The team made it to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals in the 1970-71 season, after compiling a regular season record of 52 wins and 30 losses. In the following season, the Knicks had a regular season winning percentage of nearly 59%, which earned them a spot in the NBA Playoffs. The team made it all the way to the NBA Finals after defeating the Baltimore Bullets and the Boston Celtics. After an impressive playoff performance, the Knicks got blown-out by the Los Angeles Lakers, losing the NBA Finals series 4-1.

In the 1972-73 season, the Knicks compiled another impressive record, winning 57 games and losing 25 for a winning percentage of nearly 70%. The team steamed passed the Baltimore Bullets in the NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals with a series record of 4-1. The Boston Celtics pushed the Knicks to the limits in the Eastern Conference Finals, but the Knicks prevailed, 4-3. For the second consecutive season, the Knicks would go against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. This time, however, the Knicks would win the Finals, 4-1, for the team's second and most recent NBA Championship title to date. After winning their second title, the team continued to make it to the Playoffs in many of their seasons, but they have only made the NBA Finals twice since.

New York Knicks - the arrival of Patrick Ewing

The arrival of Patrick Ewing in 1985-86 would mark another era in the Knicks' franchise history. The team would continue to be a Playoff contender, but they were not as consistent anymore throughout the late 70s and early 80s. After winning the 1986 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, Patrick Ewing would help make the Knicks a solid competitor once again. In the fifteen seasons that Ewing played for the Knicks, the team only missed the NBA Playoffs during his first two seasons in the league. Ewing would help the team win four Division titles, and two Conference titles in the thirteen times that Ewing and the Knicks made it to the Playoffs. Still, the NBA Championship title eluded the Knicks.

New York Knicks - the Knicks since 2000

The Knicks lost Patrick Ewing in 2000 and, ever since then, the team has only made it to the NBA Playoffs twice. The most recent Knicks Playoff run took place in the 2003-04 season, when the team made it to the NBA Eastern Conference First Round, only to be crushed 4-0 by their neighbors, the New Jersey Nets. Following the 2007-08 season, when the team only won 23 games and lost 59, the Knicks have made some big changes to their roster. The team seems to be concentrating towards building a strong team for the years to come. As of December 17, 2008, the New York Knicks have a 2008-09 season record of 11-14, which places them in 3rd place in the Atlantic Division.