The New York Knickerbockers, better known as the Knicks, were a founding member of the Basketball Association of America. Eventually, their league merged with the National Basketball Association. Today, the New York Knicks are one of only two teams originally from the BAA to remain in their hometown.
The team is known for many accomplishments and firsts. They were the first team to have a non-Caucasian player when they signed a Japanese athlete in 1947. Later, in 1950, the Knicks became the first team to sign an African American player, although in that same year another team drafted an African American, and yet another became the first to actually have an African American player play for the team.
The New York Knicks have to their credit four Division Titles, eight Conference Titles, and two Championships. They have also officially retired nine numbers in honor of the players who wore them, and have had fifteen members inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
The home of the Knicks is Madison Square Garden, also known simply as “The Garden.” As the second oldest arena in the NBA, the Garden has seating for 19,763 fans during basketball games. One of the most famous venues in the league, the Garden hosts more than basketball, often playing home to circuses, shows, concerts, and virtually any activity in the area that is likely to draw large crowds.
Another notable aspect of the arena is the fact that it was one of the first of its kind to be built over an operating railroad station. Actually the fourth building to hold the name, Madison Square Garden was built over the remaining platforms still in use known as Penn Station.
Out in their community, the New York Knicks are as active and energetic as they are on the court. The team, coaches, staff, dancers, and others are involved in many different organizations and charities. Often, the team partners with the Garden of Dreams Foundation run by the arena to give back to their community. Although they support many different types of charities and programs, the team is mainly focused on programs that support and lift up disadvantaged and at-risk youth in the area, attempting to make the future a little brighter.
As one of the oldest and best-known teams in the NBA, the New York Knicks have fought hard to earn their place in basketball history. On the court and off they have worked tirelessly to entertain and support their fans and neighbors who have shown them so much support throughout their history.