The New York Knickerbockers or “Knicks” were founded in 1946 by Ned Irish. The Knickerbockers were named for the Dutch settlers who came to the new world. Knickerbockers are a style of pants worn by the settlers. The Knicks struggled early in their existence, but were championship contenders by the early 1950’s. The Knicks won the Conference Championship in 1951, 1952 and 1953, but loss all three times in the NBA finals. In 1964, New York drafted Willis Reed and he was named NBA Rookie of the Year. Reed guided the Knicks to the NBA finals in 1970 and they faced the Los Angeles Lakers. Willis Reed was forced to miss game 6 due to an injury and the Lakers forced a game 7. However, Reed inspired his team by playing hurt in game 7 of the NBA finals and the Knicks won game 7 113-99 and their first ever NBA Championship. The Knicks would be crowned NBA Champions again in 1973, but this would be the team’s last championship to this day.
The Knicks won only four playoff series from 1974 to 1988. However, in 1985 the Knicks drafted Patrick Ewing and the Knicks once again had a star player to build a winning team around. In 1994 the Knicks won their first Conference Championship since 1973. Unfortunately the Knicks lost to the Houston Rockets after 7 games. The Knicks returned to the NBA Finals in 1999, but once again were defeated, this time by the San Antonio Spurs. Patrick Ewing led the Knicks to the playoffs for 13 consecutive seasons, but he failed to deliver an NBA Championship to the Knicks. Ewing retired following the 2000 season. Following Ewing’s retirement, the Knicks have made the playoffs just four more times and have won a total of three playoff games. The 2012 season will be remembered for its “Lin-Sanity”. Jeremy Lin, a third string point guard, was forced into action due to injury. Despite not having Carmelo Anthony or Amare Stoudemire, Lin led the Knicks to a seven game winning streak. However, his season was also ended by injury and Knicks were defeated in the first round of the playoffs by the Miami Heat.