DaddyLiveHD - Watch Live Sports Streaming Free, Daily Schedule Online TV Channels, Boxing & MMA, UFC, MBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, Soccer, 24/7 updated live stream, Enjoy Football

What is a Knick? Explain New York's NBA team name origin


The New York Knicks are one of the most historic NBA franchises.

The Knicks are one of only two original NBA teams that have remained in the same place. The franchise was founded in 1946 and was one of the initial teams in the Basketball Association of America. New York has played in Madison Square Garden since its founding and has twice won championships in its history.

In 2024, the Knicks are a clear NBA title contender. New York finished as the No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference and, despite missing key forward Julius Randle, won its first-round playoff series against Philadelphia and eyes an opportunity to play in the conference finals for the first time since 2000.

But while the Knicks are one of the league’s most popular and well-known teams, not many likely know what exactly a Knick is. Unlike a Cavalier, Celtic, Nugget or Timberwolf, a Knick isn’t a term many will know.

Here’s what you need to know about a Knick.

MORE: Controversial moving screen leads Knicks to Game 1 win

A “Knick” is short for a “Knickerbocker.” And if that sounds like an old word, it’s because it is. 

A knickerbocker is a style of pants worn by Dutch settlers who arrived in New York in the 1600s, according to the NBA. The pants are those that are rolled up just below the knee.

The word has further origins directly tied to New York. Washington Irving, writing under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker, described a “knickerbocker” as a native New Yorker who can follow their entire family history back to the original Dutch settlers in New York in his book, “A History of New York.”

Over time, due in large part to Irving’s satiric history of the state, the word “Knickerbocker” took on a larger connotation about New York. The NBA notes that in the last 1800s and early 1900s, “Knickerbocker” became a symbol of the city wearing a cotton wig, three-corner hat, buckled shoes and knickerbockers under the name, “Father Knickerbocker.” Around the state, beers, musicals and pen names took on the term, “Knickerbocker.”

In 1845, a baseball team formed by Alexander Cartwright took on the name, the “New York Knickerbockers,” even after it moved to New Jersey the next year.

When Ned Irish founded the Knicks in 1946, the decision was made to call the team the “Knickerbockers.”

“The name came out of a hat. We were all sitting in the office one day — Irish, [publicity ma]) Lester Scott and a few others on the staff. We each put a name in the hat, and when we pulled them out, most of them said Knickerbockers, after Father Knickerbocker, the symbol of New York City,” former Madison Square Garden executive Fred Podesta once said, per the NBA. “It soon was shortened to Knicks.”

The team’s original logo featured Father Knickerbocker dribbling a basketball, a nod to the roots of the term. It would remain that way until 1963-64.

The Knicks are one of four NBA teams without a mascot, the others being the Lakers, Nets and Warriors.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More