The term "Knickerbockers" traces its origin back to the Dutch settlers who came to the New World -- and especially to what is now New York -- in the 1600s. Specifically, it refers to the style of pants the settlers wore ... pants that rolled up just below the knee, which became known as "Knickerbockers," or "knickers".

Through history, the Dutch settler "Knickerbocker" character became synonymous with New York City. The city's most popular symbol of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was "Father Knickerbocker," complete with cotton wig, three-cornered hat, buckled shoes, and, of course, knickered pants.

The Knickerbocker name had its first use in the world of sports in 1845, when Alexander Cartwright's Manhattan-based baseball team -- the first organized team in baseball history -- was named the "New York Knickerbockers" or the "Knickerbocker Nine." The Knickerbocker name stayed with the team even after it moved its base of operations to Elysian Fields at Hoboken, N.J. in 1846. (The baseball link may have prompted Casey Stengel to joyously exclaim, "It's great to be back as the manager of the Knickerbockers!" when he was named pilot of the newborn Mets in 1961.)

Thus, the Knickerbocker name was an integral part of the New York scene when the Basketball Association of America granted a charter franchise to the city in the summer of 1946. As can best be determined, the final decision to call the team the "Knickerbockers" was made by the club's founder, the legendary Ned Irish.

"The name came out of a hat," recalled Fred Podesta, the longtime Garden executive who passed away at age 86 in 1999. "We were all sitting in the office one day -- Irish, (public relations director) 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. It soon was shortened to Knicks."

In keeping with another New York tradition, the team's colors have always (except for the years from 1980-81 through 1982-83) been orange, blue and white. . .the official colors of New York City.

Why "Knickerbockers"? Why not??


Father Knickerbocker Logo
The original Knicks logo, used from the inaugural 1946-47 season through 1963-64, was that of a Father Knickerbocker figure dribbling a basketball, the brainchild of famed sports cartoonist Willard Mullin of the New York World-Telegram.

For the 1964-65 season, the Knicks unveiled their classic "roundball" logo, created by artist Bud Freeman of the J.C. Bull advertising agency. It was the logo under which the Knicks won both of their NBA Championships, and, with minor color and style alterations, remained in use through 1991-92. During the late '60s and early '70s, the Knicks also used a secondary "ball-in-the-box" logo on game tickets and selected club merchandise.

Current Secondary Logo
On June 17, 1992, the Knicks unveiled a unique, updated version of the club logo, featuring three-dimensional, modernized lettering newly framed in a triangle. The new logo was designed by NBA Marketing, an effort headed by creative director Tom O'Grady. Prior to the 1995-96 season, the logo was altered slightly to include the words "New York" at the top.

While the "triangle" logo remains the Knicks' primary trademark, the club has used three additional secondary logos in recent years: the Golden Anniversary logo in 1996-97, the "Knicks 2000" millennium logo in 1999-2000, and the circular NYK "Subway Token" logo, which was introduced in 1995-96 and has been used ever since.

Other Knicks Logos
Secondary Logo
Late 60's to early 70's
New Look Revised
1995-96 to 1998-99
Classic Roundball Logo
1964-65 to 1991-92
New Look Logo
1992-93 to 1993-94
50th Anniversay Logo
1995-96 to 1998-99
Knicks 2000 Logo

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