Founded and named in 1946 with the cast of votes in Ned Irish’s hat, the New York Knickerbockers (aka The Knicks) were one of the founding teams of the Basketball Association of America, an organization which later merged with its rival the National Basketball League to form the present day National Basketball Association (more commonly known as the NBA). The Knicks are one of only two remaining league teams to operate in their original city.
Like many other teams, the Knicks have had their fair share of ups and downs on the court, but with a fan base as strong as the net and an all-star cast of present and former players (think Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson and most recently, Carmelo Anthony) the Knicks are still a force to be reckoned with more than 70 years later!
Last Friday, I had the opportunity to attend my first ever Knicks hoops game in “The Garden” – the world famous arena where the team has always played. Although it wasn’t my first visit to this superlative stadium (my first experience was seeing “The Piano Man”, aka Billy Joel, in concert) it was still as exciting as ever.
Now, I’ve been to plenty of basketball games in my lifetime, but this one was special. Watching this legendary team in such an iconic setting was definitely something to write about. As I settled into my (awesome) seats, beer in hand of course, the light show began and the world famous Knicks dancers put on quite a dazzle. With orange and blue robotic like costumes (the original colors of the team), the dancers kicked off what would be a celebratory night.
Just as soon as that was over and the players were announced, it was time to “Play Ballllll”! From beginning to end the game was action packed, and while the Knicks took the lead for a majority of the game, they were down by nine points in the final minutes. Now, call it luck, skill or maybe just my good energy and presence, but the team rose to the occasion and won the game in the final seconds, beating the Charlotte Hornets, 109 to 105.
In between it all, the energy, entertainment and overall environment was top notch. The rows “on the wood” (like industry peeps like to say) were lined with celebrities (albeit B and C list), the entertainment was fun and engaging, and the players’ performance (on both sides) was on point (no pun intended). And despite the fact I know next to nothing about the sport, it was a great way to embrace the proverbial “Empire State of Mind”.
Thank you Knickerbockers for yet another undeniably fun and unforgettable New York City memory!