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The New York Knickerbockers, better known as the New York Knicks, are a professional basketball team based in New York City that competes in the National Basketball Association (NBA). An original member of the NBA, the Knicks play in the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division. In its 64 seasons, the franchise has reached the NBA Finals eight times and won two championships. As of the end of the 2009–10 season, New York has won more than 2,400 regular season games, and the team has the fourth-highest victory total in NBA history.[1] Since 1968, the Knicks have played home games at Madison Square Garden.[2]

One of the Basketball Association of America's (BAA) eleven teams during its inaugural season, the Knicks won the league's first game, defeating the Toronto Huskies 68–66 on November 1, 1946.[3] The club qualified for the playoffs in the league's first three seasons before the BAA merged with the National Basketball League in 1949 to form the NBA.[4] Following the merger, New York extended its streak of playoff appearances to nine consecutive years, and reached the NBA Finals each year from 1952 to 1954. The Knicks returned to the Finals in 1970 and defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games for the team's first title. New York and Los Angeles faced each other again in the 1972 Finals, a series that the Lakers won four games to one. The Knicks earned their second NBA championship the following year, as they won a rematch with Los Angeles in five games.

From 1988 to 2001, the franchise reached the playoffs in 14 consecutive seasons, but did not win an NBA title. The team reached its first NBA Finals in 21 years during the 1993–94 season, but lost to the Houston Rockets in seven games. Five years later, New York again lost in the NBA Finals, this time in a five-game series against the San Antonio Spurs. As of 2010, the Knicks have not made the playoffs since 2004, when they lost to the New Jersey Nets in four games.

Table key

NBA champions

(1947–present) †

Division/Conference champions

(1947–1970/1971–present) *

Division champions

(1971–present) ^

Playoff berth

(1947–present) ¤

AMVP NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player
Bold Won the NBA Finals
COY Coach of the Year
Finish Final position in division standings
FMVP NBA Finals Most Valuable Player
GB Games behind first-place team in division[a]
Italics Season in progress
JWKC J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award
Losses Number of regular season losses
MVP Most Valuable Player
ROY Rookie of the Year
SIX Sixth Man of the Year
Wins Number of regular season wins

Year by year

Note: Statistics are correct as of the 2009–10 season.

Season Conference Division Finish Wins Losses Win% GB Playoffs Awards Head coach
1946–47 Eastern 3rd ¤ 33 27 .550 16 Won BAA Quarterfinals vs. Cleveland Rebels, 2–1

Lost BAA Semifinals to Philadelphia Warriors, 2–0[5]

Neil Cohalan
1947–48 Eastern 2nd ¤ 26 22 .542 1 Lost BAA Quarterfinals to Baltimore Bullets, 2–1[6] Joe Lapchick
1948–49 Eastern 2nd ¤ 32 28 .533 6 Won BAA Eastern Division Semifinals vs. Baltimore Bullets, 2–1

Lost BAA Eastern Division Finals to Washington Capitols, 2–1[7]

Joe Lapchick
1949–50 Eastern 2nd ¤ 40 28 .588 13 Won NBA Eastern Division Semifinals vs. Washington Capitols, 2–0

Lost NBA Eastern Division Finals to Syracuse Nationals, 2–1[8]

Joe Lapchick
1950–51 Eastern * 3rd ¤ 36 30 .545 4 Won NBA Eastern Division Semifinals vs. Boston Celtics, 2–0

Won NBA Eastern Division Finals vs. Syracuse Nationals, 3–2 Lost NBA Finals to Rochester Royals, 4–3[9]

Joe Lapchick
1951–52 Eastern * 3rd ¤ 37 29 .561 3 Won NBA Eastern Division Semifinals vs. Boston Celtics, 2–1

Won NBA Eastern Division Finals vs. Syracuse Nationals, 3–1 Lost NBA Finals to Minneapolis Lakers, 4–3[10]

Joe Lapchick
1952–53 Eastern * 1st ¤ 47 23 .671 Won NBA Eastern Division Semifinals vs. Baltimore Bullets, 2–0

Won NBA Eastern Division Finals vs. Boston Celtics, 3–1 Lost NBA Finals to Minneapolis Lakers, 4–1[11]

Joe Lapchick
1953–54 Eastern 1st ¤ 44 28 .611 Lost round-robin to Boston Celtics and Syracuse Nationals, 4–0[12] Joe Lapchick
1954–55 Eastern 2nd ¤ 38 34 .528 5 Lost NBA Eastern Division Semifinals to Boston Celtics, 2–1[13] Joe Lapchick
1955–56 Eastern 4th ¤ 35 37 .486 10 Lost NBA Eastern Division third-place tiebreaker to Syracuse Nationals, 1–0[14] Joe Lapchick

Vince Boryla

1956–57 Eastern 4th 36 36 .500 8 Did not reach the Playoffs Vince Boryla
1957–58 Eastern 4th 35 37 .486 14 Did not reach the Playoffs Vince Boryla

Andrew Levane

1958–59 Eastern 2nd ¤ 40 32 .556 12 Lost NBA Eastern Division Semifinals to Syracuse Nationals, 2–0[15] Andrew Levane
1959–60 Eastern 4th 27 48 .360 32 Did not reach the Playoffs Andrew Levane

Carl Braun

1960–61 Eastern 4th 21 58 .266 36 Did not reach the Playoffs Carl Braun
1961–62 Eastern 4th 29 51 .363 31 Did not reach the Playoffs Eddie Donovan
1962–63 Eastern 4th 21 59 .263 37 Did not reach the Playoffs Eddie Donovan
1963–64 Eastern 4th 22 58 .275 37 Did not reach the Playoffs Eddie Donovan
1964–65 Eastern 4th 31 49 .388 31 Did not reach the Playoffs Willis Reed[16] (ROY) Eddie Donovan

Harry Gallatin

1965–66 Eastern 4th 30 50 .375 25 Did not reach the Playoffs Dick McGuire
1966–67 Eastern 4th ¤ 36 45 .444 32 Lost NBA Eastern Division Semifinals to Boston Celtics, 3–1[17] Dick McGuire
1967–68 Eastern 3rd ¤ 43 39 .524 19 Lost NBA Eastern Division Semifinals to Philadelphia 76ers, 4–2[18] Dick McGuire

Red Holzman

1968–69 Eastern 3rd ¤ 54 28 .659 3 Won NBA Eastern Division Semifinals vs. Baltimore Bullets, 4–0

Lost NBA Eastern Division Finals to Boston Celtics, 4–2[19]

Red Holzman
1969–70 † Eastern * 1st ¤ 60 22 .732 Won NBA Eastern Division Semifinals vs. Baltimore Bullets, 4–3

Won NBA Eastern Division Finals vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 4–1 Won NBA Finals vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 4–3[20]

Red Holzman[21] (COY)Willis Reed[16]

(AMVP, FMVP & MVP)

Red Holzman
1970–71 Eastern Atlantic[b] ^ 1st ¤ 52 30 .634 Won NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Atlanta Hawks, 4–1

Lost NBA Eastern Conference Finals to Baltimore Bullets, 4–3[22]

Red Holzman
1971–72 Eastern * Atlantic 2nd ¤ 48 34 .585 8 Won NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Baltimore Bullets, 4–2

Won NBA Eastern Conference Finals vs. Boston Celtics, 4–1 Lost NBA Finals to Los Angeles Lakers, 4–1[23]

Red Holzman
1972–73 † Eastern * Atlantic 2nd ¤ 57 25 .695 11 Won NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Baltimore Bullets, 4–1

Won NBA Eastern Conference Finals vs. Boston Celtics, 4–3 Won NBA Finals vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 4–1[24]

Willis Reed[16] (FMVP) Red Holzman
1973–74 Eastern Atlantic 2nd ¤ 49 33 .598 7 Won NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Capital Bullets, 4–3

Lost NBA Eastern Conference Finals to Boston Celtics, 4–1[25]

Red Holzman
1974–75 Eastern Atlantic 3rd ¤ 40 42 .488 20 Lost NBA Eastern Conference First Round to Houston Rockets, 2–1[26] Walt Frazier[27] (AMVP) Red Holzman
1975–76 Eastern Atlantic 4th 38 44 .463 16 Did not reach the Playoffs Red Holzman
1976–77 Eastern Atlantic 3rd 40 42 .488 10 Did not reach the Playoffs Red Holzman
1977–78 Eastern Atlantic 2nd ¤ 43 39 .524 12 Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 2–0

Lost NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals to Philadelphia 76ers, 4–0[28]

Willis Reed
1978–79 Eastern Atlantic 4th 31 51 .378 23 Did not reach the Playoffs Willis Reed

Red Holzman

1979–80 Eastern Atlantic 3rd 39 43 .476 22 Did not reach the Playoffs Red Holzman
1980–81 Eastern Atlantic 3rd ¤ 50 32 .610 12 Lost NBA Eastern Conference First Round to Chicago Bulls, 2–0[29] Mike Glenn[30] (JWKC) Red Holzman
1981–82 Eastern Atlantic 5th 33 49 .402 30 Did not reach the Playoffs Red Holzman
1982–83 Eastern Atlantic 4th ¤ 44 38 .537 21 Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round vs. New Jersey Nets, 2–0

Lost NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals to Philadelphia 76ers, 4–0[31]

Hubie Brown
1983–84 Eastern Atlantic 3rd ¤ 47 35 .573 15 Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round vs. Detroit Pistons, 3–2

Lost NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals to Boston Celtics, 4–3[32]

Hubie Brown
1984–85 Eastern Atlantic 5th 24 58 .293 39 Did not reach the Playoffs Hubie Brown
1985–86 Eastern Atlantic 5th 23 59 .280 44 Did not reach the Playoffs Patrick Ewing[33] (ROY)Rory Sparrow[30][c]

(JWKC)

Hubie Brown
1986–87 Eastern Atlantic 4th 24 58 .293 35 Did not reach the Playoffs Hubie Brown

Bob Hill

1987–88 Eastern Atlantic 2nd ¤ 38 44 .463 19 Lost NBA Eastern Conference First Round to Boston Celtics, 3–1[34] Mark Jackson[35] (ROY) Rick Pitino
1988–89 Eastern Atlantic ^ 1st ¤ 52 30 .634 Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 3–0

Lost NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals to Chicago Bulls, 4–2[36]

Rick Pitino
1989–90 Eastern Atlantic 3rd ¤ 45 37 .549 8 Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round vs. Boston Celtics, 3–2

Lost NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals to Detroit Pistons, 4–1[37]

Stu Jackson
1990–91 Eastern Atlantic 3rd ¤ 39 43 .476 17 Lost NBA Eastern Conference First Round to Chicago Bulls, 3–0[38] Stu Jackson

John MacLeod

1991–92 Eastern Atlantic ^ 1st ¤ 51 31 .622 Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round vs. Detroit Pistons, 3–2

Lost NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals to Chicago Bulls, 4–3[39]

Pat Riley
1992–93 Eastern Atlantic ^ 1st ¤ 60 22 .732 Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round vs. Indiana Pacers, 3–1

Won NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Charlotte Hornets, 4–1 Lost NBA Eastern Conference Finals to Chicago Bulls, 4–2[40]

Pat Riley[41] (COY) Pat Riley
1993–94 Eastern * Atlantic ^ 1st ¤ 57 25 .695 Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round vs. New Jersey Nets, 3–1

Won NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Chicago Bulls, 4–3 Won NBA Eastern Conference Finals vs. Indiana Pacers, 4–3 Lost NBA Finals to Houston Rockets, 4–3[42]

Pat Riley
1994–95 Eastern Atlantic 2nd ¤ 55 27 .671 2 Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 3–1

Lost NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals to Indiana Pacers, 4–3[43]

Anthony Mason[44](SIX) Pat Riley
1995–96 Eastern Atlantic 2nd ¤ 47 35 .573 13 Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 3–0

Lost NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals to Chicago Bulls, 4–1[45]

Don Nelson

Jeff Van Gundy

1996–97 Eastern Atlantic 2nd ¤ 57 25 .695 4 Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round vs. Charlotte Hornets, 3–0

Lost NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals to Miami Heat, 4–3[46]

John Starks[44] (SIX) Jeff Van Gundy
1997–98 Eastern Atlantic 2nd ¤ 43 39 .524 12 Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round vs. Miami Heat, 3–2

Lost NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals to Indiana Pacers, 4–1[47]

Jeff Van Gundy
1998–99[d] Eastern * Atlantic 4th ¤ 27 23 .540 6 Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round vs. Miami Heat, 3–2

Won NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Atlanta Hawks, 4–0 Won NBA Eastern Conference Finals vs. Indiana Pacers, 4–2 Lost NBA Finals to San Antonio Spurs, 4–1[48]

Jeff Van Gundy
1999–00 Eastern Atlantic 2nd ¤ 50 32 .610 2 Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round vs. Toronto Raptors, 3–0

Won NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Miami Heat, 4–3 Lost NBA Eastern Conference Finals to Indiana Pacers, 4–2[49]

Jeff Van Gundy
2000–01 Eastern Atlantic 3rd ¤ 48 34 .585 8 Lost NBA Eastern Conference First Round to Toronto Raptors, 3–2[50] Jeff Van Gundy
2001–02 Eastern Atlantic 7th 30 52 .366 22 Did not reach the Playoffs Jeff Van Gundy

Don Chaney

2002–03 Eastern Atlantic 5th 37 45 .451 12 Did not reach the Playoffs Don Chaney
2003–04 Eastern Atlantic 3rd ¤ 39 43 .476 8 Lost NBA Eastern Conference First Round to New Jersey Nets, 4–0[51] Don Chaney

Herb Williams Lenny Wilkens

2004–05 Eastern Atlantic 4th 33 49 .402 12 Did not reach the Playoffs Lenny Wilkens

Herb Williams

2005–06 Eastern Atlantic 5th 23 59 .280 26 Did not reach the Playoffs Larry Brown
2006–07 Eastern Atlantic 4th 33 49 .402 14 Did not reach the Playoffs Isiah Thomas
2007–08 Eastern Atlantic 5th 23 59 .280 43 Did not reach the Playoffs Isiah Thomas
2008–09 Eastern Atlantic 5th 32 50 .390 30 Did not reach the Playoffs Mike D'Antoni
2009–10 Eastern Atlantic 3rd 29 53 .354 21 Did not reach the Playoffs Mike D'Antoni

All-time records

Statistic Wins Losses W–L%
New York Knicks regular season record (1946–present) 2483 2516 .497
New York Knicks postseason record (1946–present) 179 171 .511
All-time regular and postseason record 2662 2687 .498

Notes

  • a This is determined by adding the difference in wins between the first-place team and the Knicks to the difference in losses between the two teams, and dividing by two.
  • b Before the 1970–71 season, the NBA realigned into Eastern and Western conferences, with four divisions between them.[52] As a result of the realignment, New York was placed in the Eastern Conference as a member of the Atlantic Division.[53]
  • c Sparrow and Michael Cooper were co-winners of the award.[30]
  • d The 1998–99 season was shortened to 50 games because of a lockout.[54]

References

General
Specific
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