The New York Knickerbockers were founded in 1946. The first game the Knickerbockers played was on November 1, 1946 against the Toronto Huskies at Maple Leaf Gardens. They defeated the Huskies with a score of 68-66. We found this great game advertisement below. If you were taller than 6'8" George Nostrand, then you were admitted free to the Knickerbockers opening game!
In 1947, Japanese player Wataru Misaka joined the Knickerbockers. The Knickerbockers were the first team to have a non-Caucasian player to join their roster. Misaka was the first non-Caucasian person to play in the Basketball Association of America (now known as the National Basketball Association.) The photo below shows New York Knickerbockers Coach Joe Lapchick with Wat Misaka and Lee Knorek in 1947.
During the first decade of the NBA's existence, the Knickerbockers made the NBA Finals in three straight years, from 1951-1953.
On February 14, 1968, the very first NBA game was played at the current Madison Square Garden. The New York Knicks defeated the San Diego Rockets 114 - 102.
Due to the Knicks' poor performance in the 1984-85 season, the team entered into the first-ever NBA Draft Lottery. The Knicks were the first winner of the lottery in 1985 and they selected Patrick Ewing of Georgetown University.
The first New York Knickerbocker number to be retired belongs to Willis Reed, number 19. Reed's number was retired on October 21, 1976. Reed was also the first Knick ever to be named NBA Rookie of the Year.