The word "Knickerbocker" was first used by the American author Washington Irving in "History of New York." Knickerbocker was also a common term that was used to describe the early Dutch settlers in New York who wore a specific style of pants. These pants were called knickerbockers or knickers and were rolled up just below the knee.
The term "Knickerbocker" gained so much popularity that it become synonymous for a New Yorker and became a symbol of New York itself. However, the name was not used in sports until the first organized baseball team in history was named "The New York Knickerbockers" or "Knickerbocker Nine" in 1845. In 1946, the Basketball Association of America's founder Ned Irish decided to name the new professional basketball team "Knickerbockers," which was eventually shortened to "Knicks."
The team's original logo was a cartoon of Father Knickerbocker, the symbolic New Yorker wearing a three cornered hat, the knickers and a cotton wig. He was illustrated as dribbling a basketball. The Father Knickerbocker logo was created by Willard Mullin, who was a cartoonist for the New York World-Telegram. The team's colors, orange, white and blue, also represent New York City's colors. The team has kept these colors throughout the years, with the exception of 1980 to 1981 and 1982 to 1983.