New team comes to New York

New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, left, passes the ball past Chicago Bulls’ D.J. Augustin during the first half of the NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 13, 2014 in New York. The Knicks defeated the Bulls 100-89.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Every basketball fan talks about two hoop teams in New York City-the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks, both battling for supremacy. This year, it was a surprise with the Nets under a rookie head coach going to the second round of the playoffs, and the Knicks not even being in the mix.

Now it is all over for both teams and the coaching staff now are awaiting for the draft of college players. They are studying why they need to bolster their roster.

In the meantime of hiring a new coach for the Knicks, the organization went all out and established a new team in the National Basketball Association-Developmental league. And this franchise is located in the hot bed of Westchester County!

The borough of the Bronx is the furthest one can go north in the State. Then comes Yonkers and Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon is very well known for the hoop sport and has produced championship teams over the years. The area has also produced some great players such as Ben Gordon, Ray Williams and Gus Williams who played at the professional level.

“We have the biggest basketball town in New York,” said County Legislature Lyndon Williams. “I played a little basketball,” added Williams.

Just north of Mount Vernon is White Plains where the developmental franchise is going to be located. Westchester’s personnel is affiliated with the New York Knickerbockers.

Thanks to the basketball buffs, the Knicks invited fans to help choose the name of the new D-League team by submitting suggestions online. This team is like a farm team for the Knicks.

Officials of the new team in cooperation with the Knicks recently made the announcement in the middle of a clinic for kids mostly from the area at the new home for this team, and not far from the NBA’s Knicks’ training center located in Tarrytown, New York.

This franchise is called appropriately the Westchester Knicks with all home games contested at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. In addition, there is plenty of parking spots available near the arena.

This fall the Westchester Knicks will make their debut and the fans are certainly awaiting for the moment. That’s for sure, as the arena has been ‘up’ for a long time.

The Westchester Knicks’ logo, also determined at the recent press conference at the County Center is a modern interpretation of the New York Knicks original primary logo used from their initial season of 1946-47 through 1963-64 which feature a smiling Father Knickerbocker dribbling a basketball.

The Knicks called Westchester County their home, for (about 25 years) as they trained at one time at State University of New York at Purchase and currently in Tarrytown.

“We are excited for the Westchester Knicks to bring NBA caliber basketball and affordable family and friendly excitement to the Westchester County Center this fall,” said Dave Howard, president of MSG Sports. “Thank you to all the fans who went on line to submit team suggestions. We are proud to be extending the Knicks brand to Westchester.

Meanwhile, Bill Boyce, vice president of Sales and Business Operations for the Knicks D-League team, as well as other front office personnel, is proud to be part of this organization.

“We look to develop a strong relationship and partners with the local business community,” Boyce told the gathering on hand. “We hope everybody enjoys themselves and look forward to seeing you all this season. This is a basketball community.”

Also on hand at the gathering was Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino. “The unveiling of the name Westchester Knicks is really a big news,” he added. “Having a team here is good for the Knicks, good for Westchester and good for the entire region. It’s also good for basketball. The team hopes to grow in time.”

People in Westchester love basketball. In addition, everyone loves the Knicks. But during this upcoming season starting in the fall and what should start in the draft, the team must improve on all aspects on the court.

The team can not only rely on high scorer Carmelo Anthony. It must be a team effort, led by the teamwork and leadership and scorer of the Knicks. They will try to promote the D-league team as much as they could, but the team must also win.

“They should do a good job in promoting the team,” noted forward Jeremy Tyler, at the news gathering.

Toronto Raptors’ Patrick Patterson (54) defends New York Knicks’ Jeremy Tyler (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File

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