The term Knickerbockers is derived from the type of pants that Dutch immigrants of NY wore in the 1600s. The pants were called “Knickers”, and they were a style of pants that rolled up to the knee. In the 1800s, the term “Knickerbocker” was made popular and referred to a New Yorker who could trace his/her ancestry to the Dutch settlers of the 1600s.
In the 1800s, the Knickerbocker name was first used to represent the world’s first organized baseball team, based out of Manhattan. The Knickerbocker name stuck as a prominent New York tag, to the point where Basketball Association of America granted NYC a basketball franchise in 1946, with the founder of the team Ned Irish agreeing on the name The Knickerbockers. The name was eventually shortened to The Knicks.