Knicks: How New York can set themselves apart in the NBA

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 22: A view outside the Madison Square Garden (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

1) NBA Cities Comparison

When you look at NBA cities by metro area, it’s alarming how large the discrepancy is between New York City and the 2nd largest metro area, Los Angeles. In fact, if you combined the markets of the NBA’s two most historically relevant franchises, the Los Angeles Lakers (13.2MM) and the Boston Celtics (4.87MM), they would still be smaller than the New York City market, 19.2MM vs. 18.1MM.

U.S. Metro Area population for 2019:

  • #1.   New York City – 19.2MM
  • #2.   Los Angeles – 13.2MM
  • #3.   Chicago – 9.46MM
  • #11. Boston – 4.87MM
* Data source:

This data doesn’t even account for all the transplanted New Yorkers around the country, like myself, or fans outside the U.S.. The Knicks, despite all of their flaws, are one of the few teams with a global fan base. I regularly chat with my pal @MrAlexCollins in Ireland or with Knick fans in Germany, the UK, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, etc.

Let’s not even talk about TV & streaming ratings. While the Lakers are the crown jewel of the NBA, the league’s ratings took a hit when LeBron James went out West to join them. The fact is that most fans can’t stay up late enough to watch the Lakers play.

I recently saw ‘Requiem for the Big East’ on ESPN and they spoke about how the conference became a powerhouse overnight because of their TV network. While they got huge ratings in the highly-populated northeastern cities, they also did well on the West Coast, as many kids in California would come home from school to watch Big East games since they started at 4PM PST, before the Pac-10 games that started at 7PM PST. It’s no wonder why so many NBA players from California, such as Brandon Jennings, grew up rooting for the Knicks.

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