The city that never sleeps certainly never rests when it comes to hoops.
The St. John’s men’s basketball team was one of the nation’s top programs, qualifying for the NCAA tournament 16 times in an 18-year span from 1976 to 1993. During that time, the Red Storm qualified for the Elite Eight four times and even made a Final Four appearance.
In the professional ranks, the New York Knicks have spent most of this century as a laughingstock, but during the 1990s, they were a perennial threat to add another NBA championship to the two they won in 1970 and 1973.
New York City’s biggest contribution to the hoops world, however, is its legendary amateur and semi-professional contributions. Harlem’s Rucker Park is synonymous with streetball, and the Harlem Globetrotters are a worldwide brand.
Scores of college kids from all over the country travel to Madison Square Garden to play at the “Mecca of basketball,” and the city is absolutely crazy for the sport.
In terms of talent, though, New York City had a bit of a dry spell during the 2000s. In addition to Carmelo Anthony, talents like Kemba Walker, Ben Gordon, Roy Hibbert and Joakim Noah are all doing their best to bring respectability back to New York City.
And for what it’s worth, many consider Cleveland Cavaliers standout point guard Kyrie Irving a New York City product. Irving, though born in Australia, attended high school in Northern New Jersey and spent a lot of time on the city’s playgrounds.