When the New York Knicks improved to 4-1 on the year, Knicks fans weren’t analyzing Kemba Walker‘s hot night from beyond the arc. Nor were they breaking down RJ Barrett delivering on his vast potential. Rather, fans of the Knickerbockers have started to express their joy in a much different way.
In the United States’ largest market, “Bing Bong” has snowballed into becoming the rallying cry of Knicks Nation. So for those who don’t happen to go on Twitter the night of a win, we’ll answer your burning question now: What is Bing Bong, and what does it represent for long-suffering Knicks fans?
What does Bing Bong mean?
Contrary to what this writer first believed, Bing Bong is more than just the imaginary friend from Disney’s Inside Out. For this particular Bing Bong, the origins can be traced all the way back … to 10 days ago.
After the Knicks prevailed 138-134 in overtime over the Boston Celtics, Sidetalk posted a clip of expletive-laden fans celebrating the season-opening win outside of Madison Square Garden. Less than halfway into the NSFW video, a fan shouted, “Bing Bong!” before the video moved on. The 56-second clip ended up going viral, amassing 5.6 million views on Twitter and over 870K views on Instagram. Surprisingly, Bing Bong became the largest takeaway.
While that may be the reason the phrase is now a skyline-sized meme, New Yorkers have been familiar with the sound for a while. “Bing Bong” happens to double as the infamous warning noise NYC subway trains make when the doors are closing. The noise is also what Sidetalk, operated by a pair of NYU students, uses at the start of its videos.
Bing Bong has been adopted by the New York Knicks
Bing Bong could have very easily faded into oblivion, just like its namesake in Inside Out (apologies for the spoiler). Instead, the team and the media have partnered up to turn the ridiculous catchphrase into a battle cry for a first-place team.
The Knicks’ official Twitter account has already embraced Bing Bong. As have their players, notably guard Evan Fournier. And as you can expect, the media is all over the latest craze that has defined New York’s excellent 4-1 start.
Jordie Bloom is the name of the fan who shouted “Bing Bong” to the camera. He told the New York Post he only did so due to recognizing Sidetalk. Now equipped with the Twitter handle of @BingBongGuy, Bloom has been humbled by the amount of love he has received from Knicks Nation.
“Some kid came up to me [on the street] and gave me the biggest hug and said, ‘The Knicks are going to do great things this year strictly because of you,'” Bloom said. “And I was like, ‘That’s unnecessarily true, but I love you, bro.’ It was a great feeling. I went from a guy that’s trying to figure out what he’s doing with himself in life, in 24 hours to being … welcomed into the Knicks circle.”
The New York Knicks have their eyes on the prize
A “Bing Bong” revolution has officially started around the world. But inside MSG, the Knicks are ultimately focused on bringing a championship back to the Big Apple.
That statement would have been met with lots of laughter and skepticism a year ago. However, New York managed to prove themselves with a 41-31 record in 2020-21, its first winning season since 2012-13. The magic has now spilled into this season, as the Knicks sit atop the Eastern Conference at 4-1.
Unlike last season’s defense-oriented club, the 2021-22 Knicks can score with the best of them. Entering the weekend, New York holds the fourth-highest offensive rating and fifth-best effective field-goal percentage. One of their biggest advantages comes from the long ball, as sharpshooters like Walker, Fournier, and Derrick Rose have helped the Knicks shoot 38.0% from beyond the arc. Additionally, eight players are all averaging eight points or more, with Julius Randle being the only member averaging more than 17.2.
“I love the fact that everyone is sacrificing for the team and putting the team first,” head coach Tom Thibodeau told ESPN after Thursday’s nail-biting win against the Bulls. “That’s how you win big in his league.”
Bing Bong could end up being another meme that goes away when something fresh comes along. But the more the Knicks win, the stronger it can potentially become. Because if Knicks fans have proven one thing after watching two decades of futility, their commitment to whatever they put their heart into is unmatched.
All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.