NEW YORK CITY — The New York Knicks haven't won a championship in more than 40 years, but data from Facebook shows that they have won New York City's heart.
DNAinfo New York analyzed the rooting habits of more than 5 million adult New Yorkers on Facebook to determine the city's most popular sports team, and the Knicks took the crown.
The Knicks, liked by 11.48 percent of the city's Facebook users, just barely edged out the Yankees, who came a close second at 11.04 percent. The Giants, with their two recent Super Bowl victories, came in a distant third, liked by 6.51 percent of Facebook users.
The Knicks are most popular in Brooklyn and Queens, while the Yankees are most popular in The Bronx and Staten Island, according to Facebook's ZIP code data. The two teams are virtually tied in Manhattan.
The Knicks maintained their large fan base despite their long championship drought and recent history of failure. The team missed the playoffs last season and hasn't been to the NBA Finals in 15 seasons. The Yankees and Giants, meanwhile, have won a combined three championships since 2008.
"I would've thought the Yankees would be first, but New Yorkers love basketball and are hungry for a basketball championship," said Larry Dimitriou, the general manager of the Times Square Modell's Sporting Goods store.
"It's surprising," agreed Marc Sacks, a general manager at the 34th Street Modell's. "We're still selling Jeter stuff even though the season's over. You'd think it [would] be the Giants or the Yankees, but the Knicks jerseys say New York on them as opposed to the nickname or just an 'NY.'"
While the Knicks, Yankees and Giants are beloved, things are less rosy for the Nets, Mets, Jets, Rangers and Islanders. None of those teams cracked 5 percent of "likes" among the city's Facebook users, with the Nets coming closest at 4.9 percent. The Mets came in fifth with 4.18 percent, followed by the Jets and Rangers.
"The Nets are really cool, but the fans haven't had the chance to have that crappy stretch yet. They've made the playoffs both years," said Mets fan Chris Migliaccio, 31, of Queens. "The fact the Mets are [in fifth place out of eight New York City teams] with six losing seasons in a row is impressive."
The Islanders — which are moving to the Barclays Center next year — were liked by just .07 percent of the city's Facebook users.
While the Knicks may take the title of New York's most beloved, they don’t come close to matching the level of devotion shown to the Bulls in Chicago. DNAinfo Chicago mapped their city's most popular teams and showed that the Bulls are liked by 28 percent of the city's Facebook's users.
Sports in general are more liked in Chicago, as 39 percent of Chicagoans liked at least one team, compared to 24 percent of New Yorkers.
FINDINGS FROM THE MAP:
► The Yankees, Knicks, Giants and Rangers rule the city. When matched up with their cross-town rivals (the Mets, Nets, Jets and Islanders, respectively), the "big brother" franchises were more popular in every single ZIP code with data.
► The Islanders will have work to do upon moving to Brooklyn. Currently they only have more than 1,000 fans in one ZIP code in the city: 10025 on the Upper West Side.
► The Mets perform best on Staten Island, where they are liked by 5.24 percent of residents. And while they're the only team that plays in Queens, they're the fourth most popular team in the borough, behind the Knicks, Yankees and Giants.
► Speaking of Queens, residents there do not like the Brooklyn Nets at all. The team picked up likes from just 2.03 percent of residents in the borough.
► The Staten Island ZIP code of 10312 is sports-mad. The Yankees, Mets, Giants and Jets all counted the ZIP code, which includes parts of Annadale, Woodrow, Eltingville and Arden Heights, among their top five areas in the city.
Note: DNAinfo compiled the numbers by searching the interests of New Yorkers between the ages of 18 and 65 in each of the city's ZIP codes. Results that drew fewer than 1,000 people were not given and were counted as a zero in the calculations and on the maps.
With reporting by Trevor Kapp
Were you surprised by your team's performance? Does the data not tell the whole story in your neighborhood? Let us know in the comments below.