When you think of professional men’s sports in the New York/New Jersey area, your mind immediately thinks about NYC. This is fair because of the 9 local teams, only 1 has New Jersey in their name. That’s in spite of the fact that 3 teams play in the state (Jets and Giants) while NYC has 6 teams (Knicks, Nets, Yankees, Mets, Rangers, Islanders).
Yet, New Jersey (with help from a few loopholes) has had a more successful run than NYC since 2000 (and comparable since 1990).
In total, since 2000, New Jersey pro teams have appeared in 9 championships, winning 4. New York City pro teams have appeared in 7 championships, winning 2.
Here is how it breaks down by sport.
NBA – New York Knicks and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets
This is one of the few loopholes. Before the Nets moved to Brooklyn in 2012, they reached the NBA Finals in both 2002 and 2003, while playing in the IZOD Center in New Jersey.
Since 2000, Knicks have won 3 total playoff series (2 of them came in 2000). Nets, while in New Jersey, won 9 series in 6 playoff appearances between 2002-2007. Since moving to Brooklyn, they have won just 2 series.
NJ had 6 playoff appearances from 2000-2011, while the Knicks have 7 total appearances from 2000-2021.
Overall, NJ has a 9-5 edge in playoff series victories since 2000 plus the 2 NBA Finals appearances.
MLB – NY Yankees and NY Mets
This isn’t a comparison here, since NJ does not have an MLB teams.
Yankees have won 2 World Series since 2000, in 4 appearances.
Mets have appeared in two World Series, losing both, including a loss in 2000 to the Yankees.
NHL – New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils
Overall, NJ leads 4-1 in Stanley Cup appearances, despite having a disadvantage of 1 team vs 2.
Devils have won 2 Stanley Cups (in 2000 and 2003), while the Rangers appeared and lost in 2014.
Islanders have reached the Eastern Conference Finals in each of the last two seasons, but have not appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals since 1984.
NFL – New York Giants and New York Jets
Here is another big loophole. New YORK Giants and New YORK Jets both play in New JERSEY. Therefore, when talking about the success of sports in NJ, they obviously fall in that category.
Giants have appeared in three Super Bowls (2000, 2007, 2011), winning two, including beating the undefeated Patriots in 2011.
Jets, despite reaching the AFC Championship in back-to-back years (2009-2010), have lacked success, missing the playoffs in 10 straight seasons.
New Jersey has hosted the NBA Finals (2003) more recently than New York City (1999). Since the area last won a championship (Knicks in 1973), NJ and NYC have each hosted 2 NBA Finals series.
New York City has hosted the Stanley Cup Finals (2014) more recently, but not as frequently as New Jersey (5 appearances since 1995).
In 2014, the Super Bowl was technically hosted by both New York/New Jersey, with the majority of events taking place in the Big City. But the game itself was playing in New Jersey, giving the state another win over NYC.
9 pro men’s teams play in the NY/NJ area and only 1 has New Jersey in their name. Despite that, the state holds a clear advantage over the big city in recent championship success.