Kris Pursiainen Makes his Mark with Knicks and WFUV

Pursiainen, FCRH ’24, discovered a passion for the New York Knicks and developed a work ethic that has taken him on a sports media journey from the Knicks Film School to WFUV that he hopes is only beginning.


Pursiainen has made waves as both a broadcaster, fan and social media personality. (Courtesy of Kris Pursiainen)

Head to Madison Square Garden when the Knicks are in town and chances are you will find Kris Pursiainen, FCRH ’24, in one of the lower bowl’s seats. In fact, it’s much more likely you’ll find him on his feet, screaming with passion at the ragtag group on the floor.

Or look into the basement of Keating Hall at WFUV’s studio or the Rose Hill Gym, and he may be there hosting a new episode of “Pick and Pod,” an NBA podcast, or studio hosting for Fordham Women’s Basketball.

And even when he is at home, you can tune into his “KFS Halftime Show” with the Knicks Film School or follow along with his every thought on Twitter. It sounds like a lot but Pursiainen keeps it simple: “I’m addicted to it.”

That’s because Pursiainen was forced to act that way from well before coming to Fordham. He attended what he described as a highly competitive middle school, followed by a tenure at Bergen County Academies, one of the top high schools in the country. 

Even with that, Pursiainen knew that he needed to get a head start to find the success he aimed for in college. So he decided to take a college class in the summer before his senior year, and it happened to be at Fordham. It was Sports Broadcasting, taught by Sports Director at WFUV Bobby Ciafardini.

“We were both Knicks fans,” he said, “but he thought the offseason was awful, of Randle, Morris, all those guys and I thought like, ‘Hey, maybe this team can get an eight seed’ and that’s all this offseason was supposed to be.”

Despite how big of a Knicks fan Pursiainen is known as, that was not always the case. “I was a Thunder fan first,” he said. “Kevin Durant was absolutely my favorite player.”

Though, one trip to the orthodontist changed that, with a friend of his mother telling him New York was no place to be a Thunder fan and the Knicks were an easy landing spot. “I was already playing NBA Jam with Melo and Stoudemire.”

And his 11th birthday cemented that, where he received a Linsanity book, a new basketball and, as a special surprise, a custom-made “Pursiainen” jersey, now signed by Mitchell Robinson. He has also held onto tickets his mother gave him for one of his first ever Knicks games. “I’m a Knicks fan. I’m ready to go.”

The little debates that became so common in class ultimately caused a spark in Pursiainen. One that became magnified by winning a podcast competition, judged by two of WFUV’s own, Emmanuel Berbari and Jimmy Sullivan. “I had a little iota of self-confidence built up there, like 1%.”

And if that wasn’t enough, words from Fernando Perez, former MLB pitcher and instructor who taught Pursiainen at the New York Times Summer Academy, made things even clearer. Pursiainen called him after finishing Ciafardini’s class with that same question of what to do to prepare for college: “You said you want to have a podcast, why don’t you have a podcast?”

So he started one, Sports Talk with Kris P. As simple as the sports takes may have been, it was just the practice Pursiainen needed. Soon after, he began contacting Knicks blogs and other outlets looking to take the next step.

Many of them came and went without a response, though he saw an opportunity in Jonathan Macri, the newly named dean of Knicks Film School. For some time, it looked like there too that a response would never come. Two and a half weeks later, one did.

“He’s gonna tell me what everyone says: I’m good for a kid. He’ll hit me up in a couple years — he’ll never hit me up,” Pursiainen thought. Instead, he was like, “I heard 90 seconds. That’s all I needed to hear. You were great.”

Macri had a specific area for Pursiainen to contribute to, the KFS Mailbag. It was to be a place for fans to ask questions and Macri to answer them, with Pursiainen being the mailman. It stuck, and his role with the organization has only grown since into hosting podcasts or that halftime show.

“I kept doing those livestreams, and I just saw a need for them,” he said. Clearly, he was right, as his online following has grown to over 4,600 on Twitter. And it comes by doing things his own way, through a focus on the game rather than the storylines around it. “To try and make x’s and o’s sexy again is like my thesis, that’s like my career thesis,” he said.

That thesis is certainly an evolving one, though. Asked about where he sees himself in five years, “My dad always says, like, the answer should be ‘I don’t know because hopefully you’re doing something that doesn’t exist yet because that’s the most innovative.”

One thing is for sure, Pursiainen, now switched into a journalism major from the Gabelli School of Business, would love to be behind a microphone, camera on or off, sharing his love for sports. “I just want every team that plays good basketball to have it noticed and if they’re playing bad basketball, I want people to know why.”

For now, though, Pursiainen is enjoying every step of the journey. “I have a lot of fun being at Fordham just because I do WFUV,” he said. “I dress in sweats and slippers to come to the studio, and I bring my water bottle and that should not be something to be offended at if you work with WFUV, but that should be a compliment for me because it shows it feels like home to me.”

Pursiainen has many homes, whether at MSG, the Knicks Film School or Fordham University, but he has made each one as much of his own as the next.