Knicks/Nets: A Rivalry Is Born


Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks face a stiff challenge for the hearts of New York basketball fans as the Nets move from New Jersey to Brooklyn. (Jim McIsaac/Newsday/MCT)

Are you a true New York basketball fan? A fan that gets livid when your superstar buckets 45 points but is still criticized for not running hard enough? Or the type who knows your team isn’t going to win the title as soon as they lose the first game, causing you to demand the front office to clean house? If you have any of these feeling, you know what it means to be a true New York fan.

Let’s eat up our pride, New Yorkers, and take a second to digest the new kids in town, the Brooklyn Nets. After shifting from the swamps of Jersey, they want to be the hip team in town. Well, let’s determine if they stack up to the city’s long-entrenched Knickerbockers when it comes to having a flair for the spotlight.

Location: Brooklyn has pride. Brooklyn has the Brooklyn Brewery. Okay, maybe Brooklyn isn’t Manhattan in of spectacle and shine, but let’s expect fans to be loyal and show up to the games with a chip on their shoulders. The newly constructed Barclays Center is a sparkling facility, bound to attract many to the streets of Brooklyn. This one will be just fine for the newcomer Nets.

History: The Nets were dominating for the beginning of the past decade, but they fell short of a world championship. They have a New York pedigree that stems back to 1968-1977 in which their team was located in New York and won  2 ABA titles. However, with no NBA titles, their past is forgettable. The Knicks world championships in 1970 and ’73 are long remembered in New York. Consider it a slight advantage for the Knicks, a team that has never had to move.

Front Office and Potential: Backed by owner and Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, whose estimated worth stands at $13 billion, the fire power is there but the experience is not. The NBA has a cap which strips owners of their spending habits, unlike Major League Baseball which allows players to earn as much as the market dictates their value during that season. New Nets players Joe Johnson and Deron Williams have reignited the team from an on-the-court point of view. Their talent is right up there with the Knicks.

Call it a New York rivalry, especially with city pride Jay-Z backing them up. While his enormous wealth won’t help with the championship dreams, he will contribute to the team’s revenue income as co-owner. The Brooklyn Nets are ready for the challenge, and Carmelo Anthony and the boys must defend their turf, or else.