As the Brooklyn Nets prepare for their last preseason game at Nassau Coliseum against the New York Knicks the chatter is growing about whether or not this is a legitimate rivalry right now or does it need more time to grow?
Avery Johnson was asked about the “rivalry” this week and responded, “I’ve been asked about this quote-unquote rivalry in the last four to five months more than I had my first two years,” the Nets coach said. “So, I feel it. I feel it more when we are out and about in Brooklyn and Manhattan. I’m going to restaurants in Manhattan and guys are saying, ‘Brooklyn’ or they’re saying, ‘The Knicks are still going to beat you guys.’
He continued “Or I’m in Brooklyn and the fans are going crazy with their Brooklyn Nets gear on and they are saying, ‘We can’t wait to play the Knicks.’ . . . We hear it more and that’s something that we’ve got to manage.”
Deron Williams was asked the same question, “We just want to get better, this rivalry with them, it’s getting blown up by the media,” Williams said. “But internally, we haven’t talked about it any. We haven’t said anything about it. We’re looking forward to playing those guys. We’re looking forward to forming a rivalry, but it’s not there yet.”
The Nets are making a huge pitch to ask New York fans to check their loyalty and look at the product that is being placed on the basketball court. The Knicks have been a “land of misfit toys” for over ten years now and many Knicks fans are fed up with their inability to play with each other.
The Knicks have won one playoff game in the last 11 years and that was this past year when they beat the Miami Heat one time before being sent home again in the first round. The futile history of the Knicks stands at the top of the list of Knicks fans and this could be the perfect storm for the Nets to come in and claim those fans.
This futility gives the Nets plenty of opportunities to take that fan base that is dying for a winner and someone to cheer for and grab it.
November 1st will be the first time this “rivalry” will be tested for real at the Barclays Center.
Get ready New York because the Nets are coming.
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