“For me, I just think it’s part of the game,” Terry said on Tuesday. “I just watched my best friend, Gary Payton, go into the Hall of Fame, so I learned from the best at trash-talking and trying to get under the opponents’ skin.
“But it’s all in fun. I mean, none of this translates into fighting or anything like that. It’s more like a competitive edge, a sort of competitive spirit I like to call it. I’m one of the guys, myself, KG, that if you allow us to get underneath you, we’ll be all night.”
Hopefully, almost everyone – Paul Pierce has used the word “hate” when referring to his feelings about the Knicks – is following Terry’s lead when it comes to all the back and forth.
Same division or not, the Knicks and Nets shouldn’t be disrespectful of one another. Even though the Nets have one specific borough attached to their name, both of these teams still represent New York City, and there’s no reason that they should resent each other that much. Two sides that both symbolize a city shouldn’t appear so divided.
If Terry could get Pierce to cool off and realize he’s not in Boston anymore – where hating a New York team is usually a birthright – that would be rather helpful in all of this. At the end of the day, these teams need to understand where they’re playing and that none of this should turn personal.