“With the Boston-[Miami Heat] rivalry, not only were you playing against those guys, you were playing against their fans, too,” James recently told NBA.com. “And there are not too many fans that can compete with Boston. Probably the Palace of Auburn Hills when it was rocking, as far as animosity or hatred.
“Brooklyn doesn’t have that. Obviously, they have great fans, but Boston has that hatred. You kind of inherit not only going against those guys, but you inherit going against those fans as well.”
I honestly don’t see anything wrong with those claims. No need for the Nets or their fans to feel offended whatsoever.
In speaking about Celtics’ fans, what James really did was generalize what people have always thought about Boston sports fans – they’re the most outspoken of them all. Even those who live and die New York sports, often characterized as the most obnoxious fan base of all, would tell you they don’t even come close to being as intolerable to a visiting team as the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots and Celtics faithful.
In fact, that difference in personality is what fuels much of the rivalry between Boston and New York sports.
So there’s no reason James’ comments should be misconstrued by the Nets’ side as a shot taken at them for not being passionate enough. They’ve been doing a fine job from the start.