But entering the 2014 postseason, a unique scenario will arise in the basketball-crazed city. Only two regular seasons after relocating from New Jersey and making their New York City debut, the Brooklyn Nets will be the only Empire State team still alive and competing for a shot at an NBA title.
Which means the Nets will have what could be a rare opportunity that they must take advantage of. With all the local, highly-critical eyes focused solely on Brooklyn’s upcoming playoff performance, this will be a chance for the Nets to earn the most respect from the area since their Finals runs of 2002 and 2003.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. Eliminating the Toronto Raptors in the opening round and getting bounced by the Miami Heat in the second round would accomplish nothing for the Nets. At the most, it would just be the most recent playoff series victory by either New York team.
In order to get New Yorkers really buzzing – Nets and Knicks fans alike – they’ll need to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals and make the kind of impossible-to-ignore noise that a lawnmower makes when you’re trying to sleep in on Saturday morning.
And if they could manage their way into the Finals, at least the marketing portion of this season will be a success for what was one of the more pathetic teams in all of pro sports only a few years ago.
But don’t tell that to owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who wants nothing more than to finally bring a championship to Brooklyn. He knows, as we all do, that it would be awfully hard for the Knicks to top that accomplishment anytime soon.