Battle For New York: Why The Knicks-Nets Rivalry Is Good For The Sport
In what should have been a season that saw the New York Knicks either living or dying by their own potential, it’s the other Big City team that seems to be the topic of discussion. While still getting acquainted with the fans of the city, the Brooklyn Nets have developed a steady rising that makes them a serious threat to their Manhattan based rivals. A rising that could make things very interesting in New York City as the sport of basketball will never be the same again for it. Having met this past Monday in the first of what will be plenty of thrilling match ups, the Brooklyn Nets defended their home court against the cross-town rivals.
With a 96-89 win over the Knicks, the premiere match up between the two franchises lived up to the hype. A closely contested game through out the night that rolled over into an overtime finish, the Nets proved that they are the best team in New York, at least for now. Yes, the Knicks have played exceptionally well while the Nets have struggled to find consistency this match up isn’t about either teams status in the NBA as a whole. The city of New York for reasons that are obvious as well as unfair, is the mecca of all things cultural related in the United States. For even broader reasons that would completely take away from this, in regards to sports the United States might as well be considered the world as far as most Americans would have it. With that said this rivalry between two New York franchises isn’t just great for that city, but the sport of basketball as a whole.
The NBA is built on rivalries, despite the fact that most players would rather team up then play against each other these days. For New York, a city that prides itself on competition in all aspects, a good rivalry there is a great rivalry for the rest of the league. Whether you’re a native New Yorker or just a casual fan of the sport, to say you weren’t the least bit intrigued by this development would be a shame.
Looking at the two sides, you already have the perfect cast of characters on both teams. The New York Knicks are one of the NBA’s more heralded franchises, despite the fact that they haven’t produced a championship since the days of Walt Frazier. One could argue that they’ve historically been more hype than success, but at this point in 2012 they’re as legitimate to the Heat’s throne as any other contender. Besides, history only favors those who it benefits the most. The Knicks for all current reasons are built to win, and aren’t shy about letting everyone know. With one of the rare franchise changing superstars in Carmelo Anthony leading the pack, the Knicks personalities could overshadow their talent, and that’s saying a lot.
Sixth man of the year candidate J.R. Smith is a highlight reel that is no stranger to off the court antics. Beyond veteran status players like Rasheed Wallace have convinced fans that Rasheed Wallace sole purpose for being on the roster is to intimidate opponents with his brash delivery. Then with equally polarizing players such as Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton, Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire, and the 2nd year Iman Shumpert, it’s easy to see the appeal of the New York Knickerbockers. They have a mixed roster of veteran favorites, and young athletes that fans will embrace culturally. Very reminiscent of the dominant Knick’s teams of the 90′s. Yeah the Knicks receive a lot of unwarranted love, but they receive the same amount of hate. Either way, their relevancy is undebatable.