Monday , March 27 2023
An upstart Brooklyn team daring to take on the successful established team in New York: does that sound familiar?

Knicks and Nets: New Rivalry Good For New York

An upstart Brooklyn team daring to take on the successful established team in New York: if that sounds familiar (think Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees) it is, and it is happening again. The Brooklyn Nets (how nice it is to hear “Brooklyn” as part of a team’s name) are looking to establish a legacy in the city, and the team had a pep rally outside Borough Hall with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz leading the charge to challenge the cross river rivals.

Markowitz implied that the Knicks haven’t been able to bring a championship to the city and that “it’s going to take the Brooklyn Nets to get the job done.” Images of two guys standing in the middle of the street in a Western town ready for a gunfight flashed in my head. If anything, this is going to be a most exciting and interesting basketball season here in New York.

Nets coach Avery Johnson praises his backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, who will join the rest of the starting five (Brook Lopez, Gerald Wallace, and Kris Humphries) as the new era begins in the sparkling new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. While Avery has no illusions that the team will win a championship in 2013, the goal is to win one soon thereafter. Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has made it clear he expects to win a championship by 2015, but there’s no pressure, at least not yet.

The Knicks certainly have the Nets on their radar, but they have enough on their plates to keep them occupied. The idea of filling their most pressing need: point guard, is still not resolved. The Houston Rockets have now upped the ante and offered Jeremy Lin a $25.1 million contract, which is going to be difficult for the Knicks to beat (the team has three days to match the offer). The Knicks have wanted to keep Lin to work with Jason Kidd, whom they had hoped would be a mentor for the 23 year old Harvard graduate, but now it doesn’t seem like it will happen.

“Linsanity” became a worldwide phenomenon last year, and the Rockets must sense that what he may lack in ability can be greatly overcome by his star power. The Knicks are also aware of the possibilities of a healthy Jeremy Lin (who hasn’t played a minute since getting hurt in April) playing in Madison Square Garden again. Last year (judging from walking around New York) the team must have made a fortune on Jeremy Lin jerseys alone. If he is healthy and playing well, it will be great for the team and for the player.

Also, the rivalry between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks will depend upon both teams performing well on the court. How much fun will it be to see that heat up if the two teams are doing well? It will be great to have New Yorkers debating about players and the teams, in many ways just as we now have with the Mets and Yankees. This New Yorker is thrilled that we have the Nets back in New York where they belong.

Of course, we will have to see if there will be an opportunity for both teams to be playoff contenders. For now, under Mike Woodson the Knicks seem to be heading that way again. Johnson says he feels his team can compete, so when we have the first Knicks game against the Nets in Brooklyn it will all feel the way it should feel for New Yorkers. Let the rivalry begin!

The New Jersey Nets are now dead; long live the Brooklyn Nets. Now, if we could just get the Jets back on this side of the river, I would be one happy sports fan. 

Photo Credit:

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His books 'A Death in Prague' (2002), 'Move' (2003), 'The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories' (2005), and 'Like a Passing Shadow' (2009) are available in print, online, and as e-books. 'Heartbeat and Other Poems,' 'If the Fates Allow: New York Christmas Stories,' 'Garden of Ghosts,' and 'Flashes in the Pan' are available exclusively on Amazon. His newest books 'The Stranger from the Sea' and 'Love in the Time of the Coronavirus' are available as e-books and in print. After winning the National Arts Club Award for Poetry while attending Queens College, he concentrated on writing mostly fiction and non-fiction prose until the recent publication of his new book of poetry, 'Heartbeat and Other Poems' (now available on Amazon). He has worked as a faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with 'Blogcritics Magazine' since July 2005 and has written many articles on a variety of topics; previously co-head sports editor, he now is a Culture and Society and Flash Ficition editor. Having traveled extensively, Victor has visited six continents and intends to get to Antarctica someday where he figures a few ideas for new stories await him.

Check Also

Augusta McKay Lodge (photo credit: Casey Leigh Photography)

Exclusive Interview: Voyage Sonique Violinist Augusta McKay Lodge on Performing in the Green-Wood Cemetery Catacombs

The award-winning musician discusses her career and upcoming concerts in the Catacombs: "This will go at the top of my unusual venues list, that's certain."