There’s no doubting that with their move to Brooklyn, the Nets and New York Knicks rivalry will reach heights that it has never seen before.
With offseason additions, both teams should be much improved and contenders, not only in the NBA’s Atlantic Division, but in the Eastern Conference as well.
While the 2012-13 schedule won’t be officially announced until Thursday night, one thing we do know is that the Knicks will open up the season in Brooklyn as the Nets first opponent in the brand new Barclays Center.
While there aren’t many rivalries left in the NBA similar to what the Knicks had with the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers in the 90’s, Nets’ point guard Deron Williams may have accidently poured some fuel on the fire in what could turn out to be a heated, physical rivalry for the future.
Williams told several media outlets when the news broke that the Knicks would open the season in Brooklyn:
“I would be more excited if we were playing Miami.”
Was Williams intentionally trying to slight the Knicks or call them an inferior opponent?
Likely not, but that doesn’t mean the Knicks have to take it that way.
Chances are that no one will remember Williams’ comments by November 1, but they should serve as classic bulletin board material for the Knicks. Nothing would be sweeter than ruining the Nets opener. Games in New Jersey always seemed like an extra home game for the Knicks. That may not be the case anymore but the Knicks can’t allow the Nets to take over the city.
November 1 is a long way away, but it’s not too early to develop a little bit of hate between the two teams and their fan bases.
Today’s NBA is missing great rivalries.
While nothing may resemble the Heat-Knicks or Knicks-Pacers, now that the Nets and Knicks are even closer neighbors than before, the chance for bad blood is even greater.
The recent comments from Williams are just the first of what I expect to be many jabs taken from each side.
When it’s all said and done, the two teams won’t have to wait very long to get at each other. Maybe the Knicks can give Williams a friendly reminder of why New York is still their city.
No matter who comes out on top opening night, it would be nice to see a little bit of bad blood and physical basketball and possibly the next great NBA rivalry formed.
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