Jan 19, 2011; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov addresses the press prior to game between the New Jersey Nets and the Utah Jazz announcing that the Carmelo Anthony deal with the Denver Nuggets has been canceled. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Mikhail Prokhorov Takes Jab at James Dolan

The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets have been in the middle of a publicity war as both teams ready to battle it out for Big Apple supremacy this upcoming season.

The latest attempt to light a flame under this rivalry was delivered by Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov who made a point to refer to Knicks’ owner James Dolan as “that little man,” to a New York Magazine writer.

Sure Prokhorov stands 6’8″ but his height has nothing to do with looking down at Dolan.

Prokhorov didn’t move the Nets to Brooklyn to play second fiddle to Dolan’s Knicks and he will look to take advantage of any opportunity to make that known to anyone who will listen.

This dates back to his initial press conference in 2010 when Prokhorov said: “We will turn Knicks fans into Nets fans.”

Prokhorov hasn’t been shy at spending money as he’s added about $300 million of payroll this season and while he’s transformed the Nets into potential contenders, personally I view all of his comments as side-show antics.

Despite adding talent and spending money, the Nets must establish themselves before they are any threat to the Knicks.

That’s something Tyson Chandler agrees with as well, telling ESPN:

“I heard a little bit, but I think it’s foolish,” Chandler told reporters in July. “The Nets are just coming together, and I think it’s pointless for them to talk to us about anything. First they need to establish themselves. It’s a lot of talk, almost the same thing as us playing against the Dream Team — it can’t happen right now. I will let it speak for itself the first time we play them.”

Dolan is an easy target for criticism, but not from Prokhorov, whose team has done very little since he arrived on the scene in 2010.

Prokhorov can take all the shots at Dolan and the Knicks he wants, but the back pages still belong to the Knicks and the Nets won’t own them anytime soon. When and if they do, maybe then I will listen to what Prokhorov has to say.

Until then, he just sounds like “the little man,” in all of this.

If anything though, this rivalry is set to explode and the one way the Knicks can keep Prokhorov quiet is by simply beating them more often than not.

They will get the first chance to do exactly that when they open the Barclay’s Center on November 1.

Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.

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Tags: James Dolan Mikhail Prokhorov New York Knicks

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