COMMENTARY | When the Brooklyn Nets moved away from New Jersey, they did so with the plan of becoming New York's team. Of course, the New York Knicks weren't going to just roll over and let this happen.
While the Knicks were the better team last season, the Nets have made some major moves to put themselves in a position to pass the Knicks.
Paul Pierce, one of the Brooklyn newcomers, threw some gasoline on the fire by talking about how much he dislikes the Knicks. This is not a new emotion for Pierce, who seemed to always play at his best against the Knicks while he was a member of the Boston Celtics. While he has yet to play a game with the Nets, it's clear that he has some pretty serious faith in his new team.
NBA fans have taken notice to the trash talking and are excited for the two teams to figure out this issue on the court. Commissioner David Stern has also been following the story, and reportedly met with both teams in an effort to "snuff any lingering tension between the two and prevent a full-blown feud."
It's a bit surprising that Stern would go this far before the season has even started to meet with James Dolan and Mikhail Prokhorov. Nobody has crossed the line by any means with the trash talk, and it seems as if everything said has simply been out of competitive spirit.
Also, wouldn't a full-blown rivalry between the Knicks and Nets be unbelievably great for the NBA? New York is a huge market, and a feud that brings attention to the regular season and potentially to the postseason would seemingly be a huge positive for the league. Fans love rivalries. So what's the deal, David Stern?
The two teams will be competing for the Atlantic Division crown, and both figure to be significant obstacles to the Miami Heat winning a third consecutive NBA championship. While the Knicks made a few minor moves to improve their depth, the Nets went on a massive spending spree in hopes of becoming championship contenders. Whether or not it works out on the court, Brooklyn will be facing a very stiff luxury tax bill for all of its spending. Maybe that's just the price of trying to take over New York.
Although David Stern is already trying to get the Knicks and Nets to play nice, it should be a lot of fun to watch these two teams square off this season.
Chris lives in Connecticut and covers the New York Knicks. He grew up in New York and is a lifelong follower of the NBA.
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