Brooklyn Nets: 5 Reasons They Will Always Be Second Fiddle in New York City
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But even if he teams up with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson in Brooklyn, the Nets will always be second-rate to the Knicks.
Some of it is timing. Some of it has to do with a New York fanbase that has always been loyal to the Knicks, that will always leave the Nets in the dust.
Some of it is more about the Nets and their limitations as a franchise in Brooklyn.
And some of it just has to do with the way sports have always been in New York. There can only be one alpha-dog in every major sport in New York.
In baseball, it's the Yankees. Even when the Mets were better, it's always been about the Yankees.
The Giants are also seen as New York's main football team, not the Jets.
In the New York metropolitan area, it's almost always been about the Rangers, not the Devils despite their successes. And the Islanders, well, we won't even go there.
It's been no different in basketball and the power continuum certainly won't change because a team from New Jersey is moving to Brooklyn. The Knicks sold out games in their darkest days during the Isiah era. The Nets weren't nearly as popular even at their height when Jason Kidd ran the show.
Are we supposed to believe that the Nets will ovetake the Knicks just because they're moving a few miles to Brooklyn?
Here's a few reasons why the Nets will always be the Robin to the Knicks' Dark Knight.
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There's every reason to think the Nets will be the better team in New York next season, at least on paper, and there's every reason to think the Knicks will disappoint again.
But there's no question that the Knicks have the player everyone wants to see: Jeremy Shu-How Lin
The supporting cast for the Knicks is more entertaining than anything the Nets have to offer, with or without Dwight Howard as the franchise center.
Carmelo Anthony is still one of the most entertaining players in the league. In the biggest games, fans want to see him match up against the leagues elite. Games against the Heat and Lakers have been popular in New York in part because fans want to see Melo go up against LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
J.R. Smith, as much of a bonehead as he can be, is a high-flying act.
Iman Shumpert is one of the most exciting, young players to watch.
Amare Stoudemire is still a name that will sell tickets when he's not punching fire extinguishers.
Watching Steve Novak do the "discount double check" has become part of the New York experience.
And the return of Marcus Camby will add that vintage appeal for old-school fans of the team from the turn of the century.
The Nets, on the other hand, for all of their talent, are actually pretty boring.
Joe Johnson has never been an entertaining player.
Deron Williams shows his flashiness sometimes but usually gets the job done in admirable albeit quiet fashion.
Gerald Wallace is a great player but you're not going to sell out every night because of your stellar perimeter defense.
Kris Humphries is on his way out, bringing with him the Perez Hilton fans that used to occupy seats in New Jersey.
Dwight is an entertaining player but the Nets don't have him. Yet.
Is D12 enough to swing the pendulum in favor of Brooklyn?
The Knicks will always be New York's team.
Barclays Center vs Madison Square Garden
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There's something to be said about the location of the venue.
As good a team as the Nets may be next season, and for years to come, most New Yorkers know it's easier to get to Madison Square Garden, which is centrally located in Midtown Manhattan, than trekking out to the Barclays Center on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.
What's more practical on a weekday night?
The Garden is also a staple of New York City. It's not as much of a tourist attraction as the Statue of Liberty or Ground Zero, but for sports fans visiting the city, or even for residents, it's a must-see and considered by many to be the mecca of basketball.
You won't be seeing people going out of their way just to take a picture of the exterior of the the Barclays Center.
How Many Nets Fans Do You Know?
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Seriously, how many Nets fans do you know?
You rarely, if ever, see fans go crazy for the Nets. Even in their heyday with Jason Kidd running fast breaks with Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter on the wings, the Nets were celebrated as quickly as they were forgotten. That NBA Finals' team was a one-hit wonder in an otherwise long history of mediocre fan support.
It will be a long time before Deron & Co. are able to bring a real fanbase on board, something akin to what the Knicks had, currently have and always will have.
Likewise, how many annoying Knicks fans do you know? They're crazy. But they're everywhere and one of the most knowledgeable fanbases in the league.
Whether you're a fan or a Knicks hater, you can't deny the buzz generated by Knicks fans at the Garden, which was perhaps at its height less than a year ago when people packed into the Garden to see a Harvard-grad give everyone a lesson. Do you think it will be any different this year?
From borough to borough, the Knicks are New York's team. The Nets may win over a few first-time basketball fans or Knicks fans who have given up on Carmelo Anthony, but the majority of New York has always bled orange and blue and always will.
The Best Is Found in Manhattan
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There's a general consensus that the best is in Manhattan and that if it can't be found there, it can't be found anywhere. It's true for everything from food to entertainment. The Knicks, for all of their shortcomings, have been and will continue to be no exception.
The Knicks will never be seen as second-rate to another basketball team in New York. Most New Yorkers will never admit that Brooklyn has a better product, in or out of sports, and this extends to the way the Knicks are viewed when compared to another NBA team in the city.
It also helps that the Nets aren't clearly the more talented team. Had the Nets moved to Brooklyn in the darkest days for the Knicks when Isiah Thomas ruled with an iron fist, perhaps it would've been easier for the team to steal away a bunch of hopeless fans of the Knicks.
But now the Knicks, despite their struggles and limitations, can hang with any team in the league when they are playing their best.
The Nets aren't head-and-shoulders above them so there's really no clear advantage that the Nets have over the Knicks, whether it's location or talent, that would allow Brooklyn to put together a fanbase on par with what the Knicks have cultivated for decades.
Knicks Fans Can Smell Victory
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You could argue that for all of their potential, the Knicks have put their fans through more suffering than any other fanbase in sports. The team has been downright disappointing given their lure as a big market for free agents and deep pockets that have gotten them nowhere.
But the team they have now is the best they've had in over a decade. Do you think all of a sudden Knicks fans will jump ship and hop on the Brooklyn bandwagon because of a few big stars joining the Nets?
The Knicks haven't won a championship in about 40 years and there's reason to believe their team now is a few pieces away from going back to the finals for the first time since 1999.
Knicks fans are loyal to a fault. They thought their team is great even when the Knicks were clearly a lottery team. The last thing fans want to be seen as after going through hell and back is a fanbase of frontrunners.
The Nets can win multiple championships and become a dynasty in the NBA. In New York, they will always be just the best team in Brooklyn.