How to Decide Whether to Be a New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets Fan
photo courtesy of yodonbleekraps.com
The Brooklyn Nets and the Manhattan based New York Knicks have clashing personae in a number of different ways. Choosing which team to root for next season may say a lot about one's preferences as a sports fan.
It's very possible that the Knicks and Nets both win around the same games next year. Other factors aside from win totals—like style of play and the teams' respective sport arenas—will determine which team to watch on a nightly basis.
The following segment looks into each team's culture heading into the 2012 season.
What Kind of Superstar Do You Like?
If you like a mercurial 25 point per game scorer, Carmelo Anthony is your guy.
Anthony's resume includes a litany of game winning shots, a gorgeous NY media-darling wife (La La Vasquez), endless braggadocio and one of the cockiest smiles in the history of sports.
The downside to routing for Anthony is that he often resorts to isolation plays rather facilitating ball movement, which at times can frustrate the Knicks offense.
On the other hand, if you enjoy a quieter kind of playmaker who averages 19 points and nine assists over an efficient 14 shots a game, Brooklyn Net Deron Williams is the preferable choice.
Williams pure point guard play offers more creativity than does Anthony's game. However, Williams isn't a classic No. 1 scoring option like Anthony, who is considered one of a handful of elite fourth quarter closers in the NBA.
What Is Your Favorite Playing Style?
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Brooklyn Nets coach Avery Johnson will preach an up-tempo style by utilizing an athletic, high scoring backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson.
Because Williams is one of the best passing guards in the league, fans will see a lot of creative ball movement on the offensive end of the floor this year.
In addition to the Nets veteran backcourt, expect Nets starter Gerald Wallace and back-up guard MarShon Brooks to spark the offense with several quick attacks to the rim.
Across town, coach Mike Woodson will emphasize grinding, half-court sets that will focus first and foremost on defense.
On the offensive end, the Knicks guards' primary roles will be to feed the ball to a frontcourt of Anthony and Amare Stoudemire for a number of slowly developed isolation plays.
If Stoudemire's summer tutelage under NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon pay dividends next year, the Knicks should have one of the most formidable frontcourt offenses in the league.
Madison Square Garden Versus the Barclays Center
The Barclays Center looming over Brooklyn Brownstones and small shops (Copyright Argun M. Ulgen)
From its inaugural year in 1968, Madison Square Garden has been one of the most fabled arenas in American sports history.
Two New York Knicks championship banners (1970 and '72) hang off the Garden's rafters. The Garden has been home to Hall of Famers Walt Clyde Frazier, Earl Monroe, Willis Reed, and Patrick Ewing.
For some fans, the Garden's ethos is reason enough to be a Knicks fan for life.
The Barclays Center's history thus far has been mired by property battles and criticism for its potentially adverse affects on an otherwise idyllic, relatively quiet Brooklyn neighborhood.
However, Barclays will offer New York basketball fans at least one thing Madison Square Garden does not: cheaper ticket prices.
Prices for Nets v. 76ers upper corner tickets for a December 23, 2012 contest at Barclays cost around $22 a pop.
Which Eccentric Billionaire Do You Prefer?
The Knicks enigmatic owner James Dolan (captioned) hasn't given an interview since 2007. In the meantime, the Knicks had four more losing seasons dating back to 2001 and Madison Square Garden underwent a multi-million dollar sexual harassment lawsuit.
When the Knicks finally did have a winning season in 2011, Dolan rewarded loyal Knicks fans by instilling a 49 percent increase (via CBS Local) in ticket prices for the next season.
However, Dolan does have a tender, soulful relationship with his guitar.
Mikhail Prokhorov—the billionaire owner of the Nets— is the brassier of the billionaires.
Prokhorov has already started to talk trash about the Knicks before his Nets have even won a game. In an interview with New York Magazine, he labeled his crosstown rival's 5'6" owner "that little man."
Oh, yeah, and he also spent money on his own film crew to video him jet skiing.
The Poetic V. Straight Laced Broadcast
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Legendary Knicks broadcaster Walt Clyde Frasier waxes poetic during his broadcast of Knicks games.
The stylish Frasier will offer up catch phrases like "swishing and dishing" (great passing and shooting), "percolating" (bubbling), and "a little serendipity right there" (when the Knicks capitalize on an opponent's turnover).
Frazier also offers a thorough lexicon of SAT vocabulary words during his broadcasts, which can get annoying when the Knicks are down by 20 in the fourth quarter and you just want to mourn quietly in their defeat.
For those fans who prefer more straight laced coverage, Nets play-by-play broadcaster Ian Eagle offers some of the steadiest, if not perfunctory, broadcasting in the game.
Ian Eagle won't tolerate shenanigans, as was evidenced when he chastised color commentary partner Mike Fratello (via The Huffington Post) for being too obnoxious last season.
Who Is Your Favorite Iconic Sports Fan?
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Who do you prefer to see sitting in those courtside seats?
The Knicks most iconic sports fan, filmmaker Spike Lee, is routinely found at the front row of Knicks games, wearing his usually funky sports attire while engaging in spirited barbs with opposing team stars.
Off the court, Lee has paid poetic homage to the Knicks in several of his Brooklyn based films including He Got Game, Crooklyn, and his most recent production Red Hook Summer.
As it stands, the most iconic Nets fan is rap star Jay-Z. Jay-Z—a part-owner of the Nets— designed the logo for the Brookyn Nets, which is a throwback to the old New Jersey Nets design with a touch of Brooklyn swagger.
Jay-Z's support for the Nets will probably be postured when he attends the games. It will be interesting to see if a celebrity who has the same emphatic love for the Nets as Lee has for the Knicks will emerge next season.
Or is it too soon for that?