In one short year, the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks have elevated their rivalry to new heights. The battle for the city of New York has become ferocious, as the hatred between both NBA sides has become legitimate.
Knicks point guard Raymond Felton and Nets forward Paul Pierce have become the latest to feud.
Per Ian Begley and ESPN New York, Felton recently made it very clear that the Nets will never take over the hearts and minds of New York. Despite making the postseason last season, Felton believes that the words on the front of their respective jerseys say it all:
"They will never take over the city. Because we've got 'New York' on our chest," Felton said Sunday. "They've got 'Brooklyn' on their chest, and we've got 'New York.' They'll never take over the city.
"[Pierce] saying that is just him talking. At the end of the day, it's all about rivalries. We understand that -- he knows that, I know that. He's just trying to fuel it."
Knicks fans are certain to agree.
The Knicks and Nets played four times during the 2012-13 NBA regular season, splitting the season series 2-2. In the offseason, Brooklyn added long-time, high-profile Knicks rivals in Pierce and Kevin Garnett, while New York tried countering with the acquisitions of Andrea Bargnani and Metta World Peace.
Sparking Felton's recent comments, Pierce recently had a telling interview with Angel Diaz of Complex magazine:
Do you hate the Knicks?
With a passion. Let's start it up right now. Let's start the beef. It's no secret that me and New York got history. It's no secret. This is no secret. It's already known.
You plan on helping Brooklyn steal the city?
Oh yeah. Right now it might be like 70-30 but we're gonna push that the other way.
Tell us how you really feel.
For those unfamiliar, Pierce spent 15 years as a member of the Boston Celtics, developing an intense rivalry with the Knicks. From late-game heroics to physical battles against the division rivals, we've seen Pierce attack the Knicks with reckless abandon.
Now that they play in the same city, the tension is at a new high.
Pierce and Felton are two of the more respected competitors in the NBA. With a strong, physical brand of basketball, it's beyond likely that the two play instrumental roles in the continuing development of the New York rivalry.
Who do you think is going to win in the long run?