In case you hadn't noticed, there are now two NBA teams vying for New York's affection.
Think of the Knicks like that tenured college professor you hated because he or she didn't give a damn. They taught their class their way whether you liked it or not, because they could. They were there to stay.
That's the Knicks. They've been the (only) toast of the town for so long, the Nets can't infringe upon their legacy. No matter how poor a showing they muster or how lamentable a roster the Knicks assemble, the Nets can't poach the loyalty of an entire fanbase.
But they can displace their throne. Bearing "New York" on their chest gives the Knicks irrevocable rights—just not to the Atlantic Division.
Quite literally, the Knicks will always be New York's team. Like Raymond Felton said, per ESPN New York's Ian Begley, they have "New York" scrawled across their chests.
That doesn't mean they'll always be New York's best team. There will be times when the Nets have the better record, when they have the better season.
Following a string of offseason coups—and like B/R's Adam Fromal posits—next year stands to be one of those times. Unless, of course, the Knicks can do what's necessary to remain both the more famed and successful of The Empire State's basketball franchises.