Time for New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets to Shut Up and Let Real Games Begin

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterSeptember 20, 2013

I'm all for trash talk and overconfidence to promote rivalry. I can tolerate the laughable insults, as well as the clowns and jerks that spew them. Some of my best friends are jerks. I get it.

Nobody wants to look inferior, and everyone needs to have the last word. 

But the back-and-forth banter between the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks has just gotten stale:

When Paul Pierce was asked about J.R. Smith calling him "bitter," Pierce said, "who? Who? Who?"

—Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) September 19, 2013 

Come on, Paul. You're better than the old "who?" routine. 

Smith isn't exactly a model trash-talker either. Pierce's played-out diss came after Smith referred to him as "a bitter person just getting out of Boston," and someone who "doesn't really know what New York is all about."

Smith also managed to squeak in, "He just knows, just know that his words have consequences and he's going to have to pay for them," via ESPN's Ian Begley.

What's irritating about this feud is that neither team or player has any legitimate ammo to fire. 

J.R. Smith was abysmal during last year's playoffs. He's in absolutely no position to be running his mouth.

And if I recall, Pierce lost to the Knicks in the postseason last year. Now that he's no longer with the Boston Celtics, it's certainly not cool to start a new trash-talking thread before playing a single game for the team he's been traded to. 

Apr 20, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) drives to the net as Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) defends during game one of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credi

Both of these guys need to zip it, especially Smith, who's always at his worst when the microscope intensifies. After drawing attention to himself in this past year's playoffs following a one-game suspension in the first round against Boston, Smith returned in disastrous fashion.

With his name trending nationally, he put up complete duds in the final two games of the Celtics series, and against the Indiana Pacers in the conference semis, Smith practically shot his team out of the playoffs. 

I can't imagine Carmelo Anthony appreciates the additional coverage and pressure Smith puts on the team by his continuous yapping.

The Knicks and Nets are two teams with a lot to prove. They are also squads trying to build chemistry. Winning the battle of the boroughs shouldn't be a priority or constant topic of discussion. It won't be a good look for either team if the jawing continues while both are getting smoked by the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls.

With training camp less than two weeks away, it's time for everyone to start locking in mentally. 

Pierce has a brand-new team with which to get acquainted, while Smith is recovering from serious knee surgery. Neither team can afford the extra distractions, especially with the window for each aging roster quickly closing.

Brooklyn and New York will see enough of each other during the year that continuous preseason bickering is unnecessary. Hopefully both teams have bigger goals in mind than finishing No. 1 in New York.