Knicks vs. Nets: Will This Crosstown Rivalry Mean Anything?

Chris HaydukCorrespondent IIApril 26, 2011

Will this rivalry ever amount to anything?
Will this rivalry ever amount to anything?Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Here in New York, everyone is abuzz with the fact that the Nets will be our next door neighbors in 2012.

After an abysmal season last year, they revamped the entire franchise. Mikhail Prokorov, the Russian billionaire, bought up the floundering Nets. He then hired Billy King and Avery Johnson as the new GM and coach, respectively.  

To cap off all the excitement, he announced that they would be moving to Brooklyn within a few years and even promised to win a championship within the next five years.  

Throughout the beginning of the season they were a disappointment. Then, out of nowhere, they acquired Deron Williams from the Utah Jazz. This brought the attention back to the Nets and their move to Brooklyn in 2012.  

Will this move into NYC be successful?

I for one, don't think so. They are moving into the heart of Knicks territory; converting these rabid fans will be extremely difficult.  

After supporting a single team for generations, especially one as storied as the Knicks, many will not choose to switch teams just because the Nets moved into their backyard.

Also, there is no guarantee that Deron Williams will stay with the Nets. Unless they make some serious strides forward this offseason, I just don't see him being content.  

Him leaving would be a huge blow to the Nets, detracting from their marketability and playoff hopes. Without a star to be the face of their franchise, there won't be much appeal among NBA fans to start flocking to the Nets.

Not only do the Nets have a chance to return to their bottom-dwelling ways, but the Knicks are also on the rise towards being part of the Eastern Conference's elite.

This, along with the star power provided by Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, will help bring many more fans to the franchise than were already in place.

Looking at the big picture, it does not seem like this will amount to a rivalry in the years following their move.  

As it is, the Prudential Center is a welcoming home to thousands of New York fans when the Knicks cross the river to play the Nets. Now that they are moving into Brooklyn, the effect will be even more profound.  

Also, the Nets could potentially be a terrible team if Deron Williams leaves, allowing the Knicks to trounce them in their meetings for years to come.

Even if Deron stays, as the two teams are currently constructed, the Nets are much worse than the Knicks.

It seems as though this move could be worse for the Nets than their current position. What do you think?