Ever since the Brooklyn Nets acquired Paul Pierce from the Celtics the rivalry between the Nets and the Knicks has been slowly escalating. Carmelo Anthony, who was born in Brooklyn and lived there until he was seven, spoke with reporters this week and while he didn’t ramp up the rhetoric, he did speak matter-of-factly about it becoming one of the best rivalries in the NBA.
“I love it,” Anthony told Mason Levinson and Matthew Miller of Bloomberg.com. “I think it’s great for sports, I think it’s great for New York and I think it’s great for us as a Knicks’ organization to have somebody that we can compete with on a consistent basis. That is going to be the best rivalry in basketball for a long, long time.”
Melo even went so far as to cede Brooklyn to the younger generation.
“We all know from the Jackie Robinson days, that was the last time we actually had something to believe in,” Anthony said at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit hosted by Bloomberg Link in New York. “Now, with the young kids that are coming up these days, that’s their team. They grow up under the Brooklyn Nets and that’s their team.”
Those aren’t fighting words. Also, I love how Melo still refers to the people of Brooklyn as “we”. He continued, “It’s going to be a funny thing to see the kids growing up there, how they convert from Knicks’ fans to Nets’ fans. The household might be Knicks’ fans and the kids might be Nets’ fans, so it’s a rivalry everywhere, in the households, on the basketball courts, in the streets, in the boroughs. It’s everywhere, and it makes it fun for the game.”
I think Melo actually brought up a good point. There are a lot of lifelong Knicks fans in Brooklyn and even though some of them, especially the casual fans, might switch allegiances, the majority will remain Knicks fans. However, I have noticed that a lot of the young kids walking around the borough are wearing Nets gear these days.