It started with a radio spot, which aired a couple of times over the weekend during Knicks games (via Nets Daily):
“Hey Nets. You can walk like us, you can talk like us, but you ain’t never gonna be like us. Knicks, Nets, Tuesday, 7:30, MSG.”
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov responded to that Tuesday in the New York Post.
“I don’t think we want to be like the Knicks. I think we’d more like to resemble the Lakers,” the owner said as a shot towards the Knicks recent run of futility.
We have some bad blood. Maybe we even have a real rivalry staring here.
Truth be told, it started this summer, when both teams were going after LeBron James. Prokhorov worked to raise the presence of the 12-win Nets by a number of steps, one being a billboard across from Madison Square Garden with a picture of himself and part-owner Jay-Z proclaiming they were the “blueprint for greatness.”
Later the Knicks put up a billboard pushing season tickets right across the street from where the Nets have broken ground on a new home in Brooklyn.
To be a real rivalry something needs to be on the line when they meet, which is not the case Tuesday night. The Lakers and Celtics are rivals. Heck the Heat and Cavaliers are more rivals with more bitter blood right now.
The Knicks are 9-9, the Nets 6-11, but both likely will be in the scrap for some of the final playoff spots in the East. Then the games will really matter.
Now it’s about boasting and pride. Which in New York is a lot. So maybe this is a real rivalry.