This summer, the Brooklyn Nets were able to get the 2 superstar free-agents that the New York Knicks coveted. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving decided to sign with the Nets over the Knicks. Knicks fans were too confident that they would land at least one, if not both. But, that was not god’s plan.
Now that those two are in Brooklyn instead of New York, does this intensify the rivalry? Is the Knicks-Nets rivalry bigger than ever now?
Well, it should be. But, it isn’t.
Some fans of both teams will saw say there is always a rivalry and rightfully so. The ‘Battle of Borough’ does mean a lot to basketball fans in New York. It is a sibling rivalry. It is fun and there is something extra to play when these two teams meet, regardless of their records.
However, the rivalry does not mean as much unless both teams are good and/or contenders. This season, and for the duration of the Durant/Irving tenure, the rivalry does not carry as much weight unless the Knicks are good.
Regardless of what player went where, the Nets made the playoffs last year and were the better New York team. The Knicks had the league’s worst record, enough said. Therefore, the rivalry meant nothing, well to Spencer Dinwiddie it allegedly meant everything.
If the Knicks are able to become something like what the Nets currently are, then it will grow. The Knicks will have to be contenders. It might not be next season, but they are on the right path to make that happen. Or, if the Knicks are able to get a big name free-agent next season, or trade for one, then the rivalry will be huge. As long as whatever they do turns them into competitors.
There was no competition last season, or the year before. The Nets were clearly the better team, so the rivalry was swept underneath the rug. Even when Durant comes back from his Achilles injury, the rivalry will not mean much unless the Knicks are competitive.
If both teams are in contention for the playoffs, especially being in the same division, the rivalry intensifies. The Knicks already have the ‘dog’ mentality ready to shock people with their play this season. Will that play be good enough to propel this rivalry into a another stratosphere? Or will the Knicks let the Nets try to take control of the city.