Knicks/Nets - This is Real

There are a million things that make sports great. It's the best reality on television as games have ups and downs that aren't scripted and often you can't make up. There is drama. There is tension. There is conflict and it's all very real. All of these are heightened in rivalry games and in early December it is abundantly clear that the rivalry between Knicks/Nets is real.

It started before it started when Mikhail Prokhorov and some guy named Sean Carter (you know him as Jay-Z, even if you're this lady) took out space on the side of a building (New York's version of a  billboard) across from Madison Square Garden, sending the message of "we're coming for you."

After last night's epic, the story lines were endless but it all starts with the fact that both teams are actually good, something that couldn't have been said basically ever. The Nets have been a model of mediocrity or worse with the exception of the 5 season stretch last decade led by Jason Kidd, ironically the man who hit the game winner last night for the Knicks.  During that time the Knicks were at their worst, missing the playoffs every year except 2004 when they were swept by the Nets.

There was always the big brother/little brother dynamic where the Knicks were far and away the talk of the town, and the Nets were more of a geographic annoyance between the Knicks and Sixers than an actual rival. However the fact that the two teams have never been good at the same time makes the timing of the Nets move to Brooklyn all the better.

Of course this wasn't coincidence. If the Nets hadn't moved, Deron Williams has admitted he would have left for Dallas last off-season. They never would have traded for Joe Johnson. There's also the sleeping giant that no one is talking about yet that if the Nets can trade the oft-injured Brook Lopez (not possible until Jan. 15) for some expiring deals, they might be able to land Dwight Howard this summer if the Lakers' disastrous season continues and Superman wants to fly away.

From the chants of "Brooooooklyyyyyn" to Jay-Z and Queen B sitting on the sidelines, the atmosphere in the Barclay's Center is infinitely better than any of the arenas the Nets called home in Jersey, and the Nets really feel like Brooklyn's team. The Nets for a time played at the Meadowlands across the street from the Jets and Giants both of whom claim New York as home. With all due respect to the Garden State, there is just no respect for the Garden State. Being stationed in New York makes the Nets a legit force and whether Knicks fans like it or not, the Nets just hit puberty and the little brother you used to beat up is now your size and not so easy to manhandle anymore.