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The Battle for New York: Knicks vs Nets – The Central Observer
The Battle for New York: Knicks vs Nets
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The New York Knicks have been the mecca for basketball and the NBA in New York City for decades. In 1946 the New York Knicks joined the top basketball league in the world following the success and popularity of college basketball in New York City.

The Knicks embodied the city and the people in it and in 1970 and 1973 they were NBA champions. In 1950 the Knicks signed the first ever black NBA player, Sweetwater Clifton, and played in one of the most iconic arenas in the world, Madison Square Garden. Since 1946 the Knicks ran New York until New Jersey got a team of their own right across the Hudson River in 1976.

There was an immediate rivalry due to how close the teams were to each other geographically but it wasn’t until 2012 that the Nets moved to Brooklyn. Now there was a stronger rivalry beginning to brew between these two teams as the team had moved into New York City.

Manhattan was still run by the Knicks but just across the Brooklyn Bridge this team built a fancy arena called the Barclays Center and were intruding into Knicks territory. After five-straight losing seasons in their last years in New Jersey, the Brooklyn Nets were immediately good in their first season in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn won 49 regular-season games in the 2012-2013 season, just as the Knicks were getting a good team themselves. New York acquired two superstars a couple seasons before, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, in hopes of creating a championship team. The Knicks jumped from a little above a .500 team to winning 54 games the same year the Nets moved to Brooklyn.

This immediately made the rivalry even more intense. Both the Knicks and Nets hadn’t been good in decades but now both teams were good at the same and it was the first year there were two teams in New York City.

The rivalry raged on between the two teams for a few years between these two solid rosters following the Nets arrival in Brooklyn. After 2015 the rivalry went cold as both teams struggled.

All of a sudden the rivalry was back in a big way five years later in 2020 as both teams began singing superstars and winning. The Nets brought in Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden while the Knicks signed Julius Randle and drafted RJ Barrett.


Brooklyn was winning the battle of New York on the court until this past season when the Knicks signed Jalen Brunson and became a legit playoff contender. The Nets then traded all of their star players as the chemistry was just not there.


This rivalry will rage on as long as both of these teams are in New York but right now the Knicks have the edge over the Nets. It will be another entertaining series between these two Atlantic Division teams next year as they go hard at each other for the four games of the regular season they are matched up with each other.


By Jack Stradley, I’m a sports writer always looking for a gripping story and a hot take.

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