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Knicks may not think it’s a rivalry, but Nets do and they won round one

Feb 23, 2011, 12:29 PM EDT

Mikhail Prokhorov Introductory Press Conference Getty Images

Mention a Knicks/Nets rivalry to a Knicks fan and they laugh a dismissive little laugh. There is no rivalry — the Knicks play in Manhattan and the Nets are still in Newark, the swamps of Jersey. Even when they come to Brooklyn, that’s not on the island. The  Knicks dismiss the rivalry out of hand. It doesn’t exist.

The Nets think it’s a rivalry. Mikhail Prokhorov thinks it’s a rivalry and plans a full-scale invasion of the New York market.

And the Nets won round one.

The Nets deal for Deron Williams in Utah is a better one than what the Knicks just did for Carmelo Anthony. Certainly ‘Melo is the bigger name, the bigger name. But for my money Williams is the better player, the better guy to build around — especially if you are a running, pick-and-roll team like the Knicks. ‘Melo is a good fit, Williams would have been a great fit. But he’s a Net.

However, first Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov hung around the very public Knicks negotiations and drove up the price on his rival, forcing them to trade away most of their role players in the process.

All of this came after this summer, when the Nets put up a billboard featuring Prokhorov and minority owner Jay-Z, larger than life, right across the street from Madison Square Garden. The Knicks answered with their own Amar’e billboard next to the Nets under-construction new home in Brooklyn.

There is a lot of risk in this deal for the Nets. Deron Williams is reportedly stunned and not that happy about the deal (he embraced Utah like few players ever do). The Nets are going to have to sell him on their future and vision. He can opt out of his contract in the summer of 2012 and walk away, leaving the Nets with nothing. The rules don’t allow the Nets to start talking to Williams about an extension this summer — which means it will be under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Whatever that will look like. It means less money for Williams than ‘Melo got in his sign-and-trade.

But nothing attracts star free agents like other free agents. With Williams and a move to Brooklyn in a brand-new building, the Nets will have something that will at least attract the attention of other free agents. Throw in some quality other pieces such as Brook Lopez and the Nets have the core of something that could win a lot of games, that could be good.

Something that could rival the Knicks.

You know, if there were a rivalry there.

  1. starks3 - Feb 23, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    Nets Get
    #1or2 Player at position

  2. starks3 - Feb 23, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Nets Get
    #1or2 Player at position

    Give up 2 first rounders
    Give up 2 of their 3 best players

    Knicks Get
    #2 Player at positon
    Top 10 PG in League

    Give up 2 first rounders
    Give up 3 of their 5 best players

    So by my math I don’t understand how the Knicks who now have 2 of the top 10 players in the league and get a top 10 PG in Billups lose round one.

    What else do the Nets have besides B. Lopez and D Williams??

    Starting Lineups
    1.D Williams
    2.J. Farmar
    3.S Graham
    4.T. Outlaw
    5.Brook Lopez

    2.L Fields

    Both are mediocre/suspect

    So again how did the Nets win round one?????????????

    • bosutton - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:25 PM

      Clearly missing the the point. Deron Williams vs. Carmelo, Deron wins. Chauncey isn’t there to be a player (cause they’re not going to win a championship with him in the next two years) but a fill-in and salary cap fodder. Both trades are no-brainers, but it’s silly to compare current rosters to evaluate the trade. Nets started off way worse and are now a little closer. Donnie walsh even preferred Williams. Not saying I wouldn’t take the knicks roster, but I’d definitely take Deron over Melo

      • starks3 - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:36 PM

        The article to me was comparing the trades at the deadline and the Nets got 1 player Knicks got 3 players.

        Melo vs WIlliams I will give you, but Billups is still a top flight guard and for you and the rest of the media to assume he is cap fodder is just pure speculation until it is said so by someone in Knicks front office. So if the Knicks said Chauncy is our guard of the future would it change things in your mind??

        He is who he is and he is still a top 10 PG regardless of what you think the Knicks plans are for him. Also Corey Brewer will be a comparable replacement to Chandler.

        So I am still trying to figure out how the Nets won round 1???

    • goforthanddie - Feb 23, 2011 at 2:06 PM

      I’d love to know how you come up with Mr. Vasquez and Amare being 2 of the top 10 players in the league. There’s a lot more to basketball than scoring. And I guarantee every team in the league would rather have DWill than Mr. Vasquez. NJ got the better player, who will help the TEAM more, and for less than NY paid.

      • starks3 - Feb 23, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        2 out of the 10 starters in the NBA All Star Team, which all media people said were the right starters minus Yao, so that is how I came of them being 2 of the top ten.

  3. MTArider - Feb 23, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Well played Prok. You just traded for a big time star that WANTS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR FRANCHISE and will be miserable playing with no talent. Congrats! You can’t extend him and he can simply WALK AWAY from you guys. Enjoy him for a year and dont be surprised if he leaves your team to join the KNICKS because Dolan HATES you and Williams will HATE your team.

    Round 1 to the Nets? Not really…

    • paintan8 - Feb 23, 2011 at 2:59 PM

      Not only that, but when there is a lockout and no basketball next year and Williams opts out of his contract in 2012 to sign with the Knicks or Lakers, he will have played a grand total of 30 games for the Nets. Some organizations are bottom feeders for a reason: stupidity.

  4. hnirobert3 - Feb 23, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    Who cares, neither team is in Boston, Miami or Chicago’s league.

    • starks3 - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:30 PM

      Knicks are 2-0 vs. Chicago PM -pre melo

      I Don’t think the Bulls are on the Celts/Lakers/Heat/Magic level to be honest with you. When’s the last time the Bulls won a playoff series???

      • hnirobert3 - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:54 PM

        A) Regular season doesn’t matter
        B) The Bulls’ core group (Rose, Boozer, Noah) have played how many games together? Maybe 5 or so? The Bulls (minus Boozer) have been a tough out in the playoffs the last few years with Vinny Del Negro as their coach.

        “When’s the last time the Bulls won a playoff series???”

        When was the last time the Knicks made it to the playoffs?

      • starks3 - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:56 PM

        I’ll answer that one for you, 2006-2007 season. So why are the Bulls annointed to be so good, when they haven’t won a playoff series since 06-07 season?

      • starks3 - Feb 23, 2011 at 2:07 PM

        A.According to you the Regular season doesn’t matter.

        B. Then the playoffs do matter, well the Bulls haven’t won NATHAN in 5 plus years so according to your logic they are no good since only playoff performance matters.

  5. brades123 - Feb 23, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    D-Will isn’t even #1 or #2 at his position right now. Maybe #5 after CP3 (in another class altogether), Nash, Rose, Westbrook, and possibly Rondo. For Harris, Favors plus 2 1st rounders without an extension!!!

    Thank you, NJ. Enjoy the basement.

    • MTArider - Feb 24, 2011 at 2:46 AM

      LMFAO @ Nash…no. And Westbrook is a good young player but he’s not in DWill’s league. Four best are CP3, DWill, Rose and Rondo.

  6. nms16 - Feb 23, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Kurt, I am not sure if you are a sports fan, but if you are, you should be aware that this is round 2. Round 1 occurred over the summer, the Nets were shutout and the Knicks signed Amare to a five year deal. Remember the Nets struck first by putting up that laughable billboard outside of MSG…it was removed soon after LeBron chose to take his talents elsewhere.

    Round two just occurred and assuming you are correct that the Nets deal is better than the Knicks, the score would clearly be 1-1. Now throwing that assumption away, I would not say that the Nets deal is better. They have lost two good players and two first round picks for an extended rental. That is it. They currently have guarantee from Deron to play for one full season. There is a distinct possibility that the Deron does not sign an exception and Nets would be left out in the cold. At best, the Nets deal is similar to a team’s recent draft selections…only time would tell.

    The Knicks are with Amare and Melo until 2015!!!

    I would score the war as 1-0-1 in favor of the Knicks.

  7. leearmon - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Hopefully the Nets and Knicks will become a rivalry. It will be great for the league, but to call it one now, is premature. The Nets made a great move, making NY give up more for Carmelo, while still getting a star player. However is Deron WIlliams really better than Carmelo? The numbers don’t say that he is.

    If anything, they are on the same level. Also, whenever anyone on this site speaks of Carmelo, the next words out of their mouth is how he’s such a poor defensive player, yet he’s better than Deron. Where is the criticism of Williams’ defense? I’ll wait for that article from you, but I doubt I will ever see it…

    Now to your point about the Nets giving up less. For months almost a full year, you and other basketball writers have stated how the Knicks had little to no talent, no players to build around (especially during the decision). Now all of a sudden New York gave up too much? Does that make any sense at all? Yes giving up 4 rotational NBA players is a lot, but if they all played their best basketball of their lives because they played with STAT is there any doubt that other role players could not do the same thing?

    The risk the Nets took is a HUGE one. How much of a rivalry will it be if Deron walks two summers from now? Also its pretty clear NY has long favored a run at Chris Paul, so if they were to have pulled a trade for Deron, that eliminates their #1 option. Hopefully you understand how much better Paul is than Deron if not, look at the stats….

    So you would rather run a P&R offense with Deron over Paul? Really? would you also rather have steakums than a filet mignon too?

    And finally, can we please stop with Brook Lopez? Im begging, he has to be one of the most overrated players in the league. He scores a lot of points on a team who loses a lot of games. He doesn’t make anyone better, and despite his shot blocking abilities he’s an awful defensive player as well. In fact he reminds me of Eddy Curry back in ’06-’07. And oddly enough their number are almost identical…

    I would love for you, or anyone on the site to argue how Brook Lopez will attract anyone to Jersey. Maybe he will get better, he is young, and will turn 23 fittingly on Aprils fools day, because he’s fools gold. And you, as with a lot of your peers are doing more than your fair share of buying .

  8. arrabin56 - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    Round 1 the the Nets?

    Wasn’t Round 1:
    Knicks- Amare Stoudemire
    Nets- Travis Outlaw

    I’m pretty sure it wasn’t all that close.

  9. savocabol1 - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    This “journalist” needs to go back to kiddy school. Knicks have at least two consistant All Stars on their team. The average fan can’t even name one player on the Nets (until today). The Nets can’t figure out who they are, how the hell are they supposed to make noise in the league.

    By the way I hate both of these teams. The world doesn’t revolve around the NY/Boston/LA areas. Why the media think that every player automatically wants to play there is beyond me. These teams that are suiting up for gaining big players next year will be sorely mistaken when the pool of money is bone dry.

  10. gnyj85 - Feb 23, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    I’ve always considered the Nets a rivalry. Obviously stronger at some points when both teams are legit, but thats like most sports. It’s been a little while since both teams have been good at the same time so it’ll heat up again..especially when they move to Brooklyn.

  11. bigtrav425 - Feb 23, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    Gotta like Prok’s balls since he got the team.Leavin no stone unturned wanting a superstar or star.D -will should be happy bout his new owner and give him and them a chance especially since there moving to Brooklyn and have Brooke Lopez plus what will be a top10 pick in this yrs draft

  12. ronbo1100 - Feb 23, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    Kurt, how did you get this job? Everyone knows he wont resign with the Nets. Hes on paper also saying he would like to play for the Knicks. They gave up all those guys to rent him fro a year and a half just to save face with the Knicks. I like the Nets also and would like to see them do well but I cant see how you came up with your stance. LOL get a new job novice.

  13. jolink653 - Feb 23, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    soo prokharov gets upset he can’t land carmelo so he pulls the trigger on a trade for a player who has also said he wants to play for the knicks and who was stunned n angry he was traded to the nets? this is a win how? to be an effective point guard u have to have talent around u n other than brook lopez (who’s talent level is debatable) who is d-will gonna be passing to? kris humphries? johan petro?…i’m not knocking deron he is a legitimate star but after the whole jerry sloan debacle is he really someone u want to build your franchise around?

  14. grizzkev - Feb 23, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Completely disagree

  15. jimsjam33 - Mar 2, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    The Knicks have improved , but still no cigar. Melo and Amare are a great one two punch . Ronnie Turiaf is a good playground center , but he’s not NBA class. Fields is a rook who looks okay , but don’t go wild he’s not a championship player yet. Billups is nice . A year or two left . Bench . What bench ?
    Sorry , first blood to New Jersey . Williams is a cornerstone player and the Nets have a lot of bread to go shopping next season .

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