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Prokhorov refers to James Dolan as “the little man”

Aug 20, 2012, 12:58 PM EDT

Mikhail Prokhorov Introductory Press Conference Getty Images

If nothing else this season, I’m going to enjoy watching the Knicks and Nets go back and forth at each other like four-year-old girls fighting over a Barbie doll. The battles will be both on the court — the Knicks are the Nets first home game in the Barclays Center — and in the media. And it should last — they both should be playoff teams in the East (man I am hoping for a first-round matchup).

There will be petty sniping back and forth at each other because the Nets are trying to establish themselves in Brooklyn and the New York market.

There’s a long, detailed piece in New York Magazine about the Nets move, mostly a reminder that the Barclays center is part of a real estate deal and the Nets were just a cog in that to make sure it happened. But the petty sniping between owners — the Nets Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov and the Knicks James Dolan — found its way in.

(Prokhorov told me back in December that he plans on attending a quarter of the regular-season games and “all the playoff ones.” He also made sure that I heard him call Dolan “that little man.”)

“The little man.” Petty. But I find it amusing nonetheless, and wait for the Knicks to fire back. The Knicks can afford to take the high road — they are the established team in the market, they have the built up generations of loyal fans, they are the icons — but still there is tension between the teams you can feel.

This will be fun to sit back and watch.

  1. jerseyfinatic - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Well obviously. The Knicks are the “Little Brother” team now.

    • gmen4life33 - Aug 20, 2012 at 5:14 PM

      Jets Nets Mets, all little brothers that love to talk the minute they get a chance.

      Look at the Nets (and their fans). They are coming off a horrible year, and only added Joe Johnson, but by the way they talk, you would think they are the defending champs who also signed Howard lol. Try doing something in NY before claiming it yours. Knicks are gonna have to give their little brothers a wedgie.

  2. jea1117 - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Brooklyn ain’t Manhattan so who’s really the little brother. The nets are putting their feet in their mouth. Always talking trash to get attention. All they added was Joe Johnson to their team. they still are going to stink, maybee 35-40 games this season. they need to win then talk trash not the other way around

    • akmgiants - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      brooklyns bigger in size, population, and balls. all you got is some wall street/upper east side douches

      • illegalblues - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:58 PM

        man, THIS. good christ, man. new york is a dumpster fire.

    • saint1997 - Aug 21, 2012 at 8:18 AM

      dude im a knicks fan but that is just plain wrong. It will be Knicks Nets 4 and 5 seed in the East next season you can take that to the bank

  3. baron30 - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    They are taking a page out of the Jets playbook. Although the Giants are NY’s real football team (ie: defending super bowl champ) the Jets stay in the media and attract attention.

    • akmgiants - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:46 PM

      except the jets and knicks both haven’t been relevant in 40 years. dont believe the MSG/knicks hype

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 21, 2012 at 8:05 AM

        As a Sixers fan, I’ll probably need a shower after defending the Knicks, but to say they “haven’t been relevant in 40 years” is just stupid, unless your definition of “relevance” is “won a title”. During the 90’s, the Knicks made it to at least the Conference Semis 9 straight years and made two NBA finals.

  4. cantonbound13 - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    The Nets are like the Jets and Mets. The red headed step child.

    • zacksdad - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      That sounds so true and it is funny that they all happen to rhyme. Maybe the Islanders should rename their team to the Vets or Wets.

  5. dysraw1 - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    yo Kurt what are the instigator you want these teams to have beef don’t you

    • cantonbound13 - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      Kurt forgot to add a paragraph praising LeBron. Most of his articles bash the Knicks & kiss LeBron’s overrated ass in some way.

  6. rajbais - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Okay Rex Ryan!!!

    Billy King is your Tony Sparano!!!

    Sparano got Tebow into NYC and ruined Jets roster and King got Joe Johnson to ruin the Nets’!!!!

    I would love to work in NYC because there you can get rewarded for stinking up the place!!!

    • knightrider1755 - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      And don’t forget, Dolan got Melo into New York and ruined the Knicks.

      • rajbais - Aug 21, 2012 at 9:02 PM

        You’re dead on!!!

    • florida727 - Aug 21, 2012 at 8:13 AM

      If you think bringing Tebow into the Jets’ locker room “ruined” them, then you know nothing about sports. His teammates love him because of his work ethic and the competitiveness he brings every day… not just on game day. Would they like to see him get less publicity? Sure, probably. But they also are smart enough to know he doesn’t bring it on himself ala T.O. or Chad Ochocinco or any one of a number of other publicity whores.

      • rajbais - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:17 PM

        Have you seen Tebow and Sanchez play???

        You’re the Skip Bayless protege!!!

        Tebow can’t throw and his Denver teammates were happier with Peyton Manning!!! Tebow won’t throw crap with that O-line and you’re equating the Jets’ overall talent to the Broncos!!!! That’s why you know nothing about sports!!!

        Denver has better WR’s, RB’s, 5-man line, and pass rushers!!!

        Ask scouts!!! I did!!!

        Plus, he needed other teams to make mistakes in games and struggling offenses to win in 2011!!!!

        Miami, San Diego (when Philip Rivers was throwing for 16 TD v. 17 INT), Chicago, New York Jets, and the Vikings were bad offenses!!!

        The Patriots and Lions were explosive on offense last year!!! Just out score them “no huddle style, spread ’em out” Plus, the Bills and Chiefs figured out the Pats’ game plan defensively and beat them!!

        Starting Offensive tackle Ryan Clady and WR Demaryus Thomas both were giddy over Manning coming over!!! Thomas said “we have a real quarterback” with enthusiasm!!!

        At Florida he had good to great surrounding talent and in Denver too!!

        It’s like the NBA!! You need good players!!!

        Joe Johnson will age and hamstring the trading abilities of Brooklyn as his eventual declining skills hurt the Nets and cause them to lose. Plus, surrounding pieces like Brook Lopez get hurt easily and the long-term talent of Humphries is still a question mark. Is he just a one-year wonder?

        Well, Tebow’s presence will do that too!!! No WR’s, RB’s, RT, RG, or pass rushers to help him win games!!! It’s not a spiritual thing!! It’s a talent and run football/play defense aspect of it too!!! The talent in Brooklyn and in the land of Gang Green is bad!!!

        Plus, T.O. is not “show me show me” kind of guy!!! Owens hasn’t celebrated since Nov. 2010!! His last TD was in December 2010!! He just likes to have fun!!! If he cares about his “brand” or “look at me” where are the endorsements?? He has no OCNN like Chad and his show got cancelled after 2011!!! Owens just wants to be the one to lead the team to victory like avid passing QB’s!!! QBs throw picks and he has mistakes too!!! He has a reputation for being the hardest working guy on his team!! Go ask Mike Mayock, Steve Mariucci, and Brian Westbrook!!!

        Ocho was going to have one reality this year, but what happened with the wife???

        Btw, I’m from Chicago too and stopped rooting for their teams because they deserved no respect as avid underachievers!!! I studied other cities’ teams and players and their cities and will ALWAYS respect them more than Chicago any day of the week!!! Why because Chicagoans know nothing about sports!!!

        Granted, I love my Bulls; but because of Chicagoans’ sycophantic support for the Bears and Cubs (and the outdated and unkempt Wrigley Field) and lack of pressure on ownership and management you let Brett Favre, Randy Moss, the Cardinals, and everyone kick our asses!!!

        Now the lack of pressure on Bulls’ ownership and management will cause other teams to kick our butts because we weren’t hard on them to make the roster better!!!

        If we had sports knowledge we would use it to pressure management and ownership of our teams to get better!!! They Jets fans tried and their support will die down and that will cause their season to be a disaster!!!

  7. jedifriedchicken - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    I really wanted to see the Knicks pull themselves back up and be a force to reckon with again. Donnie Walsh appeared to be leading them in his direction before before James Dolan couldn’t help himself, and pushed him out of the way. I don’t see them being anything but mediocre with their current pieces.

    The Nets may be just as mediocre, but after their move, they are cooler right out the gate representing Brooklyn, their cool new uniforms, and minority owner Jay-Z. God forbid this team gets good.

    If Dolan isn’t careful, he may become known as the Donald Sterling of the East…

    • slowclyde86 - Aug 20, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      At this point, calling Dolan the Sterling of the East is an insult to Sterling. Dolan is a joke in every way possible. The Knicks are only relevant because they play in NY with such a large market. As a team, they have no hope what-so-ever to win anything of consequence with Dolan as an owner and Anthony as a centerpiece. Go ahead and give thumbs down Knicks fans—but you are only kidding yourselves if so.

  8. eugenesaxe - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    I’m liking Comrade Nyetski.

  9. cfos00 - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Honestly, if you’re a Knicks fan, wouldn’t you swap owners in a second (really, with almost any team for that matter)? He already has a better sense of humor.

  10. florida727 - Aug 21, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    I’m from Chicago, so I have no dog in the proverbial fight. But a friend of mine is from NY and as he says, at the end of the day, they are STILL JUST THE NETS. It’s a Yankess (not Mets), Giants (not Jets), Rangers (not Devils), and Knicks (not Nets), city. That’s just the way it is.

    • knightrider1755 - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:31 AM

      Your friend is only right to a certain extent. The differences in the teams have been great, as far as winning is concerned, between the Yanks/Mets, Giants/Jets and perhaps Rangers/Islanders not Devils because they are a NJ team. However, the difference is not that great between the Knicks and the Nets because the Knicks have only won 2 championships in their 66 year existence and haven’t won a championship in the last 40 years. Already the Miami Heat have equaled the Knicks in championships and they have only been around for 24 years. The Nets have the opportunity in the next 5 years to equal or even pass the Knicks in championship wins. Yes, the Yankees are winners, the Giants are winners, and to a certain extent the Rangers are but the Knicks are DEFINITELY NOT a winning franchise in my book and should not be compared with the other winning franchises here in NYC.

  11. alexb1234 - Aug 21, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    The nets will never “run this city” no matter how hard theytry or how hard they talk or how great of a rapper their part “owner” is…
    The Knicks ARE new york/Tri state and that doesn’t just mean manhattan that means all the 5 boroughs, LI, Westchester, Connecticut and most of new jersey….
    when the Knicks go on a run the city is a buzz when the nets go to two finals in a row nobody cares and don’t think for a second that’ll change Bc they’re in BK…
    Deron is legit but other then that have fun proko w a declining joe Johnson and his huge contract that will handicap your cap(the last few years his numbers have dropped consistently), have fun w mr. Kardashian distraction man, have fun w eddy curry jr aka brook Lopez who is 7 feet but can’t out rebound Nate Robinson, and hve fun w mighty mouse as your coach…nets r going to be mid to low seed in playoffs and never be better…,

    However, as a die hard Knicks fan I’m glad the nets moved to Brooklyn Bc all it did was provide my Knicks with 2 extra home games a year…so thanks.

    PS I can’t wait to go to the opener of the Knicks new part time home court and chant “NEW JERSEY SUCKS!” Bc you’ll never be a real new York team in my eyes

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