Everything But Nets

Posted: April 8, 2011 by Keith Stone in Knicks, Nets, Proky, rants, Yinka Dare

The thing about little brothers is that it’s important to make sure they know their place. When he thinks he’s the man because he just got a driver’s license, hook up with his girlfriend. Tonight, Carmelo is going to make a sex tape with Kim Kardashian. It’s not that I hate the Nets. They’re just inferior and will always be whether they play in Long Island, Piscataway, the Meadowlands, Newark, Seaside Heights, or Brooklyn.

It’s not that their name ends in “-ets.” It’s that they changed it purposely to rhyme with the Mets and Jets. Anytime you’re doing something to copy the Mets and Jets, you might have a problem. Their relevance and legitimacy was done from that moment forward. Yeah, I know the Knicks are named after a piece of clothing. But really, you should have been in the city in the 1600’s. They were all the rage.

While true that the two teams have never played an extremely meaningful game (although Bernard King dropped a franchise-record 60 points on the Nets on Christmas Day 1984), the Knicks have had a major impact on the Nets’ history. In 1976, when the Nets were entering the NBA, the Knicks forced them to pay $4.8 million for entering their territory. The Nets couldn’t afford it and were forced to sell Dr. J. And so, the Knicks deprived the Nets of one of the greatest players the game has ever seen and banished them to the cellar for years.

Even when the Nets were successful and went to the Finals, it was during one of the weakest periods in the NBA, especially the East. The Nets got the 1-seed in 2002 with 52 wins! It was the most wins in franchise history! Three teams have that many in the Eastern Conference this year and there’s still a week left.

Who did the Nets have to go up against during their glory years? Allen Iverson? Paul Pierce? Baron Davis? Scary. The Knicks had Jordan, Bird, the Bad Boys, Shaq, and Alonzo Mourning. Sorry we couldn’t defend homecourt against the ’93 Bulls. Kenyon Martin would have pissed his pants going toe-to-toe with Oak, Mase, and the X-Man. Throw that Knick team in the early 00’s and there wouldn’t be enough room at MSG to hang all the banners.

Our teams actually had personality. It’s not that we think John Starks is the best player alive but he went from stocking shelves in a supermarket in Oklahoma to dunking over Horace Grant and Michael Jordan in a matter of a few years. What could you say about the Nets? Jason Kidd beat his wife. Keith Van Horn was white. Kerry Kittles’s dad danced with the cheerleaders. K-Mart had lips tattooed on his neck.

We might not be the smartest basketball fans. We are smart but the Warriors do have a lot of Asian fans. I would have to say, however, that we’re the most appreciative fans. We see the nuances of the game and let our guys know that their hard work is recognized because New Yorkers are hard-working people. We’d rather see somebody dive out of bounds to save the ball than a spectacular dunk. People from New Jersey are just New Yorkers that can’t handle the hustle and bustle (™Clyde Frazier). They’d rather catch a T-shirt during a timeout than anything.

That’s why I was shocked to hear the Garden is a homecourt disadvantage. Our teams weren’t always better than our opponents but the fans consistently make our guys play better than they’re capable of playing. There’s no way the 4-point play happens if the crowd doesn’t keep it close with deafening chants of “DEEEEEEE-FENSE” throughout the closing minutes.

There’s a myth that the Knicks, especially Patrick Ewing, always choked it up at home. There’s a ton of memorable clutch moments to prove otherwise. Ewing coming back from a sprained ankle to take the Bulls to a Game 7 in ’92. The Dunk. Ewing’s putback to send the Knicks to the ’94 Finals. Ewing’s Game 5 winner in the ’95 Semis. Ewing blocking Tim Hardaway’s last-second shot to put the Knicks up 3-1 in ’97 Semis. The 4-point play. Allan Houston going bonkers to send the Knicks to the ’99 Finals after LJ went down. The list goes on and on. The ’99 Knicks started Chris Fucking Dudley at center in the Finals and they still managed to win a game against the Spurs at the Garden. This was a Spurs team that started David Robinson and Tim Duncan and swept really good Lakers and Blazers teams. I can’t think of a single memorable Nets moment besides going to overtime in Game 5 against the Pacers in ’02 and that was in the first round.

If anything, the Knicks’ problem has been poor timing while the Nets picked exactly the right opportunity to peak. A lot of good it did them. Within a few years, Jason Kidd forced his way out of town and they were challenging for the NBA’s all-time worst record. Their owner used the team to leverage his way to a very, very shady real estate deal in Brooklyn and then sold them to an even shadier guy. At least we know what we’re getting in Jim Dolan. And his music really isn’t that bad. I have to say that his band is the best jazz group I’ve ever seen on YouTube. Proky couldn’t get any free agents and then signed Travis Outlaw to the worst deal of the summer. The only thing more pathetic was the lame billboard they put up on 8th Ave. And Brett Yormark is a douchebag. I just hope for their sake Deron Williams chooses to re-sign. He’d look awfully good in orange and blue. Luckily, the YES Network is actually televising tonight’s Knicks-Nets “game.” I will admit they have the best play-by-play guy in the biz.

Since I am a Knicks fan, which means I’m very classy, I would like to wish the Nets the best of luck in this year’s draft lottery. As for tonight, Melo, and Kim K, it’s just…

[Editor’s note: The Knicks defeated the Nets 116-93]

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