NBA: Knicks Run New York

New York basketball has been the Mecca for hoops for over fifty years.In the last twenty, basketball in the metropolis has soured. Now with the Nets on the rise and the Knicks trying to get a top three pick, many fans are wondering who actually runs New York?

The fact we are actually having this conversation hurts me. It hurts me to my soul. The Knicks are two-time World Champions, they’ve had some of the best players in NBA history, shoot they even play in the most famous garden in the world. Yet, if you look at the last 195 meetings between the Knicks at the team across town it’s almost split down the middle.

Now, is it entirely fair to compare the Brooklyn Nets to their Knickerbocker counterpart? One franchise has a core of solid young players, a point guard that is making an All-Star push and a head coach that is starting to come into his own. The other has a franchise big man sitting out the season with a knee injury and a supporting cast of young players and castaways. It’s not comparable. The Nets this season are head and shoulders better than the Knicks, but what is frustrating to the fans of Knickerbockers is that it wasn’t always this way.

What Could’ve Been

Flashback only six years. The Knicks were the second seed at 54-28 and Carmelo Anthony was averaging 27.4 ppg. Meanwhile, the Miami Heat led by LeBron James and Dwayne Wade were heavy favorites to three-peat, life was good in the Garden.

At the same time the Nets, led by Deron Williams, made a push for their first playoff appearance in six years. Both teams were bounced out of the playoffs, the Nets in the first round and the Knicks in the Conference Semi-Finals. It was presumed by many around the city and around the world that the NBA was getting their next great rivalry. Like the Giants and Dodgers decades earlier, many thought this could be the next great New York rivalry.

The dream fell apart quickly. Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire had already begun a downward slide. The Knicks core, including Anthony, were too inconsistent all season and went 37-45. The Nets, on the other hand, thought they had something, trading away four future first round picks and Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph and Gerald Wallace to the Boston Celtics. Brooklyn would receive an aging Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry.

That core of Williams, Garnett, Pierce, Joe Johson and Brook Lopez didn’t last long either. Injuries caught up to the older players and the Miami Heat’s dominance overshadowed everyone in the east.

The Dark Ages

Thus began a dark period of time for New York City basketball. Neither New York team has made the playoffs since 2015. However, this season, with the addition of former second overall pick D’angalo Russell and the like of some G-League standouts like Spencer Dinddwittie, the Nets caught up with the Eastern Conference.

Since the last time New York was in the Playoffs, the Warriors have won three titles, LeBron moved from Clevland to LA and almost every Eastern Conference starter from the 2015 All-Star game is now in the Western Conference.

A Glimmer of Hope

In 2019, the Nets have a good shot at making the playoffs and even a chance to win a few playoff games. The idea that they now “Run New York” after only being in the city for six years is absurd.

New York has been a Knicks town since the 1970s with Walt Frazier and Willis Reed. It wa revamped in the 1990s with Pat Reily and Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley.

Sure, Knicks basketball is a long ways off from being the number one show in town, but it’s still a Knicks city. For the Nets to take over New York they would have to win multiple titles, have a handful of All-Stars, and make that last at least five to ten years to really lay claim to the title. They tried that with Garentt and Peice, it didn’t work then and it wouldn’t work now. The Knicks, for better or worse, run New York.

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