On Wednesday night, many NBA teams played its final game of the regular season. In New York, the Knicks (37-45) concluded its hugely disappointing season with a win over the Toronto Raptors. Across the water, the Brooklyn Nets ( 44-38) dropped its final two games, but will play at least another four. As a sixth seed, the Nets will match up against the Toronto Raptors starting Saturday.
The much hyped Knicks-Nets rivalry took an interesting turn this season. The Knicks dominated the Nets, taking three-out-of-four games, but ultimately, the Nets had a better season. Since moving to Brooklyn, the Nets are two-for-two when it comes to making the playoffs. With the Knicks out of it, and New York being such a basketball city, the general sentiment is that New Yorkers would rally behind the Nets. But as we’ve seen in other inner-city rivalries between Jets and Giants fans, Yankees and Mets fans, and Islanders and Rangers fans, switching teams just because isn’t how New Yorkers get down. We ride and die for our teams — win or lose, sink or swim. We’ll cheer for a team outside of New York. We’ll root against the Brooklyn Nets. We’ll even tune out the NBA playoffs altogether in favor of the NHL playoffs and follow the NY Rangers. We may even fully commit to MLB season or start talking the NFL Draft, but expecting Knicks fans to suddenly support the Brooklyn Nets…doubtful. That is never an option.
Even New York City’s tabloids, the New York Post and New York Daily News, are showing their loyalty to the Knicks by barely mentioning the Brooklyn Nets playoff push.
With more pro sports teams than any other city, New York’s sports editors have the challenging task of managing the back pages of its newspapers. One quick glance at the back page, and you’ll immediately see who runs this town. When baseball season comes along, the Yankees will always dominate the back pages.
Yesterday, both NY baseball teams completed a series sweep. The New York Jets made a huge free agency signing with Chris Johnson. Both the New York Rangers and Brooklyn Nets are talking playoffs, and yet the fate of the Knicks and Mike Woodson seem to be a hotter topic. The New York Post included a Nets vertical attention grabbing headline on the back page, but it follows the Knicks slightly larger callout placed directly above it. Meanwhile, the Daily News couldn’t even be bothered with wasting any ink on the Nets. The Nets are noticeably absent.
As the drama surrounding Mike Woodson and the Knicks bleeds into the playoffs, the Nets will be hard pressed to gain any attention. That could change if the Nets advance to the second round and face the Heat, but so far not even a first-round playoff bid could generate buzz for Brooklyn’s basketball team. #ColdColdWorld