National writers get it: Brooklyn Nets are for real

Bruce Bennett

There were 300 credentialed media at Monday's Nets-Knicks game, including representatives from most of the national sports media ... and local sports columnists. Writing it up were Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!, Ken Berger of CBS Sports, John Schuhmann of NBA.com, Ian O'Connor, Stephen A. Smith and Chris Broussard of ESPN, Dave D'Alessandro of the Star-Ledger, Harvey Araton of the Times, Filip Bondy of the Daily News and of course, in the studio, Sir Charles Barkley of the TNT crew.

Almost to a man, their point was that the Nets have arrived, that their big win and the vocal fan support at Barclays Center have made them if not a championship contender then a top team in the East.

As Woj writes, "All these years, all these nights that Madison Square and the Meadowlands and Newark belonged to the Knicks fans flooding the turnstiles, there had come a most transformational night for one of the NBA's most historically vacuous franchises ... "Broooook-lyn," the voices boomed over and over."

Ian O'Connor who like Woj worked for the Record and covered the Nets, there was a warning. "So the Knicks should be afraid of Brooklyn, very, very afraid. They shouldn't worry so much about getting out of the East, not when there's suddenly a real reason to believe they might not get out of New York."

But John Schuhmann had the best historical frame of reference, comparing Deron Wiliams and a Jason Kidd from an earlier era. "The vision Williams showed — he had as many assists as the Knicks had as a team — more than made up for the errant shots. It was a close to a Kidd-like performance as you’re going to see from another point guard."

Then, there's Sir Charles on Nets vs. Knicks :"The Nets are the best team. You take away Carmelo Anthony, the Nets are better at every other position." Meanwhile, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! becomes the last of the power rankers to check in...and the only one who waited until after the Knicks game. He has the Nets at No. 5.

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