Shaq: Knicks "Probably" Own NYC

LOS ANGELES, CA - FILE: Shaquille O'Neal of the Boston Celtics talks on the phone as he attends NBA All-Star Saturday night presented by State Farm at Staples Center on February 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. It was announced in a Twitter video that NBA star Shaquille O'Neal will retire June 1, 2011. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Guess we'll have to wait for Kenny Smith. After Charles Barkely praised the Nets and trashed the Knicks last week, his TNT partner Shaquille O'Neal weighed in. Shaq didn't quite say that the Knicks were the team to beat in New York. He was asked if the Big Apple ever will be a Nets town.

"No, probably not," O'Neal told ESPNNewYork.com. But at least in what was published, he didn't say the Knicks will own the Nets. He had kind things to say about both teams, noting the Nets got better (after a $335 million outlay, one would hope so) and gave high marks for the Nets re-signing of Brook Lopez.

As for the Knicks, he opined that Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire need to take things "more personally."

But the main point of his interview seemed to be about his hopes for the city rivalry: "The good thing about (New Yorkers) is that they're always excited, they're very competitive," said O'Neal. "(So) I'm looking for the Nets-Knicks rivalry to amp up a little bit more this year."

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