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Rivalry Reborn

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ESPN's announcers called it thoroughly entertaining.  We call it "frustertaining"...as in frustrating and entertaining.  The Nets first game on national television in more than two years may not have resulted in a win, but on the day the Nets started selling tickets in Brooklyn, one thing is certain: the Knicks-Nets rivalry is back.

We count more than 50 links to stories on the game (and the Barclays Center ticket announcement), more than any otherwise meaningless late regular season game we can remember. That includes seven in the Post, five each in Daily News and Record. We don't have the TV ratings yet, but the game could be seen on three different channels last night: YES, MSG and ESPN.

The franchise-altering trades that brought Deron Williams to the Nets and Carmelo Anthony (and Chauncey Billups) to the Knicks are a big part of it. So is the rivalry between owners Mikhail Prokhorov and James Dolan. And, if truth be told, the anticipation over Brooklyn plays a big role as well.  

The question for the Nets is how much can they bring over the summer when the lockout will sap fans enthusiasm, when the team will be playing its last games in New Jersey and when the pressure will be on to make Williams happy...because the key to any rivalry is competitiveness...and wins.