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Uh, Oh, It's a rivalry between Nets and Knicks ... or no it's not

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Jared Wickerham

Last year, when the pundits, writers and even some players debated whether the Nets and Knicks had a real rivalry, Walt Frazier dropped some serious knowledge. The Hall of Famer said, it wasn't the players or anyone else who created rivalries, it was the fans.


But now that the Nets and Knicks is a rivalry, with the players fully engaged and the fans enraged, the writers and pundits want to let you know it really isn't or it's premature or something.

Harvey Araton started it by suggesting that Paul Pierce, the admitted instigator, should shut up until he played his first game for Nets.

Now, comes Frank Isola, the thoroughly independent Knicks beat writer for the Daily News. Isola thinks it's all so silly because who cares who runs New York, the current debate between Pierce and Raymond Felton. Like Felton (and Araton), he dismisses Pierce's comments, stating that although Pierce has had a reputation as a Knicks-killer. last year, "Pierce, defended by Iman Shumpert, kept tripping over himself. His legs looked shot, his quickness all but gone — but that mouth still works."

Isola's main point, however, is who cares about running New York...

"Best team in New York? Since when did they hand out a trophy for winning that title? The Nets have never won an NBA championship, and the Knicks haven’t won one since 1973, which feels like forever. Players from both teams need to aim a little higher."

We don't disagree with that, but what we find it kind of disagreeable is that writers keep telling fans what a real rivalry is. As Clyde says, it's not their call. It's the fans.

Not every writer thinks it's silly. Alan Hahn and Tina Cervasio (who do work for MSG) were on ESPN Radio Sunday saying that while they thought it wasn't much of a rivalry last season ... "It is now," as Cervasio puts it. "It is now."