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Brooklyn-born Bernard King, a Net as well as a Knick, loves the rivalry

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Bernard King, who was drafted by the Nets in 1977 and averaged more than 20 points a game for them in two and a half seasons, will be inducted in the Hall of Fame Sunday.  King, in an interview with  Marc Berman of the Post lays out the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams, but was diplomatic on who's the better team..

Who's better? It’s too close to call, says the Brooklyn-born King, who played 193 games with the Nets, 206 with the Knicks.

"I think they’ll both be in the mix [for the Eastern Crown]. Miami is the top tier," he told the Post. "They’re the team you’re chasing. No reason they [the Knicks and Nets] can’t compete with the other top-tier teams in the conference.’’ It could come down to injuries, he said.

Berman writes that King is in awe of the Nets' starting lineup. "You got five all-stars on that team,’’ said King, referring to Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez. "That’s a tremendous mix there but chemistry and how will they fly together, that takes time.’’

King also said some have overlooked the addition of Andrei Kirilenko. His biggest concern about the Nets, he said, was how fast Paul Pierce can react to playing for a new team after 15 years with the Celtics.

"The Celtics are the only club he’s ever played on,’’ King said. "He’s a Hall-of-Famer, but it’s a change. He’s only played with one franchise. It can be a little disconcerting. It takes time to get used to no longer being on that one team.’’

King said all the right things about the Knicks as well, but seemed to raise more questions about New York.