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Spencer Dinwiddie: Nets likely to be better than Knicks for a while

2020 NBA All-Star - Practice and Media Availability presented by AT&T Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

Spencer Dinwiddie is once again raising Knick fans’ ire. In a Saturday discussion with the media, the Nets point guard played the role of truth teller: While Knicks may have Madison Square Garden and a history, the Nets have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

“We’ll never take over the Knicks,’’ Dinwidde said before Saturday morning’s press conferences. “That’s not going to happen. They’re too entrenched in what it means — Madison Square Garden, Rucker Park, that type of vibe.

“But in terms of being a better basketball team, that happened a minute ago. That’s not new. We’re a better basketball team than the Knicks. We were last year. Probably will be next year. It kind of what it is. So I know Knicks fans are going to get mad, but that is the truth.’’

Indeed, even after their improvement under interim coach Mike Miller, the Knicks are still 21 games under .500 and it should be noted have beaten exactly two teams with a .500 record since Miller took over. The Nets barring a collapse and/or more injuries are bound for the playoffs, if only as a seventh or eighth seed.

Asked about whether the Knicks can make a quick turnabout under Leon Rose, the superagent whose rumored hiring has yet to be finalized. Dinwiddie was not optimistic.

“You want a real answer?’’ Dinwiddie said. “Probably not. They’ll probably have a high draft pick. Unless they do something via trade or via free agency, which I don’t know if this free-agency class is that spectacular, they’re probably not going to be that good. We’ll see. I can’t tell the future. But more than likely, I mean Kevin Durant is coming back [next season]. And he’s Kevin Durant. He’s really good.’’

Dinwiddie also joked (?) about him being the price the Nets pay for another superstar.

“Quite honestly, if that’s the case and we’re trying to get another star, I probably won’t be here,” Dinwiddie said.

A reporter then clarified that Irving called for more “pieces,” without using the word “Star.”

“I’m not really part of the roster decisions,” Dinwiddie said. “So I just try to win the games with people that suit up that night.

“So I’m not necessarily privy to the inner workings of that. Whatever happens, happens. That star thing scared me because for us to get a star that means me and some picks are gone.”

As others have in recent days, Dinwiddie praised KD’s leadership even if he’s not in uniform.

“Anybody that has two Finals MVPs and an ample amount of championship experience, obviously he’s going to be a resource,’’ Dinwiddie said of Durant. “We definitely wish he was playing but that’s nothing you can control.’’

Dinwiddie’s comments mirrored what Marc Stein of the Knicks’ hometown New York Times wrote a couple of days ago. Stein dismissed whatever optimism may have come with the word that Rose was head to New York, noting among other things

We’ve since learned that James L. Dolan quickly lost the stomach for navigating hurdles in pursuit of the under-contract Ujiri and planned instead to hire the veteran player agent Leon Rose as his next team president. My sense is that the Knicks’ owner also grew weary of hearing from external sources that Ujiri was the obvious choice, abruptly cooled on that idea and, as we’ve so often seen in the Dolan era, decided to plot his own course no matter how much sense it made to try to import Toronto’s president of basketball operations.

So Dinwiddie isn’t alone.

And things didn’t end with his comments, Dinwiddie got into it with Knicks fans who as he predicted got mad. Here’s just part of the exchange.