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Nets deserve the attention they have longed for in this Knicks town

This was early in the impressive Nets winter of 2001 and 2002, shortly just after Jason Kidd arrived from Phoenix and modified everything. The Nets raced out to a good start out, primarily right before good friends and spouse and children at previous Continental Arena since the new manager of bosses, Lou Lamoriello, declared attendance padding was a thing of the previous in Jersey.

So as the Nets began placing alongside one another the greatest basketball demonstrate we have noticed about right here considering that the fabled previous Knicks, there have been 5,000 people viewing most nights. Kidd and Kerry Kittles and Kenyon Martin and Keith Van Horn have been participating in breathtaking ball, and it appeared like no person understood or cared.

“If this group played its video games in Manhattan instead of North Jersey,” an exasperated Byron Scott stated one particular evening, “you’d have people producing music about us. You’d have guys producing poems about this group if it played, what, 10 miles away from right here?”

Then came a Sunday afternoon in December at Madison Square Yard, and the Nets scored 32 factors in the fourth quarter, chased the Knicks out of their have developing, manufactured them appear like they have been participating in an entirely distinct activity. At to start with, the lovers booed. But they normally like excellent basketball at the Yard. They cheered the Nets by the end.

“Maybe we manufactured some new lovers right now,” Kidd stated afterward.

There was no mass exodus in that yr or the up coming one particular, when the Nets manufactured the Finals again. There have been number of defections a long time afterwards, just after the Nets moved to Brooklyn, when they manufactured the second spherical of the playoffs in a yr when the hottest Knicks no cost slide was just attaining steam. For good, the Nets have had the identical two complications:

The Knicks had a 30-yr head start out as an NBA group.

And the Knicks perform in Manhattan. At the Yard. Possibly that should not subject as substantially as it has or as substantially as it does. But it has normally mattered. It nevertheless matters. It matters even as the Nets have set alongside one another a wonderful time (inspite of a buzzkill 113-99 reduction to the Blazers on Thursday evening at Barclays Middle), growing to the sixth slot in the East, that includes one particular of the most fulfilling, effortless-on-the-eyes styles wherever in the convention.

“We’re hungry and we’re nervous to finish out these very last 23 video games on a optimistic take note,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson stated right before his group slid to 30-30 on the yr.

It is a group that ought to certainly have the city’s consideration now … however when the horrifying Knicks paid out their two visits before this yr, the developing was decidedly split. It is a group that ought to certainly be atop any and each no cost agent’s would like record — each one particular of them — since the Nets are so considerably forward of the Knicks right now it is not amusing.

But the Knicks perform their video games at 4 Penn Plaza, Manhattan, 10001.

And the Nets perform theirs at 620 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, 11217.

The structures sit 6.1 miles away from every single other they may possibly as perfectly be separated by 6.1 time zones. The Nets are staring at a most likely to start with-spherical playoff date with either the Pacers, the Celtics or the Sixers, and that ought to presently be a resource of anticipation just about everywhere in the basketball town. There ought to be a buzz.

Do you listen to a buzz?

Even a peaceful one particular?

This July, this is exactly where the hefty hitters should to make a necessary prevent. Not just a courtesy take a look at but a lengthy, probing appear. All matters currently being equivalent, why wouldn’t Kevin Durant want to perform right here? Why wouldn’t Kawhi Leonard?

Allen Crabbe
Allen Crabbe goes up for a layup.Getty Photographs

But matters are not equivalent. Points are never equivalent. Jason Kidd came to the Nets, the Nets electrified the league, they manufactured two Finals, and they never manufactured a single inroad. Julius Erving won two titles, but they have been participating in with the mistaken-colored ball, and even even though the terrific Knicks teams have been fatigued, the Nets never manufactured a single inroad.

The Mets are the No. 2 group in city, but they have seized the stage plenty from the Yankees. The Jets are the No. 2 group in city, but they had Joe Willie and his huge arm at the time, and Rex Ryan and his huge mouth at the time, and they go toe-to-toe with the Giants on the again webpage each working day in the course of football time.

Possibly KD would change that for the Nets, who at times look like the third hoops group in city (powering the Knicks and St. John’s). Possibly Kawhi would. The Nets do matters improved than the Knicks in each way feasible. Possibly no person will at any time publish a song about them. But there should to be a reward for that. Someplace alongside the line.

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