As far back as I can remember this has always been a Knicks town.
Growing up in New York I can honestly say that I never knew a single Nets fan in my entire life. I’m not saying this to bash the franchise, it’s simply a fact. I never saw a Nets hat, t-shirt, or anything like that. I cannot be certain, but I’m sure when the Nets were going to NBA finals with Jason Kidd there were a few Nets jerseys roaming the streets of New York City, but the point is, it was extremely few and far between to see any Nets fans, Nets pride, or Nets anything in New York City.
Then the Nets moved to Brooklyn, and things started changing.
As a Brooklyn resident, I see a lot of the young kids in my neighborhood sporting Nets gear. I get it, the Nets are “cool”. They are connected to some of the biggest stars in NYC, they have pretty sweet black and white uniforms, and a home court that is just amazing to see in person. Oh, and don’t forget a Russian billionaire for an owner, to whom money is no object.
Pushing the younger generation aside, just how close are the Nets to seizing a large portion of a fan base that in most cases, grew up routing for the Knicks?
It’s difficult to be certain, but if you live in the New York City area you’ve seen first hand that no matter how big or small, the basketball landscape in this city is changing.
The lack of Nets gear on the streets that I mentioned earlier is clearly not the case anymore. Actually if you were scoring this by how many hats you see on the streets, the Nets would be in front right now, and it wouldn’t be that close.
While I doubt the Nets will ever really come close to surpassing the Knicks in terms of overall fan-base, they are certainly going to try. What makes it so difficult for Brooklyn is that the Knicks have a long established history in this city. I became a Knicks fan because my mother and grandfather were die-hards, and it was the only basketball team I knew. I’m sure many of you out there have had similar experiences. As difficult as it has been being a Knicks fan over the years, I always try to tell myself that the sweet is not as sweet without the sour, and that sticking with my team through thick and thin will eventually pay off. I always suspected that this was how most Knicks fans felt.
But maybe I’m wrong.
Perhaps if the Nets are able to win a title before the Knicks,they would make a huge push towards grabbing fans from a team that always seems to be one step short, or a year too late.
This upcoming NBA season is going to tell us a lot in terms of the Knicks/Nets rivalry and how the city is leaning in terms of allegiance. But why not get it started early right?
Let us know who you will be supporting this year, and no, both teams is not an option, cause that would be bush league.