After Jackie Robinson's Brooklyn Dodgers left to relocate in Los Angeles the basketball fans in Brooklyn were left with the 'ever exciting' New York Knicks.
Although they did win one championship in 1970, the people of Brooklyn couldn't really call the team their own. That's all changed now. With the addition of the Brooklyn Nets, the question must be asked: Just who is the best team in New York?
On the Knicks you have superstar Carmelo Anthony, perennial all stars Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler. On the Nets you have superb point guard Deron Williams and an established support cast which includes Brook Lopez and all star Joe Johnson.
The main question to be asked is can each of the Nets and Knicks operate as a team?
For the better part of two seasons, New York have not improved as a team under Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. The truth is, they've got worse. The pair of them don't complement each other as players. Stoudemire isn't Allen Iverson and Anthony is Steve Nash.
Anthony shoots 39% when Stoudemire is on the floor and this increases to 49% when Stoudemire is on the bench. Likewise with Carmelo, Amare averages 4 more points when Anthony is on the bench (17.4 ppg - 21-7ppg).
The additions of Tyson Chandler amongst others and the rise of Jeremy Lin couldn't lead the team to playoff success and it all leads back to the duo of Melo and Amare.
The Nets have been a few players short from competing for a championship. Powered behind the arrival of Joe Johnson and billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov, the Nets are destined for success but Prokhorov's prediction of a championship by 2015 is far fetched to say the least.
The Nets do look like the more complete team than the Knicks but the talent isn't there to propel the team for a deep playoff run.
I'd take a starting five of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez over Jason Kidd, JR Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler. I'm probably part of a 2% minority but I'll tell you why the Nets are a lot better than the Knicks.
Last season series was won by the Knicks but there is a lot to look forward to as a Nets fan; and very little to look forward to as a Knicks fan.
With the exception of the current Miami Heat team, it takes a complete team to win championships. Let's take a look at the 2004 champion Detroit Pistons who beat the LA Lakers led by 4 superstars: Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Karl Malone and Gary Payton.
If that series was anything to go by its that it takes a team of individuals, not necessarily any superstars to sacrifice and come together for a common goal to achieve success. That is the main difference between the Nets and the Knicks and as of right now the Brooklyn Nets are the best team in New York.
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