I live in Brooklyn. I am a disgruntled Knicks fan. I am exactly who the Nets are looking for.
As a child, watching the Knicks' thug squad of the '90s tear opponents apart solidified my undying devotion to the Blue & Orange. I was optimistic and maybe a bit delusional about my team. For example, I have a theory that Michael Jordan only worked on his fade-away because the Knicks' front line enjoyed feeding him elbows any time he tried to drive. Yes, I bought in. Unfortunately, in 2001, so did James Dolan. When Jeff Van Gundy walked, we should have seen the signs. After that, a decade of bulls*** moves and less-than-mediocre basketball surrounded the team. Things don't seem to be getting any better, either.
So, consider this my resignation from Knicks Nation. Today I declare myself a Brooklyn Nets fan. I feel bad for my friends who remain loyal. The dirty secret all Knicks fans already know is the team will never win a title behind Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and their two huge contracts. That realization and the following five reasons are why I'm switching my colors to black and white.
1. James Dolan
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Dolan is that rich kid who got everything he wanted from his daddy and is still a jerk. I knew a kid like that. He had the biggest house, the coolest toys and a swimming pool. I still hated him. Well, MSG is the house, the team is the toys and Tyson Chandler could be considered the pool.
Dolan has made one bad decision after another. If he bought a restaurant that you loved eating in, then suddenly changed the food, would you still go there? Exactly. He loves to sell tickets and jerseys, not basketball. After 11 years of ownership, the team is finally good again, but with a track record that's about as good as Michael Bay's movies, it is impossible to keep rooting for this team. All style, no substance.
2. Isaiah Thomas
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Isaiah Thomas is the guy who gets drunk and tells you about how he banged your girlfriend before you were. Nobody likes that guy and yet he lingers around for some reason. The worst part is that you now look at your girlfriend differently. The Knicks are the girlfriend in this case. Even now, after his firing, there is a strange sense that he is still lurking…waiting for your girlfriend to be vulnerable…waiting to take advantage…waiting to laugh behind your back…waiting to invite Eddy Curry into a threesome…
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I live three subway stops away from the Barclay's Center. I can pick up milk and bread and run in to Avery Johnson on the way home from work. Much like my relatives who grew up with the Dodgers in the '50s, the Nets are right in my backyard. If they made the Finals, I'll be able to hear the crowd from my bathroom while I'm taking a dump!
4. The Rivalry
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It. Is. On. The glitz of Manhattan. The grit of Brooklyn. The Knicks are now like the Yankees, except the Yanks know how to win titles (hey-oh!). There is no better Tale of the Tape. The Nets are scrappy underdogs against the bright lights of those snooty, bedazzled Knicks. It's like an '80s movie where the Knicks are the evil, blonde-haired preppy douchebag and the Nets are the unlikely hero who comes out of nowhere to beat them in a skiing race.
5. Deron Williams
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I like D-Will. A lot. I've had his back during all the CP3 vs. D-Will debates. He took Utah to the Western Conference Finals with a team that had two other players you can name right now. He is a great point guard. Not good, GREAT. He's unselfish, likes to play and is the kind of unsung player that is perfect for our borough. In other words, Deron Williams is Brooklyn.
Madison Square Garden – James Dolan has been pouring millions into renovating the Garden. How nice of him! Oh wait, those renovations led to a 49% increase in ticket prices and he got rid of the tunnel that Willis Reed limped out of in the 1970 Finals. Way to go.
Avery Johnson vs. Mike Woodson – I like both coaches. They're fiery, preach defense and are good for New York basketball. I can't wait 'til Dolan fires Woodson to hire Jerry Sloan for 40 million dollars, then Woodson becomes Avery's assistant in Brooklyn.