Paul Pierce raised the stakes in the Battle for New York between the Knicks and Nets when he publicly expressed his hatred for the Knicks and claimed the Nets were going to take the city from the Madison Square Garden dwellers. This came a year after Brooklyn declared its independence from the Manhattan basketball empire.
Even though the Knicks finished with the better record last year and the Nets disappointingly flamed out in the first round to a Derrick Rose-less Bulls team, the Nets made the bigger splash in the offseason and have stolen the headlines. Adding Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have turned the Nets into title contenders and added bravado to the NBA's newest hipster franchise.
The Knicks have fought back a few times in this war of words. And J.R. Smith is next to defend the Knicks.
Ian Begley of ESPN New York talked to J.R. Smith about Paul Pierce's comments and Smith's response was classic J.R. Smith and a deepening of this young, fiery rivalry:
Asked about Paul Pierce's comments that the Nets will take over NY, J.R. Smith says Pierce is "a bitter person just getting out of Boston."— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) August 31, 2013
J.R. Smith on Paul Pierce saying the Nets will run NY: "Just know that his words have consequences & he's going to have to pay for them."— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) August 31, 2013
Of course, Smith is out for the first part of the season. He had knee surgery in July and should be out at least four months. That has him coming back in mid- to late-November. He will be racing to get back before that first game against the Nets in Brooklyn on Dec. 5. He should be good to go the other three games.
The season is still a month and a half or so away and things already appear to be heating up in the Big Apple. The 2013-14 season is officially war between these two organizations. Not even David Stern can mediate.
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