The Brooklyn Nets opened the 2012-2013 NBA season with a swagger synonymous with New York's most populous borough. They went out and got fancy new uniforms, a flossy new arena to play in, and their owner even put on a concert to commemorate the grand opening. The ideas was the Nets would battle the Knicks for market share in New York City and provide an alternative for fans who were sick of the dysfunctional methods of the Knicks organization. Is Brooklyn a threat to steal the spotlight from their cross town rival?
Absolutely not. We are a quarter of the way into the season and the Knicks have the best record in the Eastern Conference. They are undefeated at home and have beaten the world champion Miami Heat twice. Carmelo Anthony is the front runner fro MVP of the league and Tyson Chandler is on pace to repeat as defensive player of the year. They are doing all of this without their 2nd best player Amare Stoudemire who should return to the team any day.
Meanwhile the Nets have started the season a modest 11-8 behind the point guard play of Deron Williams and the sharp shooting of Joe Johnson. If you consider the Nets were a disappointing 22-44 last year this is tremendous progress. Unfortunately progress isn't enough to draw attention away from the team that plays in Madison Square Garden.
There simply isn't enough tradition or loyalty built up for the Brooklyn Nets to challenge the Knicks for the hearts and minds of the New York fans. Perhaps if there was some bad blood or an epic playoff battle or a blockbuster trade between the two teams, but for now there's really nothing to talk about. It's hard to compete with the incumbent when you're the new kid on the block. Just ask the LA Clippers.