The New Jersey Nets -- a year and change away from becoming the Brooklyn Nets -- still want to win an NBA championship early in Mikhail Prokhorov's tenure as franchise owner. But that's unrealistic in the immediate, so the battle of New York will have to make do. That makes the New York Knicks, the kings of the Big Apple for decades, the targets of Netian energies.
This particular skirmish at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) seems to have extra meaning for the Nets, who today rolled out season ticket plans ... for the 2012-13 season at Barclay Center in Brooklyn. From SB Nation's fantastic Nets blog NetsDaily:
The Nets' opening night in Brooklyn isn't set but October 31, 2012 is what the construction schedule is aiming for. Of course, there's a full season left to play in Newark and Deron Williams hasn't committed to an extension. But the Nets are out Wednesday with their Barclays Center ticket plans, featuring some unique aspects--and price increases less than what the Knicks recently announced.
The Nets' PR plan since last spring has seemed to be laser-focused on threatening the Knicks' New York hegemony, and announcing ticket plans for the team's future NYC home as the squads prepare for a face-off in Manhattan fits right into that. But the players have bought in, too. From the Bergen Record's Al Iannazzone:
"[It's] probably the biggest game of the season and we've got to come with the right mentality," guard Sasha Vujacic said.
That's right: a reserve guard for a team already eliminated from playoff contention is calling it "probably the biggest game of the season." That's a statement as quasi-commital as Carmelo Anthony's "almost must-win" reference to the Knicks' Monday win over the Orlando Magic. Fitting then, that according to reports Deron Williams will almost probably play. He has missed six straight games, but it's difficult to imagine the newest member of this new rivalry missing out on a chance to drive the Knicks in further (if that's even possible) humiliation heading into the playoffs.