Enough With the Silly Comparisons Between Jason Collins and Jackie Robinson

BART YOUNG/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES

Jason Collins has played in the NBA for 13 seasons and he has averaged 3.6 points per game on 41% shooting and 3.8 rebounds per game. The seven footer has played for six different teams in the last six years, including a second go-around with the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets. I bet you didn’t even know who he was, even if you’re a basketball fan, until April 29, 2013.

That’s the day that Collins came out as a homosexual, becoming the first open, active person in sports, disputably. Since then, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park, received phone calls from the President, and he was invited to the State of the Union by the First Lady. He has returned to the NBA after signing a 10 day contract with the Nets, and his jersey is somehow the current top seller in the league. The media attention itself has been much.

Maybe because of the Brooklyn parallels, but he has been hailed as this generation’s Jackie Robinson by the talking heads on ESPN and MSNBC by becoming the first openly gay player in the NBA.

Wait, what?

REED SAXON/AP

Yup, there are plenty in the media that have gone on to compare Collins’ coming out to Jack Roosevelt Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier in 1947. Honestly, this comparison is really silly, and downright insulting to Robinson. It brings down everything Robinson went through and stood for quite a bit. Yes, Collins has had plenty of courage to come out and try to play in the NBA, and it is very significant, but his experiences aren’t that similar to Robinson’s.

It’s one thing if Collins came out in the 1980s or even the 1990s, but this is the 21st Century, and we as a society in the western world have become more accepting of gay people. Collins’ revelation has been applauded everywhere from Kobe Bryant to George Takei. The media has covered him positively and his return to the NBA was a top story on SportsCenter for days. But let me ask: How much is Collins REALLY contributing to the LGBT movement by just coming out and playing in the NBA?

Jackie Robinson hit .311 in a ten year career in Major League Baseball, winning NL MVP in 1949. He helped the Dodgers win their only World Series championship in Brooklyn in 1955. He could have played even longer in the big leagues, but he, like every other African American player, was outright BANNED from playing because of a gentlemen’s agreement. Collins has been nothing more than a career scrub who has played for six different teams. His numbers make Kwame Brown’s look like Shaquille O’Neal’s.

hollywood.com

Maybe you think their respective career numbers don’t really matter as much, and you may be right. But the other problem is this: Jackie Robinson faced discrimination that was very, very real at the height of the Jim Crow era. Despite being an All-American in several sports at UCLA and serving in the military in World War II, Robinson was, at first, denied to play in Major League Baseball, like every African. His entry into the game was very controversial. Fans would spit on him, shout slurs at him, send him death threats, and that was just at the ballpark. Throughout the country, he wasn’t even allowed to stay in hotels or dine with his team. His own teammates petitioned to Leo Durocher and Branch Rickey to get him off the team or request a trade for themselves. Many of the teams, particularly the Philadelphia Phillies, threatened to refuse to take the field.

Just watch last year’s film 42, starring Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey. It may not be totally accurate, but it’s a great depiction of what America and baseball were like in 1947.

Jason Collins has come out in a time where LGBT people have become more accepted. Yes, there certainly is homophobia in this country, as we’ve seen time and time again, but it isn’t the level it used to be. The times, they are a-changing. Nobody in the NBA has stopped Collins from continuing his career. You’ll find a lot of sports fans that will not consider a player’s sexuality a big deal. Yes, there certainly are those bigots out there, many who will throw their slurs at him. But most fans are more concerned if a person can play ball. Collins can’t, as you see by his career numbers.

If he was any better of a player than he is, he probably would have signed with a team before now. The fact that he is a marginal player at best was the reason why teams didn’t sign him for seven months, not homophobia. He has been accepted in his locker room and embraced by Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, his teammates in Boston and now in Brooklyn. The First Lady invited him to Capitol Hill. The Red Sox had him throw out the first ball. His jersey is the top seller in the NBA!

AP

The real story should be just how he has been accepted, and that is reflective on how our country has progressed in the last 20-30 years. But he is not Jackie Robinson because he has not gone through what Robinson went through, not even close.

In order for LGBT to make an turning impact on sports, they have to be a star. If Robinson was a marginal player, he would have been out of the league after a few years. The fact that he became an all-time great player was one of the biggest reasons baseball and in fact the entire country began to change in the 40s and 50s. Jason Collins is not that guy, a true star athlete coming out would really change things.

If you really want to make comparisons to Jackie Robinson, look to the NFL, where homophobia is certainly alive amongst teams. The Missouri defensive end Michael Sam could be that guy, as we’ve already seen questions of how his outing will affect locker rooms. Like Collins, he has been supported by his peers, the media, the elite, and many others. If he blossoms into a star, he, not Jason Collins, could very well be the guy who becomes this generation’s Jackie Robinson. His success in the NFL would be the true turning point in sports.

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New Year’s Resolutions for New York’s Teams (Part 1)

2013 was an absolute nightmare for all sports in New York City. That’s pretty hard to do, considering there are nine teams in the area in the big four sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL). The Yankees and Mets both missed the playoffs, the Giants and Jets were an embarrassment, the Knicks and Nets were dismissed abruptly in May and now are struggling in a bad East, and all three hockey teams are very mediocre. No championships, just one division title, and five playoff absences.

So, each team has a New Year’s resolution as they all try to build for a better 2014 and try to bring home some championships to the greatest city in the world. I’ll start with teams that are still playing (the two NBA teams and three NHL squads)

 

Brooklyn Nets: Make the playoffs without Lopez?

The Nets were embarrassingly dismissed from the playoffs last May by the Chicago Bulls sans Derrick Rose. So, their Russian owner decided to make another big splash in the summer.

After trading for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the Nets became instant favorites in the Atlantic division and were expected to challenge the Miami Heat. Coached by former Net great Jason Kidd, the team featured a starting five of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Pierce, Garnett, and Brook Lopez. Along with a bench featuring Andrei Kirilenko, Jason Terry, and Reggie Evans, expectations were as high as the C-word (championship. What, were you expecting something else?)

However, the seasons has so far been a total disaster, a 10-20 start leaves them 12th in the Eastern conference. Matters are even worse with All-Star center Brook Lopez out for the year with a broken foot. Lopez has been one of the most productive big men in the league, averaging over 19 points per game since 2009. Still, with the Eastern conference being total garbage, the Nets are still only 2.5 games out of a playoff spot, so all hope isn’t lost – yet.

 

New York Knicks: Don’t panic or make any bad moves

The Knicks have been even worse than the Nets this season. After getting outplayed and outhustled by the Indiana Pacers in the second round of the 2013 playoffs, they made really just one big move: A trade for Andrea Bargnani, a seven footer who shot below 40% from the field in 2012-13. So far this season, it’s been an absolute nightmare, a 9-21 record leaves them second to last in the East. Injuries, inconsistencies, and organizational madness had cursed the Knicks like usual, but it’s as bad as it can be.

The resolution for the Knicks is to not panic. They’re still a few games out in a terrible conference, so a big winning streak will get them going again. They can’t, I repeat, CAN’T make any of their usual desperate trades, giving us whatever assets they still have (Tim Hardaway, Jr. has been a revelation, second among rookies in three-pointer percentage and fourth in PER). All hope is not lost yet, but a coaching change may be necessary for survival this season.

New Jersey Devils: Stop relying on the old guys so much

A year after returning to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Devils collapsed during a lock-out shortened season doomed by a late 10-game win-less streak. This year, they’re still not great but they’re hanging in there in a mediocre Metropolitan division. They’d probably be near the bottom of the division if not for the heroics of two 41 year-old legends: Jaromir Jagr and Martin Brodeur.

Jagr continues to be amazing, leading the time in both goals and assists and has has 34 points, nine more than Patrik Elias. Brodeur continues to be consistent, playing to an 11-8-3 record with a 2.31 GAA and .906 save percentage. Still they’re going to need more than them to make the playoffs. Jagr is only one of two double digit scorers for the Devils, and Adam Henrique has just 18 points in 41 games. More firepower needed.

New York Islanders: No sleep til Brooklyn?

The Isles made the playoffs the first time in six years in 2013, pushing the top seeded Penguins to six games. From there, the future looked bright with John Tavares leading the way. Things seemed to get brighter after they traded for Sabres scorer Thomas Vanek. However, they have tanked again this season, currently last in the Metro division and second worst in the Eastern conference.

The primary problem for the Isles is the lack of toughness and zero consistency at goalie. Have to wonder when it’s going to get better, and it won’t at Nassau. The team will move to Barclays Center in Brooklyn after the 2015 season, so hopefully that helps big time and increases their revenue, allowing them to surround Tavares with better talent.

New York Rangers: Put the puck in the net!

With a new offensive minded coach running the show with the King, many expected the Rangers to be one of the elite teams in the East and perhaps compete for the Cup. However, it hasn’t exactly panned out, as they’ve been hovering around .500 for weeks and barely in the playoff picture. They’re 8th in the league in power play percentage, but just 27th in goals per game.

Why? Well, the offense hasn’t been exactly great. Rick Nash has been slow and lazy after dealing with a concussion. They’ve been carried by rookie Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello. Good, but not enough, it seems. Center-wise, Derek Stepan and Brad Richards have been strong points-wise, but they haven’t scored much. Time to start taking better shots and put the damn puck in the net. It’s maddening.

There hasn’t been much consistency on the blue line other than Ryan McDonagh, who is breaking out as one of the elite defense-men in the NHL. The defense overall has been horrible, and Henrik Lundqvist is having his worst season (2.77 GAA and .906 save % aren’t bad, but not the King’s caliber.

Part 2 will come later, covering New York’s MLB and NFL squads are all four missed the playoffs in 2013.

Brooklyn Nets @ Chicago Bulls, Game 3 Preview

Brooklyn Nets @ Chicago Bulls, Game 3

Location: United Center, Chicago, IL

Time: 8:30PM on NBA TV/My9

 

Probable Starting Lineups (With Series Stats Thru Two Games)

Brooklyn:

PG Deron Williams (15.0 PPG, 8.5 APG, 2.0 SPG, .417 FG%, .250 3P%, .889 FT%)

SG Joe Johnson (16.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, .419 FG%, .417 3P%, 1.000 FT%)

SF Gerald Wallace (8.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, .429 FG%, .250 3P%, .600 FT%)

PF Reggie Evans (4.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, .667 FG%, .500 FT%)

C Brook Lopez (21.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.0 BLKPG, .483 FG%, .933 FT%)

Chicago:

PG Kirk Hinrich (7.5 PPG, 3.5 APG, 1.5 STLPG, .308 FG%, .500 3P%, .556 FT%)

SG Jimmy Butler (9.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.5 BLKPG, .500 FG%)

SF Luol Deng (10.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.5 APG, .357 FG%)

PF Carlos Boozer (19.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, .563 FG%)

C Joakim Noah (7.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.5 BLKPG, .429 FG%)

 

Key Bench Players:

Brooklyn:

PG C.J. Watson (12.0 PPG, 3.0 APG, .588 FG%, .400 3P% in in 24.5 MINPG)

C Andray Blatche (10.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, .500 FG% in 20.0 MINPG)

PF Kris Humphries (5.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, .444 FG%, 1.000 FT% in 13.0 MINPG)

SF Keith Bogans (0.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, in 11.5 MINPG

Chicago:

PG Nate Robinson (14.0 PPG, 1.5 APG, 1.0 STLPG, .522 FG% in 23.0 MINPG

PF Taj Gibson (7.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, .750 FG% in 17.0 MPG)

SG Marco Bellinelli (10.5 PPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 STLPG, .467 FG%, .857 FT% in 15.5 MINPG)

C Nazr Mohammed (4.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.00 BLKPG, .667 FG% in 12.0 MINPG)

 

Injury Report:

Brooklyn: None

Chicago: PG Derrick Rose (OUT), Joakim Noah (Probable)

Keys to the Game:

1. Deron Williams vs. Bulls’ Defense: In Game 1, Deron Williams scored 22 points (9-15 shooting) and collected 7 assists and 3 steals as the Nets torched the Bulls and won 106-89. In Game 2, Kirk Hinrich successfully guarded Williams and he shot just 1-9 from the field despite getting 10 assists. D-Will has played brilliant basketball since the Nets replaced Avery Johnson with P.R. Carlesimo as coach, averaging 20.2 PPG on .461 shooting (.416 from 3) and 7.7 APG in his last 50 games as the Nets went 35-19 over that span. Easily the best player in the series, as he goes, so do the Brooklyn Nets

2. Size matters: Both the Bulls and the Nets have elite defenses, capable of shutting down most opponents. Both teams owe it to their size. Center Joakim Noah finished 4th in the Defensive Player of the Year voting and his health was the literal difference between the first two games in this series. The Nets’ 7-footer Brook Lopez enjoyed a breakout season for Brooklyn, putting up a whopping 24.81 player efficiency rating, 5th best in the NBA. The Bulls also have two other solid big men in Carlos Boozer and Nazr Mohammed, but the Nets may have a little bit more depth behind Lopez: Reggie Evans with his 11.1 RPG and Andray Blatche, who seems to have left his bad personality in Washington. The size may be the key to the series in general: Defense, rebounding, inside scoring etc. The Nets may have a bit more of the offense and rebounding than the Bulls

3. Health: The Bulls have been the most banged up team in the NBA. Derrick Rose hasn’t played a game since Game 1 of last year’s playoffs, but right now their biggest concern is Joakim Noah. He is still battling a foot injury that limited him to 13 minutes in Game 1. Game 2 was a different story, as he played 25 minutes and put in 11 points and 10 rebounds and provided some big grinding plays to help the Bulls hang on to tie the series. Noah is again limited but may be able to play another 20-25 minutes, and that might be enough.
Prediction: Back in sweet home Chicago, I think the Bulls can grind out another win, but I think this whole series will be in tight, as I previously picked the Bulls in six. I’m sticking with that.

Recapping This Past Week of New York Sports (4/15-4/21)

Another busy week in the world of New York sports. It’s probably the busiest time of the year for sports. I love it!

Monday, April 15th: Mets got snowed out again, this time in Colorado. With Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin, Tyson Chandler, Marcus Camby, Raymond Felton, and J.R. Smith all out, Knicks fell in Charlotte 106-95 but 29 year-old rookie Chris Copeland shined with 32 points on 12-25 shooting. Nets came back from 17 to top the Wizards. Filling in for Deron Williams and Reggie Evans, Kris Humphries and Andray Blatche put in 20 each in Brooklyn’s victory.

Tuesday, April 16th: On the celebration day of the man he was named for, Robinson Cano hit a 426-ft HR to win it for the Yanks, with the last #42 saving it. Yanks honored Boston by playing their arch-nemesis’s theme song “Sweet Caroline”. Rockies swept the Mets in doubleheader, the second in extras. Islanders topped Panthers 5-2, Rangers dropped 4-2 decision in Philadelphia

Wednesday, April 17th: Mets got postponed yet again. Travis Hafner hit a pinch-hit HR to give CC Sabathia and the Yankees the win. Knicks and Nets wrapped up regular season with home victories.

Thursday, April 18th: Devils finally snapped 10 game winning streak with Marty Brodeur’s 667th career win. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 34 of 35 shots as the Rangers destroyed the Panthers 6-1 win. Rockies finished the sweep over the Mets. The Yankees couldn’t capitalize on Francisco Cervelli’s game-tying HR in the ninth and failed to sweep Arizona.

Friday, April 19th: In the Mets’ return to Flushing, Matt Harvey out-dueled Stephen Strasburg and improved to 4-0 in the Mets’ win of the Nationals. Andy Pettitte earned his 3rd win in return to action as the Yankees beat Toronto 9-4. Rangers eliminated the Sabres in blowout 8-4 win in Buffalo.

Saturday, April 20th: Knicks and Nets each opened their playoff runs with victories as the ‘Bockers held the Celtics to eight points in the fourth quarter. Brooklyn dominated the Bulls from the get-go. Mets allowed two HRs to Bryce Harper in close 7-6 loss. The Yankees wasted Hiroki Kuroda’s latest stellar start but still earned the win as the Blue Jays literally threw the game away.  Isles earned a big shoot-out win in Winnipeg to get higher in the standings.

Sunday, April 21st: The Jets traded star cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Rangers eliminated the Devils from playoff contention as well as got some ground of their own Yankees couldn’t sweep the Blue Jays as they blew a two run lead in the sixth. Dillon Gee earned his first win of the year as the Mets took two of three from the Nationals.

Celtics @ Knicks Game 1 and Bulls @ Nets Game 1 Previews

Both New York teams kick off their playoff runs today.

Boston Celtics @ New York Knicks, Game 1

Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY.

Time: 3:00pm on ABC

Probably Starting Lineups:

Boston:

PG Avery Bradley

SG Paul Pierce

SF Jeff Green

PF Brandon Bass

C Kevin Garnett

New York:
PG Raymond Felton

SG Jason Kidd

SF Iman Shumpert

PF Carmelo Anthony

C Tyson Chandler

Injury Report:

Boston: G Rajon Rondo (OUT), F/C Kevin Garnett (Day-To-Day), G/F Paul Pierce (Day-To-Day), G Jason Terry (Day-To-Day)

New York: F/C Amar’e Stoudemire (OUT), Iman Shumpert (Day-To-Day), Pablo Prigioni (Doubtful for Game 1), Kenyon Martin (Day-To-Day), Tyson Chandler (Probable), Carmelo Anthony (Probable)

The Knicks open up against the team that swept them two years ago. This year it’s different. The Knicks will just be too much for the aging Celtics (without Rajon Rondo). New York needs to take this one at home to keep their heads on straight. I say Knicks win 104-92. Carmelo drops 34, J.R. Smith puts up 23.

Chicago Bulls @ Brooklyn Nets, Game 1

Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY.

Time: 8:00pm on ESPN/YES Network

Probable Starting Lineups:

Chicago:

PG Kirk Hinrich

SG Jimmy Butler

SF Luol Deng

PF Carlos Boozer

C Nazr Muhammad

Brooklyn:

PG Deron Williams

SG Joe Johnson

SF Gerald Wallace

PF Reggie Evans

C Brook Lopez

Injury Report:

Chicago: G Derrick Rose (OUT), C Joakim Noah (Doubtful)

The Nets make their first playoff appearance since 2007. They open in Brooklyn against a Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls. It’s highly likely that Defensive Player of the Year and NY native Joakim Noah will miss tonight’s game. That’s big, because the key to this series could between him and Nets big man Brook Lopez. The Nets will have to take advantage to be able to knock off this tough Chicago defense. I say Nets win 99-87. Deron Williams and Lopez leads the charge.

Recapping This Past Week of New York Sports

Very busy weekend in New York, with the NBA season starting to finish off, the lock-out shortened NHL season getting close to finishing, and MLB’s season getting into the swing of things. This is probably my favorite sports month of the year. NBA playoffs start this Saturday, NHL not too far away. Yanks and Mets just getting started.

Monday: Matt Harvey shut down the Phillies, the Mets hammered Roy Halladay. The Yankees put up 11 in Cleveland’s home opener. The Rangers dropped a 4-3 decision in Toronto.

Tuesday: Dillon Gee gave up three HRs in an 8-3 Mets loss in Philly. Andy Pettitte was again brilliant as the Yankees flattened the Indians again, 14-1. The Knicks clinched their first division title since 1994, winning their 13th in a row. The Nets kept the pace in a victory against the Sixers. The Islanders cruised to a 4-1 win over the Flyers to keep ahead in the playoff chase.

Wednesday: Mets again got crushed in Philly, surrendering five runs in the 1st inning. Yankees got rained out in Cleveland. Deron Williams scores 29 in a Nets win in Boston. Rangers picked up a big shoot-out win over the Maple Leafs back at the Garden. Devils fall behind 4-0 against the Bruins and can’t come back.

Thursday: Knicks’ 13 game winning streak was snapped by the Bulls in an overtime loss in Chicago. Yankees again got rained out in Cleveland. Evgeni Nabokov stops 30 of 31 shots in a 2-1 Islanders victory over the Bruins.

Friday: Mets scored 10 in the first two innings to cruise to a 16-5 win in a snowy Minneapolis. Yankees scored unusual triple play in 5-2 win over Baltimore as CC Sabathia picked up his second victory. Devils’ winless streak reached nine in a 2-0 loss to Ottawa. Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points and 14 rebounds in 30 minutes in a Knick victory in Cleveland. Deron Williams scored 33 points for the Nets in an eight point win in Indiana, Brooklyn’s 4th in a row.

Saturday: Matt Harvey took a no-hitter into the 7th in a 4-2 Mets win. Phil Hughes gave up three HRs in a 5-3 Yankee loss. (I was there). Rangers and Islanders played an epic game at Nassau, with Dan Girardi scoring the game winner in overtime in a 1-0 Blueshirts victory. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 shots for his first shut-out.

Sunday: Mets’ finale in Minnesota was canceled due to the weather. Knicks  clinched the 2nd seed in the Eastern conference. Nets fell in Toronto, forcing them to take the 4th seed. Hiroki Kuroda tossed a complete game shut-out in the finale against Baltimore on Sunday Night Baseball.

New York Basketball’s New Era Is Born: Knicks and Nets Are Officially a Rivalry

After watching these past two match-ups between these two squads, I would forgive you if you confused them for a couple of playoff games.

It’s official: the Battle for the City of New York is on. Manhattan’s Knicks and the Brooklyn’s new team the Nets are officially rivals.

The players on each squad may not admit it, but the intensity of their two meetings this season say other wise. This is the hottest rivalry in the New York Metropolitan area, and may be the hottest in the NBA.

The first matchup was rescheduled for Monday, November 27th after Hurricane Sandy canceled the potential season opening matchup. The Knicks, minus Jason Kidd, fell to the Nets in overtime after having a late lead. Brooklyn was led by Brook Lopez and his 22 points and 11 rebounds.

This time, it was the Nets, minus Lopez, who blew a 17 point lead and the Knicks came back to stun them led by MVP candidate Carmelo Anthony’s 45 points and the game winning three pointer by the man who led the New Jersey Nets to two straight NBA Finals, Jason Kidd.

Now, Kidd, who finally won his championship with the Dallas Mavericks two years ago, looks as if he could be a big piece in the quest to bring the city of New York its first basketball championship in 40 years.

However, the road will not be easy, because the new look Nets, in a new home with a new image, look as if they came to play. They are ready to challenge the Knicks for the dominance of the city and look to stake their claim among all those competing for the championship.

The Knicks spent their offseason trying to find pieces to add to compete with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference. The Nets successfully retained point guard Deron Williams and put a supporting cast around him and unleashed their new identity. Now they’re looking to accomplish more.

The Nets clearly have established an aura in the city, particularly in the Republic of Brooklyn, who have been missing a sports franchise since the Dodgers left 55 years ago. You can certainly see the Nets’ new black and white image all over the city, and many natives have embraced them.

Still, the Knicks are already far ahead of the Nets as of right now. They have already flattened the reigning champions twice by 20 this season while the Nets have gotten embarrassed by the Heat twice down in South Beach. Clearly, the Knicks are in the lead in this regard.

Both teams of course, have plenty of room to improve in this marathon of a season.

The Knicks are still without Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert, who respectively add a huge offensive and defensive game to this Knicks roster. Stoudemire is projected to return on Christmas Day in Los Angeles. Shumpert looks to come back around New Year or after. When they return, New York could end up having one of the best benches in the NBA.

The Nets have been missing Brook Lopez for the past few games, which has caused the Nets to slump. Deron Williams, plagued by injuries, has been shooting under 40% since arriving with the Nets, but he’s still one of the best point guards in the Association. Their bench has been stellar and Joe Johnson has started to come around recently.

Both teams are headed for the playoffs, and could end up meeting sometime there, setting up the most intense crosstown matchup since the Subway Series of 2000 between the Mets and Yankees.

But in the city of New York? The Knicks still run this town, and the Nets will have to try very hard to win the people over. They’ve already done so in Kings County, but Knick Nation made their presence known in each battles there this season.

The Knickerbockers are clearly number one in the City That Never Sleeps and in the East, and that isn’t changing anytime soon. The Nets still have a ways to go, but they are indeed here and we got a rivalry brewing in the Big Apple.