Last year during the Brooklyn Nets' inaugural season, the Knicks and Nets tentatively got an inter-city rivalry going during four mostly well-played games. The rivalry was a bit thin, outside of some trash talking bloggers, but with the Nets adding Knicks hating aficianados Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. And with three months until the season kicks off, both sides are starting to amp up the trash talking: "[I hate the Knicks] with a passion," Pierce told Complex. "Let's start it up right now. Let's start the beef. It's no secret that me and New York got history. It's no secret. This is no secret. It's already known."
Pierce admitted in the interview that NYC is currently favored toward the Knicks "70-30", but he's hoping the Nets can steer that into the other direction this year. "It's going to be what it was (a rivalry), but now on steroids," Pierce told Life and Times Magazine. "This is a city battle. We're going to divide the city now. Before this was a Knicks town, but now that I'm here we're going to call it, ‘Nets Village.' It's going from Knicks Town to Nets Village. It's our time."
During an interview with ESPN New York 98.7 FM, Pierce added that his hatred has only grown through the years: "I think the hate [for the Knicks] has grown a little," he said. "Everybody knows how much I disliked the Knicks when I was with the Celtics, but I think it's grown to another level. I think it's time for the Nets to start running this city."
Pierce may be spraying the most vitriol this summer, but he's not the only one talking up the rivalry: “They’ve got a great chance to compete for a title but I think we’re still the marquee team in New York,” JR Smith told KnicksNow. “I think we’re going to come out with a lot of edge and hopefully put it to a positive use on the court.”
And Knicks coach Mike Woodson discussed Jason Kidd's move across town: "I wish him nothing but the best until he plays the New York Knicks, and that's how it should be," Woodson said, adding, "Brooklyn made a lot of nice offseason moves. A number of teams made some great moves. Only time will tell." However, "I don’t buy into a lot of the things that are being said because you still have to play."
Suspiciously quiet so far: Garnett. But maybe he's just saving all his cereal-related puns for the court.