Although the Brooklyn Nets made all the noise in free agency this summer, Taj Gibson knows New York still belongs to the New York Knicks.
The rivalry between the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets should heat up over the next few years. The Nets are one of the premier teams in the Eastern Conference while the Knicks are in the midst of a rebuild.
Despite the recent rise of the Nets, Brooklyn native Taj Gibson still believes New York City is a Knicks town.
“It’s always going to be a Knicks town. That’s all we grew up on,” Gibson told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “What the Nets are doing is great, don’t get me wrong. That’s amazing. But I grew up a Knicks fan. I grew up watching John Starks. Times have changed. But New York is always — you see behind you, they have Knicks hats on.”
He’s not wrong. The Nets moved to Brooklyn from New Jersey in 2012, but they have failed to encroach on the Knicks’ territory. The vast majority of New Yorkers are still Knicks fans.
Look at Madison Square Garden on any given night. Even when the Knicks are awful, they seem to sell out every night. The Nets, on the other hand, ranked last in average home attendance last season.
To put that in perspective, the 17-win Knicks were still selling out games in March and April while the playoff-bound Nets were struggling to coerce people into the Barclays Center.
The attendance statistics will likely change in Brooklyn with an influx of stars like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. But that doesn’t mean they are going to supplant the Knicks as New York’s team.