by Ryan Potter
I’m a New Yorker, born and bred. As a result, hatred of anything associated with Boston, the state of New Jersey, and the Dallas Cowboys was instilled in me at a very young age by my family. But the Nets recent move from New Jersey to Brooklyn has complicated my life as a sports fan in ways I never could have expected.
Some of my earliest sports related memories are of watching the Knicks play in the Sunday afternoon NBA Game of the Week with my father and brother. At that time we lived in Indiana, so we didn’t get to see our beloved New York sports teams unless they were featured in a national broadcast. We looked forward to watching the Knicks all week, and I rarely took off the #3 jersey of my first childhood sports hero, John Starks. The Knicks of the 1990s were the first team I ever lived and died with, and I will forever treasure the memories of those great teams even if they did always fall short in the playoffs.
As I got older, the Knicks got progressively worse under the ownership of James Dolan. It became less and less common for them to be playing on TV and my interest in the NBA waned as a result. It’s pretty difficult to follow a team you can’t actually watch and even harder to put the effort into following a terrible team that you can’t watch.
The Knicks of past few seasons have been much better with addition of Carmelo Anthony and have become a team relevant enough to play on ESPN more than twice a year. A nice bonus of paying an outrageous amount for DirecTV (I have to have the MLB Extra Innings package or life would be meaningless) is that I can now watch most of the Knicks’ games on MSG. But I can also flip over to the YES network and watch the Nets.
I despised the Nets as a child, having been taught that they were team that represented New York’s backward cousin, New Jersey. Their move from New Jersey to Brooklyn has taken my reason to hate them away from me. I feel a much closer connect to Brooklyn than I have felt about Manhattan. I’m torn between the team of my childhood, the Knicks, and the new team in town, the Nets. This must be how Cowboys fans in the Houston area felt when the Texans came to town. Should I continue to be a Knicks fan as a matter of tradition? Or should I begin a new tradition following the team that now resides in the city that I love? At this point, I don’t know. I may never know.