New York City has been home to some of the greatest athletes the sports world has ever seen. From almost 100 years ago with the Babe, Lou Gehrig, then to legends like Joe DiMaggio, and Jackie Robinson. As other sports besides baseball started to become popular in the city, more stars emerged. Joe Namath, Lawrence Taylor, Willis Reed, Clyde Frazier, and Patrick Ewing are some names that come to mind.
As we enter modern day sports, there are superstars on every team. Yankees and Mets have Derek Jeter and David Wright (for now), the Giants and Jets have Eli Manning and Darrelle Revis, and the Rangers and Devils have two studs between the pipes in King Henrik and Marty Brodeur.
There isn’t much of a rivalry with baseball and football besides the media hype and fans trash talk since each superstar’s team is the complete other conference or league as the others. The Rangers and Devils rivalry was ignited again last season and we all hope we see some great hockey out of these two teams again, especially from Hank and Marty. With saying this, with no disrespect to the other superstars, what we are about to see with Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams is going to take the city by storm.
It’s no secret that the Brooklyn Nets are trying to take over the New York sports scene. They re-signed their franchise player in Deron Williams, have a new hungry fan base, built brand new state-of-the-art arena in the heart of Brooklyn, partly owned by marketing genius and entertainment mogul Jay-Z, and have a whole borough buzzing. Deron is an elite point guard, a gold medal Olympian, and a flat out superstar. If D-Will didn’t choose to resign with the Nets they might have never became relevant in Brooklyn and New York and would have been right back in the horrible cycle they were in while in New Jersey.
There might be a new dog in town but New York has had its basketball team for a long time now and they call Madison Square Garden home. The New York Knicks are a legit contender for the first time in almost 15 years of being the laughing stock of the NBA.
A huge reason why the Knicks have turned it around is Carmelo Anthony. Melo is one of the best scorers in the NBA and is now entering the prime of his career in his 10th year in the league. After being a key player in the Team USA’s gold medal run, I believe Carmelo now understands the difference between being a winner in this league and being a great player. I fully expect Carmelo to be the unquestioned leader and play some defense this year. Melo is now comfortable in the big city and it is now his team and will being making sure it’s still his city no matter what Deron and the Nets say or do.
Now New York City is big city and there are a lot of different things to choose from. If you like Italian food, there are hundreds of Italian restaurants. In the mood for some diner grub? Choose from one out of the thousand diners out there. But if you love basketball sorry, there’s only room for one team and one superstar. If you want to join the Nets bandwagon go ahead and jump ship right now because once the season starts you have to ride and die with one New York basketball team. So who’s going to own New York this year, Carmelo or Deron?
Basketball superstars are different than any other head to head superstar matchup. In baseball unless it is a pitcher and a hitter, which when they still only face each other about 4 times a game, there is no direct competition. Derek Jeter isn’t striking out David Wright or going against him every play. In hockey we have two amazing goalies but they do not directly play against each other. They can go great save for great save and put on a goalie duel, but it’s nothing like basketball. In football two superstars of a team rarely are on opposite sides of the ball and if they are, they have 10 other teammates with them so it’s hard to “own” a single player. Basketball is the only sport in New York where the superstars can directly affect who “owns” the city. Basketball player can go bucket for bucket, make plays that spark their team, and keep making big shots and challenging the other. No other sport can compare to what basketball rivals can do to each other.
When the Nets open up the Barclay’s Center against Knicks on November 1st, a new era will begin in New York sports. The Knicks own this city and Carmelo is right now a huge part of this. Deron is amazing but the Nets have a lot to prove to sway basketball fans away from the Knicks. If the Knicks come out stumbling out of the gates and the Nets come out firing, this can very much happen. Deron will take the city by storm and make it hard not to root for the new kids on the block and Deron would be the coolest kid.
If Carmelo comes out scoring 28 a game and the Knicks start off hot, this will continue to be his and only his city. Whatever Nets fans want to say and believe, the Knicks are the better and more proven team. This is Carmelo’s city to lose and it will be pretty drastic if he loses it. The ultimate test of whose city it is if these two New York squads clash in the first round. Whoever wins that will own New York City basketball.
Deron is right now the little brother who’s growing up and ready to beat up his big brother, but everyone knows in the end the big brother always wins. The big brother always knows when to turn it on when the little brother is catching up to him, and Carmelo won’t allow Deron to take his city.