Rod Boone of Newsday spoke with Avery Johnson and Deron Williams and got their thoughts on "the rivalry" and where it stands right now.
"Ive been asked about this quote-unquote rivalry in the last four to five months more than I had my first two years," the Nets' third-year coach said following practice Tuesday at the PNY Center "So, I feel it. I feel it more when we are out and about in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Im going to restaurants in Manhattan and guys are saying, 'Brooklyn' or theyre saying, 'The Knicks are still going to beat you guys.'
"Or I'm in Brooklyn and the fans are going crazy with their Brooklyn Nets gear on and they are saying, 'We cant wait to play the Knicks.' So ... we hear it more and thats something that weve got to manage."Deron Williams:
"Nah, its just another game," Deron Williams said. "This rivalry with them is getting blown up by the media, but internally, we havent talked about it. We haven't said anything about it. We are looking forward to playing these guys. We are looking forward to forming a rivalry. But its not there yet."
"We have a lot more games to play than just against the Knicks to prove ourselves," Williams said. "So, we cant get caught up in that. We are going to be excited as it is for the first game of the season and the first game at the Barclays Center. So, well be ready to go no matter what."
Regardless of how the coach and players feel, this rivalry is only beginning to gain momentum with the fans and tomorrow night will be the first taste of it.