(Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

The Nets frustration continues to boil over, and they won't get to take it out on the court until next week. 

They were on the verge of snapping their six-game losing streak against the Pacers Tuesday only to crumble in crunch time to lose 108-103 at Barclays Center. Luckily, their crosstown rival -- New York Knicks -- own the longest losing streak in the league with eight straight games. But after seven straight losses, that is certainly no pat on the back. 

"It's frustrating. It sucks that we keep putting ourselves into good situations and we keep coming up short," Allen Crabbe told The Post's Brian Lewis. "We were definitely looking forward to getting this big win going into the All-Star break. Now we've got a week before our next game. Hopefully this break gives us some time to get our minds right, attack this second half of the season really well."

Crabbe had the Nets' highest point total at 24 points as he continues his red-hot shooting. But Crabbe can't take every shot, and after missing eight straight shots late in the fourth quarter, the Pacers took advantage by regaining the lead, and pushing it further from the Nets' grasp. 

"We couldn't stop them. Defense again was our Achilles heel, 35 points [in the fourth quarter] is just too many," head coach Kenny Atkinson said. "They got too many easy baskets, too many easy looks. There were too many breakdowns. Until we fix up our defense it's going to be tough to get a W. That's the way it is."

It wasn't all bad throughout the game, though. Other than Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll and D'Angelo Russell had great games. Carroll posted a double-double (21 points, 10 rebounds), while Russell poured hom 18 points with nine assists as well. But Russell feels that the team didn't play a full 48 minutes, and that resulted in yet another loss.

"I just feel like we're doing just all right -- just enough to get by -- and not finishing games," Russell said. "And that comes with playing for all 48 minutes and not just three quarters or whatnot -- or forgetting to play in the last four minutes -- so making winning plays down the stretch, stuff like that. I think we'll figure it out sooner or later, realize we've got to do it together.

"Just taking up that individual challenge, everybody trying to win that one-on-one battle with you guy and help your teammates at the same time, having that mentality of I'm going to win that battle with my guy."

Now, the Nets have lost 11 of their last 12 games, and it didn't help that Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson have both been hurt during that span. Brooklyn is hoping the break will allow them not only to get healthy, but figure out what it going wrong with the team. 

"We have to come back with a bit of a chip on our shoulder. We're struggling right now. See if we can make some money after the All-Star break, see if we can come back focused. That's frustrating for all of us. We have to turn it around," Atkinson said. "Hopefully we get back to whole. Rondae and Caris are two of our best defenders. … They're really going to help us. But that being said I do think even with the guys we had out there we should've done better defensively."

Tags: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
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Apr 20, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson and guard Caris LeVert (22) react during the second half time out against the Philadelphia 76ers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 20, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson and guard Caris LeVert (22) react during the second half time out against the Philadelphia 76ers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Nets saw their trip to China as a bonding experience and didn't want to discuss the off-court issues between the NBA and one of its biggest foreign markets.

"In four years here, I've never commented on a political issue or a social issue. I'm just going to continue that way," head coach Kenny Atkinson said Wednesday. "I would love to keep it to our Nets and the on-court stuff, anything you want to know about how we played, our rotations, our pick-and-roll defense, I'd be more than willing to answer that."

The Nets and Lakers were in the middle of a tense geopolitical storm during their stay in China. It started, as you know, with a tweet from Rockets general manager Daryl Morey expressing support Hong Kong demonstrators protesting a number of issues related to China.

Tags: Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, Ian Begley
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Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

Kenny Atkinson informed reporters that Kyrie Irving practiced on Wednesday and is expected to play in the Nets' preseason finale against the Raptors on Friday.

"He practiced today and played really well. He looked good," Atkinson said. "We had an inter-squad scrimmage today, Black-Gray, especially to get Kyrie some more up and down work."

"He'll play Friday. We'll see if it's his normal minutes, obviously he's missed some time, so we'll see about that."

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Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

As the NBA-China controversy continues to unfold, much has been made over comments from players like LeBron James, but with the Lakers and Nets both in the country for a pair of exhibition games, other players reportedly expressed concern about playing the preseason games.

According to a report for ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Nets point guard Kyrie Irving "questioned whether or not it was worth playing the games in such a charged environment."

A source told McMenamin that Irving would have rather not played the games than have to be asked about the backlash surrounding Rockets owner Daryl Morey's tweet.

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Sean Marks answers questions during a news conference where he was introduced as the new general manager of the Brooklyn Nets, before the Nets' NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson (Julie Jacobso/AP)
Sean Marks answers questions during a news conference where he was introduced as the new general manager of the Brooklyn Nets, before the Nets' NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson (Julie Jacobso/AP)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

If you've seen LeBron James' comments on the NBA-China controversy (and the reaction to those comments), you know that the ripple effects of Daryl Morey's tweet in support of demonstrators in Hong Kong will be felt for some time. 

There's plenty to unpack with this story: free speech issues, the NBA -- and many other companies -- conducting business with a country that critics say has a history of oppressing dissent, and the potential financial fallout for the league in the form of lost revenue from the business they do in China.

It's way too early to predict how much revenue the league may lose in the aftermath of last week's events. But the lost revenue -- if it's high enough -- will have a tangible impact on the Nets. 

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Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) brings the ball up court in the first quarter against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) brings the ball up court in the first quarter against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Caris LeVert scored a game-high 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting in 23 minutes as the Nets cruised to a 91-77 win over the Lakers on Saturday in the second of two preseason games the teams played in China. Brooklyn defeated Los Angeles 114-111 on Thursday, as well.

LeVert was questionable for Saturday's contest after getting hit in the face very early in Thursday's game, logging just 1:28 on the court. But the 25-year-old, who signed a three-year, $52.5 million extension in the offseason, showed no ill-effects as he looks to bounce back from a season in which he missed 42 games with an ankle injury.

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Nov 21, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the team logo on the shorts of Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley (6) as he warms up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Nov 21, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the team logo on the shorts of Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley (6) as he warms up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

The NBA has cancelled media availability for teams for the rest of the China trip.

The league had cancelled media obligations for players and coaches following the Nets-Lakers game in Shanghai on Thursday. They are scheduled to play again on Saturday in Shenzhen at 7:30 AM ET.

"We have decided not to hold media availability for our teams for the remainder of our trip in China," the NBA said in a statement. "They have been placed into a complicated and unprecedented situation while abroad and we believe it would be unfair to ask them to address these matters in real time."

 

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Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) and Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) pose for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (NICOLE SWEET)
Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) and Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) pose for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (NICOLE SWEET)

Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving will miss Saturday's game in China against the Los Angeles Lakers after suffering a facial contusion, the team said according to SNY's Ian Begley.

Irving, who had injured his face earlier this offseason and was wearing a face mask, left his first preseason game with the Nets on Thursday in China. Lakers guard Rajon Rondo appeared to collide with Irving, forcing him to leave the game after playing just one minute and six seconds.

Caris LeVert is listed as questionable for Saturday's game with an eye injury, after he took contact to the face as well in Thursday's game against the Lakers.

Tags: Caris LeVert
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Feb 16, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a press conference at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)
Feb 16, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a press conference at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The controversy between the NBA and China isn't going anywhere anytime soon. It's a complex issue that involves hundreds of millions of dollars in profit for the league, free speech and a Chinese government that critics say has a history of oppressing dissent.

Some NBA players in China feel like they're caught in the middle of an impossible position.

"They feel they are in tough spot because they're going to have to talk about things that they aren't well-versed on," someone in touch with two players currently in China told SNY. "They thought they were here to play basketball and entertain, and it's turned into a circus."

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Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

The Nets and Lakers were squaring off in China when Kyrie Irving left his first preseason appearance one minute in after suffering a facial contusion, the team said Thursday morning.

Irving was hit in the face once again, exiting the hardwood in clear discomfort. He was already wearing a mask due to a facial fracture he sustained playing pick-up with the Nets earlier this offseason.

It appears that Rajon Rondo was the one who collided with Irving. 

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Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets first face each other in the second game of the regular season Oct. 25 at Barclays Center, and the intrigue has already begun with off-court comments from both sides.

After Kevin Durant said that "the cool thing right now is not the Knicks," Julius Randle, among others, had a response for reporters Wednesday when asked about the new Nets star's thoughts from Tuesday on Hot97 FM's Ebro in the Morning Show.

"S--t, I feel cool in blue and orange," Randle told reporters. "I don't know about everybody else but I feel pretty cool wearing my Knicks gear every day. It's a dream come true for me. Everybody has their own opinion."

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 (NICOLE SWEET)
(NICOLE SWEET)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Nets center DeAndre Jordan didn't want to comment on the international controversy between the NBA, the Chinese government, the Houston Rockets and Houston GM Daryl Morey

"It was unfortunate that the events were cancelled today but we're not experts in that field," Jordan said on ESPN's The Jump on Tuesday from China, where the Nets are scheduled to play the Lakers. "The field that we are experts in is basketball. We wanted to come here to play basketball and see all our fans in China."

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Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

In an interview on the Ebro in the Morning Show on Hot97 FM, Nets star Kevin Durant talked about several topics, including his decision to sign with the Nets and why "it's hard" for the Knicks to attract top players. Here is the full interview.

Here are some highlights:

ON HIS DECISION TO SIGN WITH THE NETS

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Mar 9, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) reacts after their win against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)
Mar 9, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) reacts after their win against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Jarrett Allen will start for the Nets at center in their preseason opener on Friday, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said.

That means DeAndre Jordan will be coming off the bench for Brooklyn, though Atkinson says you shouldn't read too much into the decision.

"There wasn't, believe it or not, a ton of thought put into," he said. "They've both played really well."

Tags: DeAndre Jordan, Jarrett Allen, Ian Begley
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Feb 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Allonzo Trier (14) shoots against Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Allonzo Trier (14) shoots against Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

When Kevin Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets this summer, Knicks fans naturally felt spurned, having held out hope that the 10-time All-Star would bring the magic back to Madison Square Garden.

But what about Allonzo Trier? The second-year Knicks guard has a relationship with Durant that dates back to Trier's days as a high schooler in Oklahoma City, when Durant was a member of the Thunder.

Tags: Allonzo Trier
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Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Kyrie Irving has been ruled out of the Nets' preseason opener on Friday, but Kenny Atkinson says his new point guard is picking up defensive concepts 'seamlessly.' 

"Very pleased so far," Atkinson said on Wednesday. 

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Nets find intensity at practice 00:01:19
Kenny Atkinson and Joe Harris talk about the first few days of Nets training camp. The team's managed to find the right level of intensity.

According to head coach Kenny Atkinson, the Nets' first few days of training camp practice have been highly competitive, but it's a "healthy" competition. 

"I think the spirit of the group is really good," Atkinson said. "Sometimes competitive can go over the line where it affects chemistry. I think our competitiveness is in the right spirit. I think we have good guys even with the new guys meshing. I think it's a healthy competition. There are definitely some battles going on, but in the right sense and the right spirit."

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Nets open camp 00:01:31
Nets Head Coach Kenny Atkinson on the Nets opening training camp and meeting with NBA referees regarding the new travelling rules.

On Saturday, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson spoke about the beginning of training camp, as the team enters the year with high expectations after the signings of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, among others. 

"We haven't changed a lot but we've tweaked some things, so that's always a challenge for the coaching staff to present that to the team, but a lot of teaching," Atkinson said.

Atkinson also said the Nets scrimmaged at the end of their first practice.

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Dec 16, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Carmelo Anthony (7) plays the ball against New York Knicks small forward Lance Thomas (42) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 16, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Carmelo Anthony (7) plays the ball against New York Knicks small forward Lance Thomas (42) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Count Lance Thomas among the NBA players who are surprised that Carmelo Anthony isn't on an NBA roster. 

"I think he deserves to end up on a team. A guy of his caliber is someone who has always been a standup guy in the league. He's given amazing basketball memories to the NBA, has affected almost every teammate he's ever had in a positive way, and always has a smile on his face," Thomas said Friday at Nets Media Day. "I think he does deserve to play on a team. I think it's unfortunate what's happening. But you're not going to take the smile off his face even if you tried."

Thomas signed with the Nets on Friday. His addition puts Brooklyn's roster entering training camp at 20 players - the maximum allowed under NBA guidelines. So the Nets would need to waive someone to add Anthony, which seems unlikely at this point. 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Lance Thomas, Ian Begley
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May 6, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during the second half in game four of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
May 6, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during the second half in game four of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

Kyrie Irving provided plenty of insight on Friday into what led him to re-consider a pledge to re-sign with the Celtics and, ultimately, join the Brooklyn Nets.

Irving said one of the most important factors for him in signing with the Nets was returning home. He grew up in West Orange, NJ. He said the death of his grandfather early last season impacted him significantly. In the aftermath of his grandfather's death, Irving began to re-think the idea of re-signing with the Celtics. Prior to the season, he said in front of the crowd at Celtics home arena that he planned to re-sign with the club.

"After that, a lot of things happened in my personal life that really changed the landscape of how I felt about the game of basketball and actually playing it in a team environment and that really affected me as a human being," Irving said. "I didn't share it with anyone. I didn't want to come out and say that this is bothering me or I'm in a depression at this point in dealing with the death of my grandfather. So when all this happened, and the pressures - I put in quotations - from this basketball game came into free agency and what I was doing with my future, I wanted to dispel all those things but I don't think I did it in the right way of being honest about how I felt. So I just wanted to come here with a very fresh mindset and make sure that I'm honest with my teammates going forward."

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Kyrie will be Durant's protector 00:02:39
Kevin Durant opens up about joining the Nets, and Kyrie Irving promises to protect his teammate, as a new basketball era begins in Brooklyn.

After suffering a torn right Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, then-Golden State Warrior Kevin Durant -- along with Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters that, despite having missed much of the postseason due to injury, the superstar was healthy enough to take the court.

But at Friday's Nets' media day, Durant's current teammate in Brooklyn Kyrie Irving gave a different view of things.

 

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Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant
Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant detailed why he chose to sign with the Nets on Friday during the team's Media Day.

"We know basketball pretty well, and it's really easy to see what these guys brought to the table," Durant said. "It's not like I had to do any deep analysis of any player here. Just watching games and playing against them and seeing the continuity throughout the last couple of years, it was pretty easy to figure out what kind of team and what kind of organization this place is."

Durant made his decision before he even spoke to the Nets, and it was a decision he said was easy to reach. Irving, Durant and DeAndre Jordan all said on Friday that they talked about the possibility of signing together with Brooklyn in a conversation over the phone - or FaceTime - at 4:16 AM EST on the morning of July 30, the first day of free agency. 

"We were like, 'Are you ready to do it?' And everybody was like, 'Yeah,'" Durant said. "I could try to think of something deeper, but it really wasn't."

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Lance Thomas 1on1 00:04:01
Newest Brooklyn Net Lance Thomas likes the competitiveness he's seen in his new team and praises his time with the New York Knicks.

The Nets have agreed to terms with forward Lance Thomas, the team announced ahead of Friday's media day. 

SNY had previously reported that the team was in conversations with the former Knick about a role that would give him a regular roster spot

 

Tags: Lance Thomas
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Mar 15, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; New York Knicks small forward Lance Thomas (42) dunks over San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (right) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)
Mar 15, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; New York Knicks small forward Lance Thomas (42) dunks over San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (right) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Discussions between Lance Thomas and the Brooklyn Nets have centered around Thomas having a regular season roster spot, per SNY sources.

The Nets have 15 players on guaranteed deals, but can add an extra player after the fifth game of Wilson Chandler's 25-game suspension for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy.

Nets GM Sean Marks acknowledged on Tuesday that the team will look into adding a 16th player on the roster during Chandler's suspension.

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Nov 22, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) slips on his mask during the second half against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Nov 22, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) slips on his mask during the second half against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Nets guard Kyrie Irving suffered a left side facial fracture during a pickup game on Tuesday, the team announced. The Nets say Irving is day-to-day. Training camp begins Saturday.

Irving was hurt by an inadvertent elbow during a pickup game at the Nets' facility.

The Nets' first preseason game is October 4. Irving's availability for that game is unclear. He could - and likely will - play with a protective mask, as he did during his stints in Boston and Cleveland. 

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Carmelo Anthony/Sean Marks
Carmelo Anthony/Sean Marks

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Nets GM Sean Marks acknowledged that the team will look into adding a 16th player on the roster during Wilson Chandler's suspension. The Nets have 15 players on guaranteed deals, but can add an extra player after the fifth game of Chandler's 25-game suspension.

When asked specifically about free agent Carmelo Anthony, Marks obviously declined to address the 10-time All Star specifically.

"I will say we will do our due diligence on everybody. We've looked at multiple players, we've brought in several players, whether it was throughout the summer for pickup and they've come in on their own accord," Marks said. "It's documented that guys were playing together in L.A. (with Anthony), so for us, I think we'll use our Exhibit 10s, we'll use training camp in which to try and figure it out, whether it's two-way spots and so forth. We'll use that to figure out where we go."

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Update on Kevin Durant's rehab 00:01:32
Nets GM addressed Kevin Durant's rehab process and says the team expects to not have Kevin Durant play this season. Health is the priority.

Nets GM Sean Marks said on Tuesday that the organization isn't planning on All Star Kevin Durant returning this season.

"With Kevin, I think what we're going to say is the expectations are that he'll be out for the year," Marks said at his pre-training camp press conference. "We're not going to plan on him playing. His rehab will obviously be predetermined over the course of the next few months, how he goes with the performance team, but ultimately Kevin will have a large say in when he comes back and how he's feeling. The expectation now is for him to be out for the year."

Durant underwent surgery to repair a torn right Achilles in June. There is no clear timetable for his return, though Marks said Durant is attacking his rehab aggressively.

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Fertitta on Carmelo Anthony 00:02:14
Ian Begley talked to Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Houston Rockets on Carmelo Anthony's tenure and Knicks owner James Dolan.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta spoke to SNY on Friday to promote his new book, 'Shut up and Listen', which provides advice for business entrepreneurs. He answered questions about the book, ex-Knick Carmelo Anthony's Rockets tenure, Knicks and Nets ownership and other topics. 

Below is a Q&A with Fertitta, condensed and edited for clarity.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Ian Begley
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Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony reacts after a play during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony reacts after a play during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

The Nets open training camp in 10 days and several Brooklyn players remain fully in favor of the club signing free agent Carmelo Anthony, per SNY sources.

The Nets enter camp with 15 players on guaranteed contracts, which is the maximum regular-season allotment. But there is an avenue for the club to sign Anthony to a traditional NBA deal during the regular season.

Wilson Chandler is suspended for the first 25 games of the season for violating the league's PED policy. After the fifth game of Chandler's suspension, the Nets can move the veteran forward to the inactive list.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Ian Begley
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May 6, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during the second half in game four of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
May 6, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during the second half in game four of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

It looks like the New York rivalry is on.

This summer, Kyrie Irving elected to sign with the Nets on a four-year, $136 million contract, while the Knicks, who had targeted Irving, were left watching as Brooklyn assembled a team consisting of some free agent stars.

So when the Knicks travel to Barclays Center on Friday, October 25 for an early-season matchup between the two New York teams, the Nets have decided to give away 10,000 replica Irving jerseys to the fans in attendance. 

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April 28, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates against the Houston Rockets during the second quarter in game one of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
April 28, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates against the Houston Rockets during the second quarter in game one of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Here are a few takeaways from a great profile of Kevin Durant in the Wall Street Journal...

Durant's decision to sign with Brooklyn surprised one of his closest friends

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Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant
Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant

It's still unclear if Kevin Durant will play this season or if he'll sit it out the entire year while rehabbing from Achilles surgery.

Durant said in an interview with Yahoo Sports last month that he hasn't ruled out the possibility of playing in 2019-20. He again left open the possibility of playing this season in an interview over the weekend with Chris Henderson.

The interview, published on YouTube, was focused mostly on music, sneakers and video games (Definitely worth checking out if you're interested in those topics/seeing an NBA star in a relaxed setting). Durant also talked briefly about the Nets.

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Dec 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Rodions Kurucs (00) at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Dec 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Rodions Kurucs (00) at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Brooklyn Nets forward Rodions Kurucs was arrested Tuesday on a misdemeanor assault charge and released without bail for allegedly assaulting his then-girlfriend June 27, according to a published report by Trevor Boyer and Graham Rayman of the New York Daily News.

The report cited "police sources" that said the 21-year-old Kurucs was allegedly involved in an altercation before "that spiraled out of control" with his girlfriend at the time in his Carroll Gardens apartment on Bond St. near First St. in Brooklyn.

During the argument, which the report said took place before 8 p.m. June 27, Kurucs allegedly screamed, "I am going to kill myself," before he put his hands around the woman's throat.

Tags: Rodions Kurucs
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Former Net Joe Johnson, left, is now a member of the Miami Heat and may face the Knicks Sunday. (Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports)
Former Net Joe Johnson, left, is now a member of the Miami Heat and may face the Knicks Sunday. (Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports)

Could one of the top Nets players in the past decade be close to a return home?

According to a published report Monday from Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Brooklyn is among three teams set to work out Joe Johnson.

Along with the Nets, Johnson will perform in front of the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukeee Bucks.

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Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony watches a teammate shoot free throws during the second quarter against the LA Clippers at Staples Center. (Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony watches a teammate shoot free throws during the second quarter against the LA Clippers at Staples Center. (Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports)

With newly-acquired Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving reportedly "pushing" the Nets to take a look at Carmelo Anthony, the question remains: What would the 10-time All-Star think about continuing his NBA career in Brooklyn?

Thanks to a video posted by TMZ on Sunday, we may have an answer. 

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Kyrie Irving and D'Angelo Russell
Kyrie Irving and D'Angelo Russell

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Even in the wake of Wilson Chandler's suspension, the Nets have plenty of depth. 

First, there's the returning young core of Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris and Rodions Kurucs. Then there are the are the Nets' less heralded offseason additions: Taurean Prince, Garrett Temple, and David Nwaba.

Tags: Caris LeVert, D'Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, Ian Begley
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Nov 3, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)
Nov 3, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)

Former Knicks and 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony may have looked "great" during his offseason workouts with the Nets, but with 15 guaranteed contracts on their books, it didn't look like there was a spot for him.

That was until Wilson Chandler was just suspended for PED use.

Chandler's 25-game suspension for the violation could open a sport for Anthony if the Nets choose to waive him, though there are no indications that the club has plans to do that. Brooklyn could part ways with Chandler without taking a hit given his one-year, veteran minimum deal he signed this offseason with the team.

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Apr 24, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; LA Clippers forward Wilson Chandler (22) warms up before game five of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)
Apr 24, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; LA Clippers forward Wilson Chandler (22) warms up before game five of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)

Nets free agent signee Wilson Chandler isn't starting his tenure with Brooklyn on the right foot. 

The veteran forward has been suspended 25 games for testing positive for PED use, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

Signing a veteran minimum one-year, $2.56 million deal for this season, Chandler joined the Nets as a depth piece off the bench. The starting small forward will definitely be Caris LeVert, as he'll be looking to make an immediate impact after his contract extension. Also, Taurean Prince was also brought in via trade, so Chandler already had competition at the position before this mistake.

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Apr 1, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) shoots the ball past Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 1, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) shoots the ball past Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Nets big man Jarrett Allen was a few blocks from the Barclays Center on Tuesday, giving haircuts to local kids through his foundation. He took a few minutes to talk about the upcoming season, USA Basketball and a few other topics during the event. Here are a few highlights from his chat with reporters. 

 

Tags: Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Ian Begley
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Caris LeVert
Caris LeVert

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Caris LeVert's extension leaves the Nets with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie and LeVert all under contract through the 2020-21 season. That's a strong group to build around -- and one that doesn't even include Jarrett Allen, who can sign an extension with Brooklyn next summer.

But the Nets' core group is also an expensive one. And the LeVert extension -- which was necessary for Brooklyn -- leaves the club with a little less flexibility in future offseasons.

Tags: Caris LeVert, Dzanan Musa, Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie, Ian Begley
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Jan 14, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) shoots the ball in the second quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports  (Wendell Cruz)
Jan 14, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) shoots the ball in the second quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

The Nets and guard Caris LeVert have agreed to a three-year, $52.5 million contract extension on Sunday, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

LeVert, who also celebrated his 25th birthday on Sunday, appeared to confirm the news in a tweet.

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Mikhail Prokhorov has officially agreed to sell the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center to Joe Tsai on Friday, the team announced. 

The sale is likely to be completed in September, following the approval of the NBA Board of Governors. 

Tsai previous bought a 49 percent stake in the Nets for $1.1 billion in 2018. That purchase, plus the recent Friday announcements, brings to approximate total purchase near $2.35 billion. With Barclays Center included, the total nears $3.5 billion. 

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Jan 27, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks former player Carmelo Anthony on the court before a game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 27, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks former player Carmelo Anthony on the court before a game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ten-time All-Star and free agent forward Carmelo Anthony has been participating in informal team workouts and scrimmages with Brooklyn Nets players in Los Angeles recently, per SNY sources.

Anthony, who played 10 games with the Houston Rockets last season before being released, said last week in an interview on First Take that he and his representatives have been in touch with several teams, including the Lakers and Clippers, about potentially signing a contract for the coming season.

It is unknown if the Nets are one of the teams that Anthony and his representatives have talked to about a potential signing. The club's interest level in signing Anthony to a contract is also unknown.

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Nov 21, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the team logo on the shorts of Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley (6) as he warms up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Nov 21, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the team logo on the shorts of Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley (6) as he warms up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

Joseph Tsai has owned 49 percent of the Nets for the last year, but it now sounds like he is poised to become the team's sole owner.

According to a report from the New York Post, Tsai is set to buy the remaining 51 percent of the team from Mikhail Prokhorov for $2.35 billion, which would be the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise, topping what David Tepper paid for the Carolina Panthers last year ($2.2 billion).

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Knicks, Nets schedules released 00:01:18
SNY's Ian Begley reveals some key dates for both the Knicks and Nets including Kyrie Irving's return to Boston and Porzingis' return to MSG.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Thanks to Brooklyn's big moves in free agency, the Knicks-Nets rivalry will be relevant again this season. And the Nets will see plenty of their crosstown rivals early in the year.

Brooklyn plays New York on Oct. 25 at the Barclays Center - the club's second game of the season - and travels to Madison Square Garden for the first time on Nov. 24.

There should be plenty of energy in both buildings after Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant - two of the Knicks' top targets in free agency - signed with Brooklyn in July.

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Team LeBron forward Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball against Team LeBron guard Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics during NBA All-Star Game practice at the Bojangles Coliseum. (Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)
Team LeBron forward Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball against Team LeBron guard Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics during NBA All-Star Game practice at the Bojangles Coliseum. (Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin Durant offered his thoughts on signing with the Nets and playing with Kyrie Irving for the first time in an interview with Yahoo! Sports

 

Here are a few takeaways: 

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Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant
Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

As you'd expect, the Nets aren't providing any timetable for Kevin Durant's return to the court. 

"We're certainly not going to rush him back," GM Sean Marks said recently on a WFAN interview. "There's going to be absolutely none of that. We have far too much invested in him, and we owe it to Kevin to get him back to 100%."

Will Durant ever be fully healthy after tearing his right Achilles? And can he return to the court next season? 

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Jan 9, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives against Atlanta Hawks power forward John Collins (20) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 9, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives against Atlanta Hawks power forward John Collins (20) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Spencer Dinwiddie isn't going to sneak up on anyone this season. He's doubled his scoring over the last three seasons and established himself as one of the most important players on the Nets. So, opponents will key on Dinwiddie this season when they go over defensive plans for a game against Brooklyn. To counter that, Dinwiddie's added a few more wrinkles to his offensive repertoire this summer. 

Below, Dinwiddie's trainer, Olin Simplis, takes us through some of Dinwiddie's new finishes, what Caris Levert has worked on during sessions with Dinwiddie and Simplis and how Dinwiddie and LeVert can thrive alongside new Net Kyrie Irving. 

 

Tags: Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Ian Begley
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Feb 22, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center DeAndre Jordan (6) dunks the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 22, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center DeAndre Jordan (6) dunks the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

New Net DeAndre Jordan shed a little light on his decision to sign with the Nets over the Knicks in free agency.

 

"Not to knock the culture the Knicks are creating," he said during an a promotional appearance for Dunkin', according to Gothamist, "but we like what [Nets coach] Kenny [Atkinson]'s doing and [general manager] Sean [Marks] has been awesome and the organization, from top to bottom, has been great. So you want to be a part of something like that, especially when you have a chance to play with other great players and build something."

 

Tags: DeAndre Jordan, Ian Begley
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May 16, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks and new head coach Kenny Atkinson at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 16, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks and new head coach Kenny Atkinson at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Forbes released its 2019 version of the 50 most valuable sports franchises in the world on Monday, and all 50 teams have a value of at least $2 billion. 

Six New York teams made the cut, with two of those teams (Yankees and Knicks) leading their respective sports. No NHL or MLS teams made the top 50, although the Rangers are the highest-ranking hockey team at 72 with a value of $1.55 billion. 

Here are the local rankings, which are based on Forbes' published valuations over the past 12 months:

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