Carmelo Anthony believes the Knicks and much-improved Brooklyn Nets will become "the best rivalry in basketball" and they will be competing for fans as well.
The Brooklyn-born Anthony is a fan of the moves the Nets made this offseason, which should help their Q-rating in New York and in the borough he was born in.
"We all know from the Jackie Robinson days, that was the last time we actually had something to believe in," Anthony said at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit. "Now, with the young kids that are coming up these days, that's their team. They grow up under the Brooklyn Nets and that's their team.
"It's going to be a funny thing to see the kids growing up there, how they convert from Knicks fans to Nets fans. The household might be Knicks fans and the kids might be Nets fans, so it's a rivalry everywhere, in the households, on the basketball courts, in the streets, in the boroughs. It's everywhere, and it makes it fun for the game."
Anthony led the Knicks to 54 wins and the Atlantic Division title last season. But they lost their top leaders in the locker room, Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace, and have other concerns, including Anthony's potentially troublesome shoulder, Amar'e Stoudemire's knees and J.R. Smith, who was suspended five games for violating the league's anti-drug policy.
The Nets, who begin their second season in Brooklyn next month, hired Kidd as their coach and acquired Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko. Those moves boosted expectations after last year's 49-win season and got a thumbs-up from Anthony.
"I love it," Anthony said. "I think it's great for sports, I think it's great for New York and I think it's great for us as a Knicks organization to have somebody that we can compete with on a consistent basis. That is going to be the best rivalry in basketball for a long, long time."