The battle of New York: Who is the better team?

The Nets and Knicks logos Image from:

The Nets and Knicks logo’s Image from:

Malachi Peters, iNews class reporter

One of the oldest basketball rivalries known to man is the Nets vs. Knicks, the battle of New York. Since 1976, the Nets and Knicks have been facing each other, With the brand new season here, and The Nets Facing the Knicks on November 30th, I wanted to see who the better franchise is  Remember that this is not just the NBA, but the ABA is included since the Knicks have such a time advantage. 

The Stats 

Here are the stats. The New York Knicks are the older of the two teams. According to Basketball-Reference and Hispanos NBA, from 1946-47 to 2021-22, they have won 2 championships in 1970 and 1973. They have won %485 of their games in their history. 

They have 22 people who have played for them that have made the Hall of Fame as of the 2021-2022 season and one player who won the Most valuable player while on the team. 

The Nets banners Photo via:

For the Brooklyn Nets, since 1976, they have won 2 championships in 1974 & 1976 in the ABA. They have a  437 Win percentage. They have 12 players inducted into the NBA hall of fame, and no one has won the MVP award while on the Nets. So if we are awarding points, the Knicks, I would say beat the Nets in this category.


For this category, I am counting recently as the 2015- 2021 seasons. I used  Basketball-Reference for my stats.  


Sad NY Knicks fans after another loss. Photo credit:

In 2015-2016 both teams were tanking . the nets went 21-61, but they still had Brook Lopez, the only bright spot on the team this year. Meanwhile the Knicks went 32-50. But they struck gold when they drafted Kristaps Porzingis, who would average 14 points, 7 rebounds and 1 assist with 1.9 blocks to round it out. 


  You see this more tanking in the 2016-2017 with neither team showing signs of making the playoffs. The nets did around the same, going 20-62. Brook Lopez averaged 20.5 points 5.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. On the other side of New York city, the Knicks went 31-and 51, with Porzingis getting better averaging 18 points 5 rebounds 1 assist and 2 blocks a game. 


The Brooklyn Nets supporting their teammates. Photo credit:

In 2017-2018 the nets starting showing some life. With brook Lopez still doing the same things averaging 20.5. He was getting some help with some emerging stars, with both Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie averaging 12 points each, they still went 28-54, but things were looking up in Brooklyn. Meanwhile in Manhattan they were also bad, going 29-53. Porziņģis was having a career year averaging 22.7 points 6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks when tragedy struck. Porziņģis tore his ACL around All-star break and would not play the rest of the season. The knicks ended up going 29-53.


In 2018-2019 we have the fun Brooklyn era; it was all dancing for the 2018-2019 Nets. With D’Angelo Russell becoming an all-star and leading scorer thanks to a trade with the lakers where they gave up a Brook Lopez. And other stars like Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris, and Spencer Dinwiddie, this team was fun to watch and good. They made the playoffs for the first time in 3 years. Losing in the first round to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Knicks were still bad, going 17-65. At about the all-star break, they treaded  Kristaps Porzingis, for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two future first-round draft picks from the Mavericks in the deal. Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke.   


 They signed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. But both of them were hurt in the 2019-2021 season, and they traded D’Angelo Russel in the Kevin Durant deal. The team was still good. They made the 7th seed and lost in the first round. The Knicks were still bad going 21-45 in the shortened season and not making the play in tournament 


The Brooklyn Nets starting 5. Photo credit:

The Knicks went 41 and 31 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2013, primarily thanks to most improved player Julis Randle, a forward whom they signed in free agency. They also had Mitchell Robinson, a second-round steal who plays center and is an anchor on defense. They also had veteran guard Derrick Rose. He is old for basketball but still is one of the best players on that team and a good point guard. They did lose in the first round to Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks, But the future looks bright in Madison Square Garden. 

In the Nets 2020-2021 season, both of their injured stars were back. They were doing good when a big trade happened. They gave up Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, and many first-round picks to get superstar and MVP James harden. They then got a lot of good bench players throughout the season using the buyout market, like Blake griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge . 

But around the playoffs, tragedy struck. First backup center LaMarcus Aldridge had to retire. Then in the second round, 2 of the three superstars, Kyrie Irving and James Harden, got injured. James still played but was a shell of his usual self, and Kyrie couldn’t play. They fell in the second round to the champions, the Milwaukee Bucks. 

In this round, I have to give it to the Nets. Barring injury, they seem like they will win the championship this year. In contrast, the Knicks will most likely lose in the first round again. 

The Interviews 

Now we have the interview portion. I asked 3 basketball fans who was better all time, the Knicks or the Nets, and why. 

First up, we have Antony, a 9th grader in Florida who follows basketball. When I asked him who was better, he said, “The Knicks are better than the Nets because they have a better winning percentage as a industry.” referring to the stats I opened the question with. “The Nets have had better Players over the years but have not taken their team to the level the Knicks have” A person who had very similar views was Chase. Also, a 9th grader who goes to iSchool. He said, “All-time the Knicks are better all-time hands down, right. They are the richest team in the NBA” I double-checked, and According to Statista, they are the highest valued team in the NBA. “Like, That’s a fact Knicks right now, the nets are better, and I stand by that. I love KD (Kevin Durant), I love Kyrie, I love James Harden, I love Brooklyn (as a team). Yeah, word No cap” A person who disagrees with both of them is Logan. Also, a 9th grader from Jamaica, so it seems his views would be the most impartial. He said “Nets.” when asked all-time, he said, “I think they are better because the Knicks are a**. I can’t imagine the Knicks being better than the Nets, Even all-time recordings. It’s just Impossible in my mind” In this category, the Knicks win two people to 1. In conclusion, I think all time the Knicks are the better team all-time. I think that has a lot to do with time and opportunity. New York are the bigger market. They make money despise themselves. This helps the Knicks bring in big names like in 2011 Carmelo Anthony. If Brooklyn has a good run with the Big 3 and wins a championship, I think they will edge them out. But right now, it is very close.