Monday, September 16, 2013

Deron Williams on Nets-Knicks Rivalry: 'Of Course We Want to Run ...

Before they can start working toward Mikhail Prokhorov’s nine-figure championship plan, the Brooklyn Nets are focused on battling for a different title: Kings of New York.

It’s been a battle of words all summer between the Nets and the New York Knicks, and Brooklyn’s Deron Williams is the latest to join the conversation.

Williams stood behind former foe turned teammate Paul Pierce, who kicked off his Brooklyn career by pledging his increasing “dislike” of the Knicks and vowing the Nets’ rise to the top of the Big Apple, via Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News.

Williams told ESPN New York’s Ian Begley that the rest of the team is ready to make good on Pierce’s promise:

That’s my teammate so I’m with him. Of course we want to run New York. The Knicks are our rival. I don’t get into too much of the talking. We’ll decide all that on the court. We have four games to play against them and then the playoffs so I’ll let Paul do the talking and I’ll just go out there and play.

If Williams can start the 2013-14 campaign like he closed the 2012-13 season, Brooklyn might have a shot at the Empire State’s crown. After averaging just 16.7 points on 41.3/34.7 percent shooting before the All-Star break, he sprinted to 22.9 points on 48.1/42.0 percent shooting over his final 28 games.

He figures to have even more help this season, with Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko among the players that Brooklyn brought in during Prokhorov’s summer of spending.

With so many new faces on the roster and a rookie coach, Jason Kidd, on the sideline, the Nets need to manufacture any chemistry they can now before their grueling championship climb begins. Finding a common rally cry, even if it’s self-made, could be key in bringing this patchwork locker room together.

As Williams pointed out to Begley, Brooklyn’s additions weren’t made for the future.

“Our time is now,” he said. “We have a short window to try to win.”

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