The 2022-2023 NBA season is underway.
Both the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks have begun the season with a 1-1 record. The New York teams were surrounded by trade rumors for the majority of the summer, but ultimately neither team made a blockbuster trade.
The teams may have different expectations for the season, but the teams could bring a lot of excitement to the Big Apple this year.
The Brooklyn Nets off-season was surrounded with tremendous uncertainty before the season even began. Star Kyrie Irving had opted into the final year of his contract, but he was looking for a long term extension.
The Nets organization was hesitant to extend Irving, due to his limited availability the last few years, especially the 2021-2022 season.
During that season, for the majority of the year, Irving was only available to road games because of the vaccine mandate in New York City. The mandate was lifted in March 2022, making Irving eligible for all games.
Following Irving’s opt-in, Kevin Durant had requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. This sent shockwaves throughout the season as teams prepared to try and acquire arguably a top three player in the league. It was then being reported by the media that KD delivered an ultimatum, and would only return if General Manager Sean Marks and Head Coach Steve Nash were fired.
The season has started with Irving, Durant, Marks and Nash still in the Nets organization.
While the Brooklyn Nets a few months ago seemed like one of the biggest “what-ifs” in NBA history, currently this could all be salvaged if the Brooklyn Nets make a deep playoff run and win a championship.
The New York Knicks come into the 2022-2023 season with expectations of being a playoff team, play-in team at worst.
The Knicks were one of the biggest disappointments last year, missing the playoffs entirely.
The year prior, the Knicks were the surprise of the NBA with the play of Most Improved Player and All-NBA 3rd team Julius Randle, the New York Knicks made the playoffs as a No. 4 seed.
They were upset in the first round by Knicks antagonizer Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks.
In the off-season, the Knicks signed Jalen Brunson to a four-year, $104 million dollar contract.
The Knicks were aggressively trying to pursue former Utah Jazz all-star Donovan Mitchell in a trade to team up with the newly signed Brunson and franchise centerpiece RJ Barrett. The Utah Jazz wanted multiple first round draft picks, and also asked for Barrett back in a trade.
With the price being way too high, the Knicks would watch Donovan Mitchell get traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers instead. The Knicks would sign Barrett to a four-year, $107 million guaranteed extension.
Slice of Culture attended the Toronto Raptors-Brooklyn Nets game Friday night.
Irving was electrifying in his performance. He scored 30 points, drawing the oohs and aahs from the fans as he was consistently hitting fadeaway and stepback jumpers.
KD had an off night, but still managed to put up 27 points. Ben Simmons played a solid game scoring six points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out eight assists.
Despite the tumultuous off-season for the Nets, the fans were heard cheering loudly for KD, Irving and Simmons, possibly indicating that they will support the Nets as long as they win.
Irving was interviewed after the game and told the fans “there’s a long way to go, but the goal is a championship.”
The Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks look to extend the unprecedented good play of the other New York sports teams , joining the New York Mets, New York Yankees, New York Giants and New York Jets.