It was the Nets who Struck First in what is becoming a sign-for-sign grudge match. Around the time teams were trying to entice LeBron James and leading up to the NBA Draft Lottery Selection process; and with new Nets' ownership looking to make a splash in the local market, the Nets originally kicked things off last June with a giant building-side mural only a few blocks from Madison Square Garden.
Both teams directly competed for the services of Carmelo Anthony earlier this season. The Knicks won out in what was a trying time for both teams. Net Owner Mikhail Prokhorov expressed his displeasure with the process, and Knick owner James Dolan, let the public see a rather dysfunctional Front Office dynamic he himself created. The Knicks put THIS BILLBOARD up to commemorate their newest acquisition. This time the Knicks sought space a lot closer to their home; Madison Square Garden.
To many a GM's surprise, the Nets muted much of the Melo hoopla orchestrating a huge trade of their own by quietly acquiring point-guard Deron Williams from Utah. The Nets quickly set about utilizing their new star player to help promote their move to Brooklyn next year with This Billboard in Times Square.
The Knicks' billboard in Atlantic Yards has since been removed and the one over Flatbush Avenue at 7th Avenue has been replaced with other business advertising.
Yesterday, the Nets unveiled a second billboard in Brooklyn featuring Deron Williams and Barclays Center. It follows the same theme as their Times Square ad focusing on the move to the Borough of Kings.
"WELCOME TO BROOKLYN"
As the Nets move to Brooklyn draws closer, the team has been intensifying their promotion efforts. Ticket sales have already begun for current Nets' season ticket holders. This billboard was placed where Park Slope's 8th Avenue meets Flatbush Avenue on the north side of Grand Army Plaza. It was again intended to be seen by northbound traffic headed towards (not only Barclays Center, but..) the Manhattan Bridge.
There is no doubt, direct competition has already stimulated both teams towards striving to improve their products. Look at each team's efforts already. This bodes very well for fans, regardless which basketball team you will be rooting for once the Nets' move to Brooklyn is completed.
The Battle of the Billboards has been going on for a time now.
But the Battle for our Dollar has only just begun.
Construction of Barclays Center