During Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges' time together at Villanova, the fandom pecking order was a little clearer. The Philadelphia Phillies were the only game in town. Ditto the Sixers, ditto the Eagles. Not since the days of the Athletics has Philly been a two-horse town -- which is probably good, because the only thing worse than Philadelphia fans is Two Different Distinct Factions of Philadelphia Fans.
New York, though? The Big Apple doubles up on everything. Bridges and Hart know this well; both were dealt to different sides of the NYC coin this trade deadline when Hart went to the Knicks and Bridges ended up in Brooklyn.
The Yankees and Mets are both big-budget contenders this year. The Giants and Jets are ascending, if Aaron Rodgers ever actually decides to show up. The Islanders, Rangers and Devils will all make the NHL Playoffs. After a rough 2010s, it's kind of insane this is all happening.
So, how do you pick? The Yankees and Nets are aligned via a partnership with YES Network, but plenty of Yankee fans overlap with Knicks fandom. After all, they're the originals. Nets fans are from Jersey, typically (or they're from wherever KD was previously, and have recently departed for Phoenix).
Luckily, Hart was there to deliver an Opening Day lesson to Bridges, who had no idea where Brooklyn at.
Yankees fan/Knicks star Josh Hart told ex-teammate Mikal Bridges what New York is really like
Honestly, Brooklyn is sort of a hodgepodge. You'll see many hipsters roaming the boarders rocking thick (but well-manicured) beards and Mets hats as a semi-statement against corporate America (yeah, Steve Cohen, that beacon of rebellion). Families in Carroll Gardens? They'll all be clad in 47 Brand Yankees dad hats.
You can't really go wrong in 2023, either; no matter what Curtis Granderson said, there are real New Yorkers on both sides of the rivalry, and both teams should be pretty competitive. On Opening Day, both squads went 1-0, leaving all corners of Brooklyn quite satisfied.
Once the NBA playoffs roll around, though? That's when the fracture will deepen, especially since the Nets are just a pair of games behind the Knicks in the standings with seeding on the line. Maybe we table this friendship until June, Josh? Then you guys can catch games at both stadiums and see what's up. Don't wait for Shake Shack at Citi Field. Not worth it.