Spencer Dinwiddie reiterated his stance that the Brooklyn Nets were better than the New York Knicks. Then he made sure that was the case with on the court.
In an interview that aired on YES Network before Friday night’s preseason finale between the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks, Spencer Dinwiddie reiterated his stance taken over the summer that the Nets were the better team in New York.
It was a topic of discussion that began two months ago when Dinwiddie responded on Twitter to a prediction by retired NBA star Metta World Peace that the Knicks would reach the Eastern Conference Finals.
Dinwiddie’s point then was that the Knicks weren’t even the best team in New York, so how could they possibly be one of the two best teams in the Eastern Conference.
It turned into a Twitter firestorm for a day or so, with Dinwiddie’s comments somehow being misinterpreted as a boast that Brooklyn was an elite club.
In the interview that aired Friday, Dinwiddie first addressed World Peace’s initial prediction (via Brian Lewis of the New York Post):
"“First off, that take in general was crazy. Now, to go back to the New York Knicks, do you really think I’m going to sit here and think the Knicks are going to be better than us this year?“We had almost the same record last year and their best player isn’t going to be playing until like at least February. This is no shot at the Knicks. I respect everybody in the NBA, so let’s get that straight. Everybody, respect you. I just don’t feel like they’re going to be better than us.”"
With his protagonist in the initial beef on Twitter, Knicks center Enes Kanter, resting and not playing Friday night, Dinwiddie then made sure that on this night, the Nets were — in fact — the better team.
Dinwiddie finished with a game-high 18 points in a team-high 32 minutes, adding five rebounds and three assists.
It was a strong finish to what had been a rocky preseason up to this point. Dinwiddie entered Friday night having shot just 28 percent overall and 1-of-10 from 3-point range.
This performance came on the heels of another part of the YES interview related to last year’s voting for Most Improved Player.
Dinwiddie was attempting to make the case that by a true interpretation of the term “improved,” Dinwiddie’s rise from G League player to key contributor was a longer one than those taken by fellow finalists Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers — the eventual winner — and Clint Capela of the Houston Rockets.
It was just part of what was a busy offseason for Dinwiddie and one filled with uncertainty.
He is entering the final year of the three-year deal he signed with Brooklyn in December 2016, which means he’s not eligible for an extension until Dec. 8, the anniversary date of the signing.
The Nets have already guaranteed the final year of the deal, a huge value at just $1.66 million.
Dinwiddie has also been the center of trade talks this offseason, primarily with reports the Phoenix Suns had him on a list of targets after former general manager Ryan McDonough managed to strip the Suns roster of any point guards with legitimate NBA experience.
The big night on Friday left Dinwiddie averaging 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists for the preseason on .381/3-for-15/12-for-15 shooting.
With the Nets’ other point guard, Shabazz Napier, still sidelined with a hamstring strain, Dinwiddie and Russell appear to be on target to share the load at the point to start the season and coach Kenny Atkinson has also experimented with using them together.
Spencer Dinwiddie is never boring and isn’t shy about expressing his opinions. It always lends legitimacy, though, when you can go out and back those opinions up on the court, something Dinwiddie did in a big way on Friday night.