Shaq: Nets better than Knicks

Shaquille O'Neal says the Brooklyn Nets are the team to beat in New York, not the Knicks.

"I'm going with the Nets right now over the Knicks -- all day, every day," O'Neal told Newsday on Thursday. "[Coach Jason] Kidd's a great guy. He's a great leader. I'm anxious to see when things get tough how the guys are going to respond.

"It's a dangerous lineup. I was thinking about it on the way over here."

After finishing five games behind the Atlantic Division champion Knicks last season, the Nets will have a vastly new look in 2013-14.

In addition to a new coach in Kidd, the Nets added future Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics, a deal that was made official Friday. That duo will go along with guards Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and center Brook Lopez to form one of the NBA's deeper starting units.

The Knicks also will return their core from a team that won 54 games last season before losing to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

O'Neal made his comments while at Basketball City in New York to celebrate the launch of the new Arizona Beverage drink line Soda Shaq, an all-natural line of cream soda.