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Lebron James & Carmelo AnthonyDavid Richard/USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony started to get a little wistful Wednesday morning while talking about ex-teammates Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith.

"It seems like LeBron [James] took all my family from me," he said hours before the Knicks-Cavs game.

It was a funny line in a light-hearted moment from Anthony.

But he has a genuine bond with Shumpert and Smith, who were traded to James' Cavaliers last January.

Anthony watched both players -- and his buddy LeBron -- with the pride of an older brother during the NBA Finals last season.

"It was more kind of [like] seeing your family out there than anything," he said. "I didn't watch it kind of from a competitive standpoint. I watched two guys -- J.R., I've known him, I've been with him for almost 10 years; Shump is a guy who came in and was kind of a little brother to me; and of course LeBron, who I've been with, kind of connected to since high school. So to see all three of those guys competing at that level, it was more watching my family out there."

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The Brooklyn Nets enter Year 2 of their return to New York with a new, win-now look after the big offseason trade to get Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. It did not take long for both the Nets and the Knicks to lay claim to the hearts and minds of all New Yorkers. Re-signed J.R. Smith insists that the Knicks have not lost any ground to the Nets. New Net Pierce says his hate for the Knicks "has grown a little" and that he's ready to have his new team take over his new city. Let the fireworks begin!

Better lineup?

The Nets added Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to their starting lineup, while the Knicks' starters should be the same as last season.


Battle for New York?

Last year, New York and Brooklyn tied the season series with two wins each, but the Knicks won the Atlantic Division by five games over the Nets.


One more title?

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett teamed up to win a title with the Boston Celtics in the 2007-08 season, the only championship for both.


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