Raymond Felton fires back at Pierce

NEW YORK -- Paul Pierce thinks New York City eventually will be a Brooklyn Nets town.

New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton disagrees -- strongly.

"They will never take over the city. Because we've got 'New York' on our chest," Felton said Sunday. "They've got 'Brooklyn' on their chest, and we've got 'New York.' They'll never take over the city.

"[Pierce] saying that is just him talking. At the end of the day, it's all about rivalries. We understand that -- he knows that, I know that. He's just trying to fuel it."

Pierce said earlier this month that his hatred for the Knicks "has grown a little" since he joined the Nets in July following a blockbuster trade from the Boston Celtics.

"Everybody knows how much I disliked the Knicks when I was with the Celtics, but I think it's grown to another level," Pierce said on ESPN NewYork 98.7 FM's "The Michael Kay Show." "I think it's time for the Nets to start running this city."

Felton says Pierce's headline-grabbing predictions are good for the Knicks-Nets rivalry, but he doesn't believe them to be malicious.

"He's just trying to talk, talk, talk, to fuel the rivalry, which is good. I love it," said Felton, who laughed when asked about Pierce's comments. "I think it's good for us, it's good for the whole state, it's good. So, whatever -- I love it.

"I don't really pay no attention to what Paul is saying," added Felton, who was at St. John's University at a clinic for Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City. "I hear about it, but I don't pay it no attention. It's all fun and games to me."

The Nets and Knicks both made upgrades in the offseason. Brooklyn made a splash by acquiring Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry from the Celtics and also added Andrei Kirilenko in free agency and hired ex-Knick Jason Kidd as its head coach.

The Knicks acquired Andrea Bargnani and signed Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih.

The rivals will meet four times in the regular season, including twice in the final month. The first game of their regular-season series will be at Barclays Center on Dec. 5.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.