First, the latter: The word “Knicks” was not mentioned one single time. It would have been like being at a wine-tasting, and uttering the word “Thunderbird.” No bigger sign of disrespect than treating an adversary as though it does not exist.
Because in the new world of the Nets, the only other team that merits mention, the only other team that is in their crosshairs are the two-time defending champion Miami Heat (and a couple other legitimate Eastern Conference contenders.)
The Knicks will be a mosquito to these Nets. The Heat will be a spider. Or a swarm of gnats.