Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/28/12
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It’s the time of year when many fans and analysts are making bold proclamations about their teams. Charles Barkley? Well, he’s here to announce that the Brooklyn Nets are the best team — in New York. Considering the only contender the Nets have in that horse race is the often-hapless Knicks, maybe it wasn’t such a big deal to anoint Brooklyn. But Barkley was emphatic that the Nets, who have greatly improved this season with the additions of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace, are the new top team in town. “Let me tell you this, and I said the same thing last week: The best team in New York is the Brooklyn Nets,” Barkley said on The Mike Lupica Show on 98.7 ESPN New York. Barkley chided the Knicks’ defense and rebounding while complimenting the Nets’ overall depth. The two teams faced off for the first time in Brooklyn’s franchise history on Monday, with the Nets winning 96-89 in overtime. Barkley didn’t limit his feelings on the New York sports landscape to just basketball, though. He also had thoughts on Jets coach Rex Ryan, advocating that Ryan should keep his job. “I like Rex Ryan,” he said. “I think they’ve got to figure out … they don’t have a lot of talent, to be honest with you. I’m a big Rex Ryan fan. I think you know that. But they don’t have any talent.” What would have been interesting to hear was whether Barkley thinks the Knicks have more talent compared to the Jets — or perhaps expanding the “best team in New York” conversation beyond the NBA altogether.
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