Originally written January 28, 2013 on The Other Paper:
Professional sports first bought the words No Fun League into fan's lexicon after the NFL banned such light-hearted perks such as end zone celebrations, different colored socks and now Harbowl trademarks. Now, the NBA has joined in the fray by introducing their own brand of tyranny — the No Business (but our own) Association. Mike Sorisi, a diehard New York Knicks fan from Brooklyn (there's more than just Spike Lee) has been threatened by the NBA with a cease and desist order for simply fusing the Knicks name and Nets location into a Web site called "Knicklyn." The hybrid name was coined by the 26-year-old after he created the online fan base to represent confused New Yorkers who have the conundrum of rooting for the Knicks but live in Brooklyn. Sorisi designed a logo to go with the name and started selling hats and stickers — that was until the No Business League found out. Days later, the NBA ordered Sorisi to cease and desist, claiming trademark infringement, he said. "I kind of felt like I'm being bullied," said Sorisi.  "I'm one person operating this thing, and I need to sell goods to cover my costs." At the core of the NBA's ire is Sorisi's use of the word "Knick" with a logo which features a basketball that is similar to the Nets' design. "I was shocked at how fast I was contacted,' said the young entrepreneur about his inbox filled with missives from the NBA offices. "Your unauthorized use of NBA Intellectual Property is an attempt to capitalize on the fame and goodwill of NBA Intellectual Property, — including the 'Knicks' name and the Nets' logo," the league said. Sorisi says the league "doesn't own a trademark on circles" and that there is a Knickerbocker Avenue that runs through Brooklyn. "They don't own that word," he said. "Brooklyn is my home.  New York is my team." An NBA rep said in a statement, "We have been in direct communication with the owner of the site to singularly address the sale of unlicensed merchandise using NBA trademarks.  There has been no demand for compensation or for the shutdown of his Web site." Maybe Sorisi should just give old Spike a call and get some celebrity muscle behind him. Or maybe start "Nethattan" for those lost souls who love Jay-Z's team but live closer to the Garden.
PLAYERS: Spike Lee
TEAMS: New York Knicks
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