J.R. Smith may think the New York Knicks are the marquee team in town but Brooklyn Nets newcomer Paul Pierce has other ideas.

"I think the hate (for the Knicks) has grown a little. 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" Thursday. "I think it's time for the Nets to start running this city."

Pierce later told reporters at a Sprint H-O-R-S-E event in Manhattan: "The only thing that separates the two teams is a bridge. And both of them are in the same division and both of them are considered contenders. You can't help but say this is probably gonna be the best rivalry in sports next year."

The Nets and Knicks will meet four times this season; the first game of their regular-season series will be on Dec. 5 at Barclays Center. Like Pierce said both teams made upgrades in the offseason. Brooklyn acquired Pierce Garnett and Jason Terry and also added Andrei Kirilenko in free agency while New York acquired Andrea Bargnani and signed Metta World Peace.

Pierce looked stunned as he sat at his introductory press conference but says his much more comfortable now.

"I'm really settling in nicely and just embracing the change and looking forward to it" he said.

Pierce says he's a "self-motivated" person so he isn't going to be motivated solely because the Celtics dealt him after he played 15 seasons in Boston.

"I don't have to use anything to motivate me a trade or anything like that for me to say I want to win a championship" Pierce said. "I've only got so many more years left in my career so ultimately the goal is to try to win another one or two as many as I can before I retire. That's the motivation right there."

Pierce thinks this team -- 1 through 15 -- is the most talented team he's ever been on -- at least on paper. He thinks the Nets have all the ingredients to be a championship team but it's going to take sacrifice.