Raymond Felton

“Paul Pierce said the Nets are gonna take over the city,” the Knicks point guard said with a smirk Sunday. “It’s hard for you to take over the city when we’ve got ‘New York’ on our chest and you’ve got ‘Brooklyn’ on yours. It’s been this way since long before he started playing.”

Felton fanned a flame initially sparked by Pierce last week when the new Net told Complex magazine that he hates the Knicks “with a passion” and wanted to “start the beef.”

Pierce, a longtime Knicks nemesis with the Boston Celtics, was traded to the Nets in July along with Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry. The blockbuster deal has made Brooklyn the preseason favorite to win the Atlantic Division title and, in Pierce’s estimation, the allegiance of New York fans.

“It’s already a rivalry with them, and when you add Pierce and Garnett, that makes it bigger,” said Felton, who helped conduct a basketball clinic for 50 kids Sunday at St. John’s in conjunction with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Reported by Stephen Haynes of New York Newsday