The New York Knicks had 2 choices: One, they pay a generous amount of money to keep Jeremy Lin in the Big Apple. Two, they let Linsanity walk and every greenback dollar that his sensation would have brought to the franchise along with it.
There was no right choice for James Dolan.
Sign Lin to the 3 year, $25 million backloaded contract and you risk compromising your already delicate as a baby’s head roster. Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith have both gone public about their displeasure with the enormity of Lin’s contract. Behind the scenes locker-room balance is often overblown by the media but Linsanity could very well have produced a major rift among the Knick players.
Not to mention that bringing Lin back would in all likelihood have meant a similar and familiar fate for the New York Knicks and their fans – no championship. Because of the danger Lin’s contract posed to the Knicks financially, anything less than a championship in his 3 years would have been deemed a failure.
Considering what the Knicks have given up to create this “superstar” roster to match that of Miami and Oklahoma City, bringing Jeremy Lin back would have brought even more unrealistic expectations to a team that has shown no ability to contend.
On the other hand, let him walk and the Knicks risk losing a potential star quality NBA point guard. Lin doesn’t even have an entire season under his belt yet has shown that he can play at a level that most NBA players could never reach. The Knicks brass will never hear the end of it if Jeremy Lin finds a way to blossom in the Houston Rockets organization.
Lin will have to fall flat on his face in Houston to silence Lin’s legion of fans in New York.
3 point guards, a big luxury tax hit in 3 years and almost undoubtedly no championship? Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and no hope for a championship?
With Jeremy Lin, the Knicks were left without a good alternative.
Jeremy Lin is as unknown as the unknown gets. At this point, the mystery of Lin is tougher to solve than Jack the Ripper. No one knows who Jeremy Lin really is and who he really can be. The riddle of Lin is what has made this so doggone difficult for the Knicks.
Despite James Dolan’s apparent disgust regarding Lin’s lack of loyalty, it is peculiar that, since their season ended, New York had been adamant in the fact that they would match whatever offer Jeremy Lin received. Marketing aside, Lin has immense potential that you would have thought the Knicks wanted to explore. They discovered Lin so it made sense that they wanted to see what type of player he could turn into. By handing him over to the Rockets it’s as if they discovered gold in a small untouched area yet didn’t want to fully invest in the possibility that the entire area could be flooded with gold.
While the marketability of Jeremy Lin clearly wasn’t as big a deal as it was made it out to be, the Knicks still lose out on that as well by setting Lin free.
Nevertheless, there was so much lose and awfully little win surrounding both choices in this decision-making process.
That is why it is so difficult, one way or the other, to condemn or applaud the Knicks in choosing to let Jeremy Lin sign with the Rockets.
There was just no Linning this one.
Chris is a writer on Comedic Prose, and he also is the editor of Painting the Black.