Jeremy Lin: New York Nix

07.18.2012

SPORTS

Return to sender is what was stamped on the package Tuesday night, as the Houston Rockets welcomed Jeremy Lin back to the lone star state in earnest.

An hour before the clock struck midnight, the New York Knicks and billionaire team owner, James Dolan, made the final decision to end their brief-yet-lucrative relationship with the point guard sensation and shipped him back to Houston, faster than the Rockets released him into free agency last season. The Knicks announcement confirmed several reports that surfaced earlier in the day, and over the weekend, stating that the franchise would not match the Rockets’ three-year, $25.1 million “poison pill” contract offered to Lin and would finally sever ties with the undrafted free agent out of Harvard.

The Knicks’ decision was a complete reversal of the team’s initial statements that they had every intention of resigning J.Lin and matching any offer up to a billion dollars. New York brass even encouraged Lin towards the open market to entice suitors. That allowance proved to be another ill-fated decision, from an organization with a long-history of questionable choices, and ultimately the beginning of the end of Linsanity in New York.

The always diplomatic Lin took to his Twitter account shortly after he received the phone call from Knicks management to give thanks to the franchise, and the city, that gave him his final opportunity and embraced his meteoric rise, stating: “Much love and thankfulness to the Knicks and New York for your support this past year…easily the best year of my life #ForeverGrateful.”

And hello again to the team that cut him last December: “Extremely excited and honored to be a Houston Rocket again!! #RedNation,” Lin concluded after the Knicks decision.

Instead of presenting Lin a formal offer sheet on July 1, the Knicks decided to gamble and in the end got out played –again– by the Rockets. The first “L” New York took from Houston came during the 1994 NBA Finals, when Hakeem Olajuwon and company stole Patrick Ewing’s only opportunity of winning a ring and extinguishing the Knicks’ hopes of capturing their first championship since 1973. With Houston luring Linsanity away from the bright lights on Broadway, New York has once again taken one on the chin– perhaps weakening their standings in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks are confident that they made a smart decision in not overpaying a popular, but still, untested 23-year-old point guard, who only started 25 games last season. To hear the Knicks management tell it, Houston didn’t take Lin away; they essentially returned him to sender.

So what does this transaction mean for both clubs moving forward? Well, the Rockets get the point guard they were most desperately seeking– and regretfully released last season. In Lin, the Rockets get a player who posted higher averages than their former point guards –Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic– in both points (18.6) and assists (7.6) last season. The Knicks will now turn to Raymond Felton, who they reacquired in a sign-and-trade over the weekend, and expect the 28-year-old point guard to rekindle the play and fervor he left back at MSG in 2010. For now, the question remains, will Jeremy Lin continue to thrive back in Houston? Or will the Knicks ultimately regret letting Linsanity go?

  • js1747

    Just the latest example of why the Knicks are a joke organization.
    I stopped being a Knicks fan years ago – and still I am beside myself with anger.

    The Knicks never should have let Houston dictate the terms – they should have signed Lin outright.
    But unfortunately for those who still support the Knicks, the organization’s stupidity runs deeper than that:

    1) They could have signed Lin, see how it worked out and if worse came to worse, trade him (or someone else with a huge contract) before his third year. They would have had plenty of suitors.

    2) Even worse, the word is the Knicks could have used a loop hole in the new CBA, whereby if Lin didn’t play well or got injured, they would have been allowed to spread the last year of Lin’s contract over three years and thereby would have avoided paying the luxury tax altogether.

    Dolan is simply a idiot.
    Melo and Smith spoke like punks.
    Ridiculous?
    No Melo, it’s called being business savvy and having a winning strategy – obviously something the Knicks have no clue about.

    And the fact that the Knicks are trying to leak that Lin “refused to play” in game 5 of the playoffs, down 3-1 to the Heat, coming off knee surgery, and not 100% – just shows you their lack of professionalism.

    Finally, has there ever been a clearer example of the difference between a class organization and and pitiful one?
    The Lakers, in the top class of the league, found a way to do the impossible and sign Steve Nash at the last second, even though he was a bitter rival and no one expected the move.

    The, Knicks couldn’t make the obvious move and once again found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by failing to sign a young/talented point guard who saved their season and electrified the city – even when said point guard let it be know he wanted to be a Knick. Lin was a gift to New York, but even when the Knicks get lucky – they find a way to screw it up.

    There is a reason why I became a Miami fan.
    And if I wasn’t a Miami fan – I would have been said “hello Brooklyn.”

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