*Written before new broke on Knicks choice not to match Offer sheet for Lin*
Jeremy Lin was the biggest story in NY since the Bronx Zoo, Son of Sam, the Blackout, etc. He saved the 2011-12 Knicks season. At a point when Mike D’Antoni was one loss away from being fired, Carmelo couldn’t stay healthy and make jump shots, Amar’e looked like a shell of his former self; Lin saved them. He became a global sensation that accounted for millions of twitter followers, massive merchandise sales, and he force Time Warner/MSG to settle their dispute. Linsanity took over the world and we all loved every exciting minute. But Linsanity is over, and the Knicks need to pass on the Rockets offer sheet and let Lin walk.
Lin was the main attraction in the Garden, no question about. He had a 10 game run that was unmatched by any player in the NBA. But then a terrible thing happened, he believed the hype (huh huh huh huh huh to quote Biz Markie). He got hurt with a torn meniscus, and told the media he was 85% around playoff time. At a time when the Knicks needed him, he said he wasn’t ready and didn’t play. When Shumpert ripped his knee up, Davis suffered a gruesome injury, Amar’e foolishly put his hand through glass, the Knicks need him to save them again. Lin said no and wanted to wait to get his pay day he rightfully deserved. He said no to the USA team because he had no contract, or $ was still waiting for him. He hired a new agent and PR team to get him his money. His deal was for 4 years and around $24M, but in the 11th hour he went back to the Rockets and upped the 3rd year to $14M. Lin complained that the Knicks didn’t show him respect to offer him a deal. He was previously cut by 3 teams and the Knicks gave him his shot. Lin’s head got too big and the Knicks took notice.
I wanted Lin back in the worst way, when the Early Bird Rights case was going on I was praying. Now as I step back and look at all sides, it’s time to move on from Lin. Lin is a good player, but average at best. He is a score first PG that can’t go to his left, a streaky shooter, can’t play defense and isn’t as durable yet. When he had his run, he was magic. He averaged 24 points per and 9 assists. But once the scouting report circulated, he went to 14 points and 6 assist. Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, and Mario Chamlers (yes Mario) ABUSED him. Lin is an average PG at this point today, Raymond Felton right now is a better PG. Lin will be better, but right now he isn’t. Would you pay $14M to Lin and then take on $38M in Luxury taxes to keep him? No, he isn’t worth that money as it stands right now. If he was, why has a desperate Rockets team been the only one to offer this ‘ridiculous’ contract. The Mavs, the Suns, the Raptors all were in the Nash sweepstakes before the Lakers swooped in. Why didn’t they make a hard run on Lin like the Rockets did and give this contract to Lin. Because he’s not worth that contract from a basketball stand point
Lin needs to be a complementary player to fit with Melo and Stat, a score first PG does not first with a score first SF and PF. Everyone wants to talk how Melo needs to fit with Lin, No, you are paying Melo $20M+ so Lin has to fit with him. I’m sorry, Stat and Melo can’t be moved, they are here to stay. You need a PG that will get them the ball in their spots (Kidd/Felton).
Be clear, I want Lin back as a fan of my Knicks. But as a basketball decision, Lin is not the one right now. He will pay for himself with marketing, but he is not the PG that will win us a championship. At this point right now, he is not on the level of Deron, Rondo, Parker, Nash, Rose, Paul. Lin is only the 3rd best PG in the division! So you have to let him walk and hope he isn’t what we all think he is, the one…