Just this title should enrage several, because it seems that all views and swinging dic*s in Heaven and Hell are furious with the Knicks and owner James Dolan for letting him for free to Houston. New York refused to match Houston’s three-year $25 million offer for the kid who electrified Broadway, Asian America, and the NBA through 25 games last year, and general sentiment would tell you that the people feel this is just another dumb owner by a dumb owner who doesn’t know what he’s doing.
Letting Jeremy Lin walk for free? Skip Bayless sure didn’t like that.
But, really, what happens to Jeremy Lin now? Because, regardless of what he did last year, he needed the New York Knicks (or far, far more) then they needed him.
Jeremy Lin was fantastic for 25 games. 25. And, really, those 25 games comes down to one game against the Los Angeles Lakers, when he put up 38 and had Ron Artest screaming, “LINSANITY! LINSANITY!”
Almost immediately, the world got caught up in Linsanity, and the world of the written (sports) world got caught up in it, too, because it was just too good to pass up. Besides, this wasn’t like Tebowmania, where it’s obvious that Tim can’t throw. Jeremy looked pretty good on the court, and even the harshest of pundits – including Bill Simmons and Barack Obama – were praising the boy’s feet, shoulders, and poofy black hair.
But, there’s a problem for Jeremy Lin here. Now. As a basketball move, it’s hard to imagine him recreating those 25 games at any point in the rest of his career. If The Hangover 2 bombed, so can Jeremy Lin: Season 2. Right now, with $25 on its way to Lin’s checking account, Jeremy will be just fine financially, but his status as an elite point guard has yet to be proven or seen.
Yes, 38 points against L.A. We saw it, too. But, that’s just once.
The tricky thing for point guards is that you’re either elite or you’re expendable. Steve Nash, Deron Williams, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, and Rajon Rondo. Done. If you’re not one of them, you’re nobody, and Houston is a place that collects nobodies.
(*And, let’s not forget, Lin’s departure allows the Knicks to tread water with Jason Kidd and Ray Felton – what’s wrong with that? – while they can ready a push for Chris Paul. Duh!)
Now, there is a business angle here, too, and pundits are wise to point out that Jeremy Lin and his influence over a billion people and counting will more than make up for the $25 million over three years.
That said, the Knicks are a basketball team, and they’re a wildly valuable basketball team. As dumb as this is – pure profit-wise – the Knicks are no worse off today than they were before Lin arrived, and they were doing just fine before Mr. Ivy League got there.
The real problem is that Jeremy Lin just lost Broadway. Jeremy Lin just lost New York City.
(*Notice in that video above, how she says, “He’s the toast of New York”? Not Houston, not Charlotte, not Europe. New York. They went hand-in-hand, and without each other, Lin the Bee has lost his honey.)
As great as those 25 games were, the only reason they made headlines was that it happened in New Jack City. It happened on Broadway. Not only do the Knicks routinely suck, but Manhattan is the world’s playground. If Lin was in Houston for his breakout last year, the only folks who would have noticed would have bee living in Dallas.
Jeremy Lin can do whatever he wants, and kudos to him for his new contract, but he’ll never be able to replicate those 25 games he had in 2011/12 – financially or professionally – and the Knicks know that.
(*Wow, did we just agree with the Knicks?)
White Cover Staff
White Cover Magazine is the "foremost" source for "male" and "female" things in the world today. Kind of. We have Sports. Movies. Arts. (What are Arts?) Television. Music. And, of course, a critical look at everything in the world of Journalism, Sports Journalism, and News at large.
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