Jeremy Lin will miss Madison Square Garden a lot more than the Garden will miss him.
The Houston Rockets were just bamboozled. Their off-season has been littered with a list of high profile names that they have targeted in an attempt to do something…anything to bring a star to that franchise.
I like Jeremy Lin. Players View were amongst the first to predict that he was on the verge of doing great things.
But three years for $26 million is too much for a kid that no matter how you slice it, is just not worth that kind of money.
The Knicks did what they had to do buy not matching that insane offer and in both the short and long term they will be better off for it.
Lin as a person just won large as he just punched his ticket to make a lot of money in a short period of time.
Lin as a basketball player and subsequently as a brand just made a very big mistake.
In New York he was a highly exposed piece of a basketball team that has become loaded with talent. They will not be favored to win the Eastern Conference, but the Knicks are setup to consistently make a deep run into the playoffs that could result in a conference finals appearance or two.
In Houston, he’s not going to have the 24-hour media circus that he was afforded in New York. He won’t have the leadership and mentorship that he had from others to turn to.
He will be the main draw in a city that is well remove from the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.
For every last second shot or successful thing that Lin did no matter how basically fundamental it was, the Garden rewarded him for it.
The Garden even when it was a traveling road show allowed Lin to merge his spin on the Tim Tebow thing and make it into a commodity.
Plenty of guys win games in the last second in Utah and from time-to-time even in Portland. Plenty of them believe in God. Plenty of them have been tossed around the league before they had a chance to crack the starting five.
Lin’s story in all reality is not super-special.
But it all unfolded in the Garden in front of Spike Lee and all of those that breathe Knicks basketball like it was air.
Only the Lakers match the Knicks’ ability to make a mere mortal a star. The thing is Lin’s game is not so rock solid that he was ready to bounce yet. The other thing is that Linsanity was checking out before he hurt his knee as his Sports Center moments became less frequent.
By signing that offer sheet he more or less cut himself off from all of the things that made him what he is to be banished to of all teams the one that never even gave him a shot in the first place.
It was less than a year ago that Houston cut him right?
Just the idea that they cut him when they could have signed him for a lot less says a lot about the personnel savvy of their GM Daryl Morey
Within a year Jeremy Lin’s visibility will have died-on-the-vine and so will the assorted dollars that he could have raked in had he played the long game and stayed in New York.
The Knicks didn’t make a choice, Jeremy Lin made a choice.
This commentary is coming so late in the proceedings because I didn’t want to make it until it could be said with all certainty that New York wasn’t going to do something crazy at the 11th hour and buckle under pressure and match Houston’s deal.
It’s a shame, Lin still has a lot to learn about playing PG in the NBA. He came in, had a nice run of games, got figured out a little bit and then his numbers dropped.
From there he got hurt.
Had that knee held up, maybe the Knicks would have matched had he at least helped them play the Miami Heat a little bit closer in that massacre of a quarterfinal series.
New York will be alright and under Mike Woodson, they will actually be better than alright.
Woodson is the right guy for that job and the players have bought into what he is preaching.
Lin’s going to the place that so many people did not want to go to collect a check that ultimately will prove to be shorter than the money he could have gotten as part of a total compensation package that would came along with the benefits of staying in New York.
Maybe that was his plan. Maybe the pressure of being in the Garden was just too much for him.