Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Maybe We Can Finally Get a Bit Of Lin-Closure

Look, I'm not a Jeremy Lin fan.  That doesn't mean I hate him or that watching him have one of those out-of-the-blue stretches last season wasn't unreal.  I just don't believe in him being a guy that really ... matters. 

I'm not on the Money May bandwagon of Lin blowing up because he is Asian.  I will say that his star rose much, much higher because it happened in New York City.  If he did this in, say Houston, then it wouldn't be as big a deal as it became.  Again, not to say it didn't deserve a lot of attention.  I just don't think Lin is a big time player.

That being said, I don't fault Lin for going for the money during free agency.  In sports, I can rarely ever blame someone for getting paid.  Your earning potential is much smaller than many other people and we're talking big dollars.  If Lin wanted that Houston money like that, all the power to him.

But don't turn around and cry that you wished you could still be a Knick.  They wanted you and were willing to pay a lot to keep you around.  The Knicks were cool with the deal he was going to originally sign with the Rockets (New York could match any deal Lin got) but the "poison pill" added to the third and final year of the deal was just too much for the Knicks to handle.

That's another opinion piece for another time.

Lin though is sending signals that he wanted to be a Knick all along.  Nice, but don't sign an offer sheet somewhere else and then get upset when you actually have to honor it.  Houston can't tell you, "uh, we thought the Knicks were going to match you so we really don't want to pay you this amount", now can they?  If you want to be a Knick and they were going to compensate you in a way you could deal with ... then stop screwing around and sign with the Knicks.

Trust me, I get it.  New York told him to go out and see what he could get and they'll probably match it.  Lin went out and found the best deal he could and expected that the Knicks would match.  However, that "poison pill" added at the end was something that killed the deal.  You signed that knowing that it could be a sticking point.  Houston offered it to you knowing that the Knicks may think twice about matching and keeping the Rockets from looking like leverage than an actual destination for you.  That's why there is a poison pill in the first place.

Lin will go to Houston and do fine.  He will get a great shot to shine in Kevin McHale's system that got Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic some shine last season.  Since Houston is about as talented as the banged up Knicks were when Lin exploded on the scene (remember, Carmelo Anthony was hurt and Amare Stoudemire was out of the lineup), Lin should be able to get his shots.  Other than people keeping tabs on him and the occassional big outing, I doubt ESPN will be on Lin that much once the sparkle of the new 2012-2013 season wears off.  I also doubt the Knicks will miss Lin that much on the court.  While Raymond Felton may not be as dynamic a player, he may fit in better with an offense that caters to Melo.  Should be a win-win.

But the NYC media (which for some reason is pushing the Brooklyn Nets all over us even though they've got the same crappy team back from last year ... and Joe Johnson and a "healthy" Brook Lopez.  How is that exactly a title team?) will tie us in to what Lin does for the season -- and probably beyond.  Again, I hope the best for him since it is a great story.  But some stories just aren't as good when you keep on reading.

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