The Jeremy Lin Controversy

There are two sides of the conversation regarding the Knicks’ choice not to resign Jeremy Lin. The first side is that of the New York fan base, a superficial, ¬†shallow group to say the least.

From a nonchalant fan’s perspective, this decision is a disaster. Jeremy made MSG a cool destination to be again, a place where celebrities flock and excitement abounds. To this group, Jeremy Lin is a future All-Star who was the Knicks’ only hope to a bright future, and therefore is worth however much money it takes to get him.

The other side of the argument belongs to the diehard NBA fans, as opposed to the aloof Knicks fans. This group of fans knows that while Jeremy Lin is a solid player, he wasn’t worth the money by any stretch of the imagination. I belong in this group. Don’t get me wrong – I love Jeremy Lin and think he has a bright future in the NBA… as a potent bench player or serviceable starter. JLin7 will never achieve the same level of play that he enjoyed during his 25 game stretch. First of all, people are already forgetting that by the end of his run, his play was already beginning to stagnate. Teams previous lacked any semblance of a scouting report on him, but by the time the Knicks got around to playing the Miami Heat, his moves had already become stale, predictable, and largely stoppable. He went out with a whimper, regardless of his unimportant knee injury.

Now that I’ve established that Jeremy Lin will never be an All-Star, let’s focus on that ridiculous contract. The Rockets, at this point, appear to be the most desperate team in the NBA. After their ill-advised decisions to let Goran Dragic and Kyle Lowry walk (those two being guy with genuinely bright futures in the league), they wanted someone who could put fans in the seats. Jeremy Lin is obviously that guy. I’m not going to avoid the elephant in the room here, either. We’re all a little pissed at Jeremy Lin, and we have every right to be. I understand that he didn’t structure his contract and that he wanted to be and New York and that he has every right to seek as much money as possible, but there’s no doubt that he could still be a Knick is he really wanted to be. He is not required to sign an offer sheet with any other team, and had he any loyalty to New York he easily could’ve opted to take a little less money to play in New York. We were certainly willing to pay the man big time amounts of cash, just not as much as the Rockets were. At the end of the day, Lin kinda-sorta betrayed us New Yorkers who resurrected his career. Not only would the contract have been demoralizing from a financial standpoint, but it would’ve also been psychologically damaging in the locker room. Carmelo called the contract “ridiculous” and the always level-headed JR Smith stated that it would stir up feelings of resentment and jealousy from poorer veterans. Bottom line: the contract was un-matchable.

Jeremy Lin was not an essential pick-up for NYK (though I do love how he looks like he just woke up in this picture).

Finally, Raymond Felton is a great fit. He seems to be a player that thrives in big situations: a New York guy through and through. As long as he is in shape, he will thrive as the Knicks starting play maker and be just effective as Lin would’ve been except at a much lower price. Great to have him back.

For God’s sake, it is time to move on from Lin. He was not worth the money, was not as good of a fit as Raymond Felton, and should therefore be treated as such. Goodbye JLin7, hello future.

 

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