(Note: Pardon me, this isn’t a write up in regard to photography. I just had to have some say on the subject matter.)
When the news broke out I was out of town, and I had little access to news resources. I couldn’t follow the update. As the deadline for NY Knicks to match the offer sheet to keep their most popular player approaches, I became more anxious. Trying to get updates and confirmation on the deal at all means, hoping Knicks to announce Jeremy to return as a Knick come this October.
All those, didn’t materialize. With that, I once again, bid goodbye to NY Knicks, again. Just because of the ‘Linsanity’ frenzy back in February, I became instant fan of Lin’s work rate and attitude. Without a single doubt, he sets good example for everyone else to follow. Traditionally a Lakers and Bulls fan, I never really admire Knicks. The last time I followed Knicks’ game was during Patrick Ewing era, when Larry Johnson was there, and John Starks lighting up the broadway with his streaking three pointers. Allan Houston added another flair.
The post-Ewing era, I find it difficult to follow Knicks season. They’re often loaded with overhyped talents, and fading stars.
It was Jeremy, the undrafted Harvard graduate, that drew my attention to New York. It was him, who made Knicks interesting to watch again. All those, officially ended when James Dolan, the ill-minded Knicks owner and his top management team decided to let Jeremy go, after he agreed to Rockets’ 3-year-deal for $25 million. They say, it’s hard to match.
Hard to match is hard for me to believe. James Dolan and the GMs are prone to make not-so-intelligent investments over the past years, they somehow could afford those luxury tax for the overhyped and fading stars. How could they not afford to keep this gem?
There are a few things which I strongly disagree with Knicks, especially the points cited by ESPN columnist, Stephen A. Smith. Stephen seem to be so defensive for Carmelo, and had been ever against Jeremy. I’ve seen his debate against fellow sports writer Skip Bayless. I find Stephen’s argument and claims haven’t been consistent.
For both basketball and financial reasons, it is very obvious to let Jeremy walk away for almost nothing.
Many of us thought it would be Knicks top priority to keep Lin, after his breakout last February. It’s not rocket science to understand that. A young point guard with potential, and limitless boundary for global branding. A win for both basketball and business side for Knicks organization.
Lin has his share of problems on basketball side. He is prone to make turnovers in his game, too many for some’s liking. But hey, he’s a guy who has been scarcely used in previous seasons, and not to mention that he was twice cut off by teams, before landing in Knicks. I remember watching Lin’s game against John Wall, who is considered one of the quickest point guard in the league, in a scrimmage. Boy he owned John Wall in the match up. It maybe a scrimmage, but who would have ever imaged the breakout he have had last February. Carrying Knicks on his shoulder, running the team offense in the absence of their top two highest paid stars — Amare and Carmelo. Mind you, Knicks defeated the likes of Dallas Mavericks, then defending champions, and LA Lakers.
Some might have argued, Lin is a mere product of Mike D’Antoni’s offense system. Sure, he might be. But if you think anyone could just fit into a coach’s system and run a show, think twice. Last season, Knicks have had few other point guards under contract. They started the season with Tonney Douglas as their starting point guard. Then they have veteran Baron Davis at their disposal, and also another veteran in Mike Bibby. Both Baron Davis and Mike Bibby were good point guards in their earlier days, but they just couldn’t lead the team to winning. When Lin was given the opportunity, he went for it. He gave his all, fighting fearlessly, and so ever determined to give his best for the team. Along with that, the other role players blossomed. Most notably, Steve Novak, who went from a rarely used piece to becoming NBA’s league leading 3 point percentage shooting. Iman Shumpert (at times he is deployed as PG, but I think he’s more of a 2-spot, or a SG), he’s played so much better alongside Jeremy, and not to mention Tyson Chanlder hitting those high percentage shots at the receiving end of Lin’s assist.
Knicks looked so lost at that point, but in Lin, they saw glimpse of hope. Thereon, the climbed up to .500 for the first time since a long, long while. Remember, this team boasts Carmelo Anthony, and Amare Stoudamire in their lineup. Yet, they played way below expectation.
Now that the season has concluded, we thought Knicks will be making effort to keep Lin. Then came the talks of bringing in the likes of Steve Nash, and Jason Kidd, not only to help the team, but also to mentor this young PG. Both Nash and Kidd are going into their 40s, so do not expect them to be team’s long term solution. The mentorship is a nice idea, I thought. Nash eventually chose to join force with Kobe in Lakers. But they managed to snap up Jason Kidd.
There were still no news by Knicks, whether they’re keeping Lin or not. Then came the news of Lin signing offersheet. (I might have the orders wrong, but it doesn’t matter).Then Knicks announced they’re bringing in veteran center in Marcus Camby. I liked this guy, at this point, I had no idea how much money was involved. Then, came Kurt Thomas , who is also a 40-year-old Power Forward, along with Raymond Felton, who just had the worst season off with Portland Traiblazers. These few fella combined for $11million on the third year, only $4million less than the contract offered by Houston Rockets). But really? $11million for 3 guys who are in their 40s, and another one who is going down slope in his games? I don’t think Raymond Felton is an upgrade if compared to Jeremy. I watched few of his games last season with Portland, and he was really disappointing.
If I were the GM, and if I want to let Lin go, I make sure I get something in return. Lin is 23 this year, and has so much more to offer if compared to those four I mentioned. I doubt Kidd can give you 40 minutes night, it clearly showed in his stats with Dallas last season. Kurt Thomas, can give you good 15 – 18 minutes playing time. Same goes for Camby, probably 25 minutes at most.
Knicks, what the hell were you thinking?
Carmelo Anthony went public claiming it was up to the management to match the ‘ridiculous’ offer by Rockets. Hey, who are you to decide if the deal was ridiculous? You’re just a player, your job is to play the game, and lead the team to winning. Houston Rockets offered Lin a 3-year deal worth of $25 million, where Lin could net about $15 million in the third year of the contract. I think that’s quite a good contract, I really don’t know, I’m no GM, I am just a fan. When you compared to what Nuggets offered to keep Javale McGee, 4-years-deal for $44 million. Isn’t that more ridiculous? McGee played well in the playoff against Lakers. Yes, that’s true, but this guy isn’t a go-to guy. In my opinion, he’s a hustle player, and he makes even more stupid mistakes. You can check those out in the youtube, just type in his name, and you’ll see plenty of those videos.
Ridiculous huh? In the Knicks franchise history, I think it was ridiculous for them to sign Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis and even Carmelo Anthony, with all the money they have paid for. I thought, the only way to get Knicks to improve is to trade Carmelo away, and to change owner/GM. But I think those two are not even close to possible. What can we do?
As of now, Lin has landed in Houston, joining Kevin Martin in a formidable backcourt. Rockets are pushing to sign Dwight Howard, but I think that is pretty difficult. But if they could land one of those quality big man, I think Rockets can do no wrong. They were in fighting position for playoff last season, in the ever competitive Western Conference. On the other hand, Knicks future look bleak after shaking up their roster. I don’t see them doing much progress after the Lin saga. With Lin gone, I think Carmelo better start to deliver. There is no one else to steal limelight away from him in the broadway of NY.
So long Broadway, along with Lin’s departure, Knicks will have one fan less in me. As for Lin, he has my support in Houston, and I am sure he will return as a better player!
Once again, I am no sport journalist, I do not have insider information about the league and its players. I am not expert in the business, I do not have the figures from the deals involved, nor do I understand the complexity of the deals.
I am just a fan with passion. I love basketball. Basketball never stops.