Jeremy Lin to Houston Rockets: New York Knicks #Linsane
Jeremy Lin is heading to the Houston Rockets after New York Knicks choose to not match a three-year offer sheet worth 25 million dollars.
The New York Knicks front office is suffering from a special kind of Linsanity. It’s the only explanation for letting Jeremy Lin go to the Houston Rockets by not matching a back-loaded offer sheet. The Knicks appeared worried that the final year of the deal, worth 15 million dollars, would put the Knicks into the dreaded luxury tax. Tyson Chandler is worth 20 million dollars per year, but the man who ignited New York City and beyond isn’t worth 25 million dollars over three years.
What the Houston Rockets did is actually quite smart. By loading the back end of Jeremy Lin’s contract, the New York Knicks were forced to choose between paying the luxury tax in year three or letting Jeremy Lin go. The Knicks ultimately chose to let the articulate, exciting, humble Harvard man walk after he saved New York basketball last season.
Before Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks were at a new level of disappointment. The Knicks signed three maximum contract players, but injuries and mediocre basketball derailed all offseason hope. The Knicks were a sub-.500, mediocre basketball team and most of New York City couldn’t watch Knicks games. New York quietly grumbled that Knicks games were not being televised due to a contract dispute between Time Warner Cable and the MSG Networks. Linsanity forced a resolution by bringing back the excitement of Knicks basketball and got them back on TV. Jeremy Lin propelled New York to a comfortable spot in the playoffs after a lengthy winning streak before their superstars came back to action. He made Knicks basketball relevant and exciting; igniting a national phenomenon. Jeremy Lin effectively saved one of the most profitable franchises in sports, but the Knicks let Lin walk. After all, the season tickets are already sold, games are back on television, jersey sales likely peaked during the height of Linsanity, and Raymond Felton is a reasonable replacement.
But still, did the decision come down to money? Carmelo Anthony, owner of an overpriced contract all his own, called the offer sheet from the Houston Rockets “ridiculous”. J.A. Adande said that the 25 million dollar contract will actually cost the New York Knicks around 40 million in its final year alone because of luxury taxes. Tyson Chandler’s 11 points per game, Carmelo Anthony’s 43% from the field, and Amare Stoudemire’s injuries are all worth max deals, but the man who saved the franchise and ignited a silenced basketball population isn’t worth eight million dollars per year?
The fact is the New York Knicks can afford to pay those luxury taxes but chose not to. Jeremy Lin and Carmelo Anthony, like almost every player to line up beside Melo, did not quite gel. Letting Jeremy Lin walk doesn’t hurt the Knicks much – mostly because the Knicks aren’t a championship caliber basketball team. Carmelo Anthony was a secondary option, Amare Stoudemire was the only superstar willing to come to New York while Miami was assembling their big three, and Tyson Chandler is overpaid. The Knicks don’t have a legitimate big three, and now, they don’t have an international sensation playing point guard either.
The casual basketball fan likely won’t want to watch Knicks basketball anymore after New York displayed a total lack of loyalty. Carmelo Anthony isn’t very likable after running his coach and point guard out of town. Amare punched a fire extinguisher and missed most of the first round of the playoffs. Tyson Chandler doesn’t score. Where is the marketability for an overpriced and mediocre franchise? Casual fans, jerseys, and international support will be lost. The New York Knicks will lose more money than they saved and won’t win a championship. Bad move.
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