A Bad Time To Stop The Linsanity





HOUSTON – In the end Jeremy Lin got his billion dollar contract.

After all, isn’t that what coach Mike Woodson said it would take to pry the point guard phenom — and next season’s starter — out of the Knicks’ cold, dead hands?

So Linsanity now wears boots and a Stetson, y’all.

For the Rockets, it’s the continuation of a summertime gamble that looks a lot like walking across a high wire while juggling chain saws.

After re-signing a player he had and cut seven months ago for a whopping $25.1 million, Houston general manager Daryl Morey evidently plans to turn right around and close a quite similar deal with Bulls backup center Omer Asik.

At the same time the Rockets remain doggedly in the middle of the Dwight Howard soap opera, willing to take the unhappy big man off the hands of the Magic, even for a short-term rental, or play a third-party role that could land Howard on the Lakers and Andrew Bynum in Houston. In return Morey is willing to give up a large portion of his current roster and take on a bevy of bad contracts from Orlando.

If you’re the Rockets who’ve been trapped in the netherworld middle of the NBA standings for three straight seasons with no star to build around, it is a half-mad gambler’s plan that makes perfect sense, assuming you’ve got the nerve and access to team owner Leslie Alexander’s wallet.

However, if you’re the Knicks, just drop the ‘L’ and label it insanity. Not that Lin was ever going to chase the ghost of Walt Frazier out of Madison Square Garden, but because they chose a curious time to become, as the old saying goes, pennywise and pound-foolish.

For a team that has won exactly one playoff game since 2001 and already has outrageous money tied up in the contracts of Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, the Knicks’ actions in this instance are reminiscent of the line from the late Lloyd Bridges in the classic 1980 comedy Airplane!:

“I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.”

The timing couldn’t have been worse, according to ESPN NewYork’s Ian O’Connor:

The Knicks told Lin to hit the marketplace, and it turned out to be a mistake as big as the hiring of Larry Brown. Houston wanted Lin, and the same franchise that threw so much money at so many lost causes over the years decided to draw the line at $25.1 million for a potential star.

Lin might not turn out to be a star, but he’d already built a reasonable case suggesting the Knicks should take the gamble. (James) Dolan took a pass. The owner whose one redeeming quality was his willingness to reach deep into his pockets chose to short-arm this one while his new Brooklyn neighbor, Mikhail Prokhorov, was assuming a third of a billion dollars in long-term commitments in his bid to rule New York.

Dolan embraced fiscal restraint at the worst possible time.

Lin would’ve been a bargain making $5 million in Years 1 and 2, and the Knicks could’ve dealt one of the four massive expiring contracts belonging to Lin, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler in the summer of 2014 to dodge the luxury-tax hit.

If the Gilbert Arenas, Rashard Lewis, and Joe Johnson contracts could be moved, the Knicks would’ve found a taker somewhere. And if no team under the salary cap would accommodate them, the Knicks could’ve waived Lin after two seasons and spread out his remaining salary over three years, easing their tax burdens under a “stretch provision” clause spelled out by ESPN’s Larry Coon.

So just like that, the offense is in the hands of Raymond Felton, who was out of shape and shot 40.7 percent from the field last season in Portland.

The Linsanity is over in N.Y., but clearly not the madness.

25 Comments

  1. Eric Williams says:

    If you ask me the knicks pay max money to washed up talent it’s thier fault they could be over the
    tax limit. They didn’t know what to exspect when they took on Lin (undrafted) but they took a chance
    why not now? Sure it’s better to not pay him max money because Stat Melo and Tyshon
    but on the other hand look at how much money he brought to the city. I except their decision because it’s
    a money thing but it would been great to build something sweet around him

  2. kolokoy says:

    Lin deserves the high pay if only for spelling for the stars during their slump or absence. NY does not really need a Lin, what they need is for its stars to get their acts together and start earning their pay!

  3. BBOYBALLER says:

    I’m EXCITED to see how he does. i never watched the rockets play EVER. Now I’ll watch them just because of LIN.
    So i think that’s why the rockets got him.

  4. SABRINA says:

    I HOPE IT WORK OUT FOR THE NYKS. I REALLY DO THEY NEED IT!!

  5. dan says:

    SICK OF TALKING ABOUT IT AT THIS POINT LIN IS GONE TIME TO MOVE ON THE KNICKS WILL BE FINE WE WILL HAVE A SHOT AT CP3 NEXT SEASON AND ITS BEEN WELL DOCUMENTED THAT PAUL WOULD REALLY LIKE TO PLAY FOR NY AND LETS PUT IT THIS WAY IF WE GET PAUL EVERYONE WILL FORGET LIN WAS EVER A KNICK.ALSO RAY FELTON IS GETTING A GOOD SHOT AT BEING THE KNICKS STARTING POINT GUARD AND IM SURE HE WILL COME TO CAMP IN GOOD SHAPE AND I KNOW HE CAN STILL BALL HE WILL BE REBORN IN NY WITH GUYS LIKE STAT, MELO, AND CHANDLER TO GET THE BALL TO THE KNICKS ARE GONNA HAVE A GREAT 2012-2013 SEASON.

    • :Dboi says:

      Wow! Nice run-on there. The thing is everyone will keep talking about this until the Knicks start winning serious ballgames. And reminiscing on past Knick mistakes keep coming up because they keep making mistakes that keep them down and out of any hopes of a championship. The Rockets have less to prove but I see their team of young guns taking shape. They could possibly be the next Indiana Pacers-style NBA surprise. Go Rockets and reap your Linvestment… Get the bonus that Dolan let go and all that went with him in sales and marketing!

  6. Danny says:

    This was a stupid move by the Knicks. If the Joe Johnson trade this offseason taught us anything, it’s that any contract can be moved, and any player can be moved. The fact that the Knicks stuck with what they know shows that they were scared from a money standpoint, meanwhile they gave players like Eddie Curry max deals, Quentin Richardson, Jerome James (who hasn’t played in the NBA since)….the list goes on and on. So why not take a risk? He’s only worth 10 million in the first two years, and if he’s that big a deal, then trade him if he doesn’t work out, there are plenty of teams who need solid point guards, and Lin just needs a little more experience under his belt. He could even become an all-star in the future. Only time time will tell

  7. BKNY says:

    Okay, so…Lin can hoop, has potential, young with plenty room for improvement (defense, handle, orchestrating). Must perform versus top seeded teams during regular season, and must definitely show out (not just show up like Landry and Bibby) in April and May to get to June. Yes, he carried the Knicks for a stretch of games when Stat and Melo were out. Couldn’t be a better time when other teams have not seen him (if ever), so a new face took those teams by surprise (especially the Lakers). As for teams like Boston, Miami, and Chicago, adjustments were made and weaknesses exposed.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Lin, I like the Knicks, was hoping on acquiring Nash for his talent, conditioning, reunite him with Stat, and mentor Lin. Didn’t go that way. Yet Knicks have improved adding Kidd and Felton, resigning Smith and Novak, backing up the bigs with experience in Camby and Thomas.

    It came down to the Benjamins.
    Lin chose to shop and chat with Houston, could have chilled. Knicks would have signed him, but not for those chips. Maybe a 4yr deal lookin like $3m 1st, $4m 2nd, $5m 3rd, with $6.5m 4th option (keeping in mind he can be waived after 2yrs pending performance). $18.5m is more than enough after making $700,000 previous season. I would have definitely been disappointed had the Knicks cough up $25.1m with little left to shore up the benches. Good for Houston which were guard starved losing Lowry and Dragic.

    As for Lin, it’s been fun, found an opportunity to make a name for himself, good luck in Houston, they ought to be the ones to “pay” for cutting Linsanity in the first place.

    There is a full 84 game season on the horizon, a lot of big player movement, good talent out of the draft. Without Howard, Houston will be watching the post season. Knicks are now contenders for home court versus Miami, Boston, Brooklyn and likely Chicago.

    Lets go Knicks! See you at the games Spike. Peace.

    • Rocabye says:

      Knicks are not contenders at all. Is that a joke? Everyone thought they’d be contenders after singing Melo and Stat. How many years later and they have nothing to show for it. I mean NOTHING. Lin was the best thing to the Knicks in over a decade. And thats the truth. I’m not even talking about ball skills, I’m talking about straight up national interest and ticket sales. Lin made the Knicks relevant again. It was as terrible decision. The Knicks never would have had to pay him that 15mil in year 3. Thats precisely why it’s a dumb decision. And they did this for a guy who’s not even better than Lin! Stupid!

    • D Lion says:

      Did they add 2 games to the season?

  8. B-Lee-ve says:

    Let’s put all this chitter-chatter to rest. Over the years I have been a faithful NY fan since FOREVER!!! The Lin situation was a Cinderella story. Thats it! Everything had to been aligned for this to happen. But in the long run, it was a very wise move by Dolan. Did I just way that? But its true. It annoyed me that Lin kept sayin he wanted to be a NYer, but why did he “sneak” away to renegotiate a new contract knowing the fact that it would put the Knicks in jeopardy for the forseeable future. He did not have to sign off on it. You can thank his agent for that too. To me, that is being deceitful. It was just too much of gamble for someone who is still unpredictable. Time will tell and we shall see. Kudos to Lin and thanks for the memories. I am proud of Dolan and NY for drawing a line in the sand.
    B-Lee-ve!!

  9. Laker Fan says:

    Duh! Lin can never carry a team or at least be a star in the league. His weaknesses has been exposed in games against Boston and Miami. I guess it was wrong for NY to release him this early. They could’ve waived him instead if he under performs this year. But nonetheless a risky move for Houston, betting on Lin that much offering him a big contract. But who knows? We can never tell, maybe Houston hit the jackpot or their efforts will go down the drain again. Hope that Dwight goes to the Lakers! It would be the wisest move if ever. Lakers will be catapulted into top contention of the prized NBA title. Kobe+Nash+Dwight+Pau. Deyuuuum! Miami Heat here we come! :DD

  10. Lujah says:

    Landry and Jeffries were gone. All that’s left of Knicksanity was Novak and Shumpert. So linsanity was already over before this knicks drew this situation out. It could be a great move for Jeremy. I hope he stays healthy for the rest of his career and shocks his haters by greatly improving his game. However unlikely I’ll hope for him to get to the playoffs and even the finals for years to come.

  11. 6&3>35&0 says:

    Brooklyn now is the best team in ny

  12. kILLarifIC says:

    Linsanity and dwight howard would be the worst combo ever.. Im a big rockets fan but we messed up spending this money on him and especially the money spent on Asik… Why would you trADE ALL your good rooks for someone who isnt even going to resign…. stupid

  13. Chris Ross says:

    The Knicks were in a tough spot especially after what had been said out in public by players. It’s going to be really interesting to see how Lin does in Houston and what the subsequent reaction will be in New York among the fans. We all know the Asian contingent isn’t happy about this but if Lin doesn’t play great I wonder what they’ll be saying. Another fantastic story for another story-line filled season.

    http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/no-lin-situation/

  14. caloyski says:

    The Knicks blew it– they missed a good chance of of having a very good point guard and young at that. They need him to have 48 minutes of organized basketball– they are back to being a rag-tag line up

  15. underdog says:

    upon reading this, the fact that NYK can waive Lin if he underperforms, i felt that the NYK org is plain stupid. This isn’t even a gamble if Lin was ‘waivable’.

  16. Lucy says:

    Knicks’ loss is Rocket’s gain. Brooklyn Nets is a big winner out of all this as well. Houston next stop, get Howard. Superman + linsanity, exciting! It’s great that Jeremy Lin can again play for a coach and with teammates he trust and who trust him. Obviously Dolan is trying to make a statement here. But the earth does not just rotate around Dolan! Linsanity is still in this league for years to come! Jeremy Lin loves this sport and the sport will love him back!

  17. enrique says:

    Can we leave Lin alone already? the guy had a good stretch of games and that is it. If the Rockets want to through their money away let them. Have fun Lin, you hit the lottery. Lets move on to the good players.

    • KingBrian says:

      Couldn’t agree more. If they DID give him that ridiculous contract, they’d all be saying “Another crazy move by the Knicks!”. I’m sorry, but spreading 15 mil out because the Kmicks, again, did something stupid doesn’t lessen the Insanity. Good luck, Lin, but I’m fine with Felton(he WILL be in shape, trust me!!) and Kidd(so he celebrated a little too much, he’ll be ok).

      • Malaki Azul says:

        King Brian, it couldn’t have been said any better! All we would hear is how stupid the Knicks are for paying someone $5 mil for three years that isn’t even on their team!

      • LinFTW says:

        Oh please, you guys clearly have no business sense in anyway. Think before you talk.

    • Lol says:

      That is not the point here… The point is, the Knicks choose players that are old or if not injury-prone players rather than something that they could build on in the next 5-10 years. Jeremy Lin is a good player, he may haven’t yet proved enough that he is a great player comparable to the elite PG now in the NBA, but he sure does done his job perfectly all those 26 games. I don’t know what roster the Knicks will have after the next 2 season when Melo, Stat and Chandler’s contract runs out. When Camby and Kidd will retire and Pirgioni, Novak, Smith and Brewer declines their game, with no draft-picks not untill 2016 and what’s left will be Iman Shumpert. The Knicks are DOOMED!

  18. W/E says:

    Now NY is doomed