Knicks Did The Right Thing!

 
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — When presented with the promise and global recognition of what might be and the sobering reality of what is, the New York Knicks made a choice. In fact, they made the right choice where last season’s point guard sensation, Jeremy Lin, was concerned by not keeping him in the fold.

Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton make it much easier to see that now, what with the quality work they have put in this season for the 18-5 Knicks, who welcome the star of the off-Broadway smash, Linsanity, back to Madison Square Garden tonight (7 ET, NBA TV) for the first time since Lin signed with the Houston Rockets as a free agent.

The Knicks chose veteran leadership and production over the charade that was the overnight sensation that Lin became during his breakout stretch of play. Don’t misunderstand us, though: Lin is a solid player, but not the folk hero he was played up to be during Linsanity. And as our man John Schuhmann points out, Houston’s offensive and defensive rating with Lin on the court is worse than it is without him on the court.

Kidd is a winner and arguably the most underrated athlete (in any sport) of his generation. Felton played some of the best basketball of his career in his first stint with the Knicks in their pre-Lin era. He’s picked up right where he left off this season by combining with Kidd to form one of the most potent backcourt duos in the league.

Lin, as expected, is going through some of the growing pains you might expect for a player whose starting experience as a point guard includes all of 48 games, a little more than half of an NBA season. There have even been rumblings about him being a backup in Houston in order to help ease his transition. Can you imagine the outrage if he was still in New York and someone was contemplating a move like that?

In fairness, Lin’s had his moments this season. He looked like the Lin of … well, Linsanity, when he exploded for 38 points and seven assists in a Dec. 10 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. But he did that while the Rockets’ best player, James Harden, was sidelined with a sprained ankle. Lin has a habit of playing his best when his team’s best player is wearing street clothes. Most of his best work with the Knicks came when Carmelo Anthony (as well as Amar’e Stoudemire) were not in the lineup.

On the flip side, Kidd and Felton play the same with or without the big dogs in the lineup. It’s the difference between having proven talent at the controls and a developmental prospect who might not be best suited as a full-time starter running your show.

That doesn’t mean that Lin deserves anything other than a rousing round of applause from the Knicks faithful tonight. He did provide weeks of cosmic pleasure for those fans and fans of an underdog story everywhere. His rise with the Knicks was easily the best story of the season and one of the best in recent pro sports history in this country.

As fleeting as it was, Linsanity was every bit as fun for the rest of us as it was surreal for Lin, who said he’s expecting things to be “wild” tonight.

And I agree with his former Knicks teammates, who believe Lin’s contributions to the resurgence of the franchise deserve to be appreciated on their own merit.

“He’s one of those guys people will remember for his time here,” Steve Novak told the New York Daily News. “It wasn’t a very long, long time, but it was special. There’ll be a movie about it one day.”

(There’s a certain famous filmmaker/Knicks superfan who could do the Linsanity story proper justice … paging Spike Lee!)

At this stage of his career, would you be more comfortable with Lin running your team or doing so with a promising young rookie like Portland’s Damian Lillard?

If you have to think about that for more than three seconds, it should be clear by now that the Knicks did the right thing!

50 Comments

  1. Jon says:

    Well, let’s just wait for STAT to comeback so that the Knicks will start looking like the…Knicks of old. Too many egos, too much drama, too many excuses. They will eventually start losing AGAIN.

  2. KC says:

    Lin is a bit of a head case. That’s the source of the inconsistency. He is an exceptional player but only when he believes in himself–which he doesn’t all the time. That’s true of all of us I suppose. That’s why there are several camps out there. The ones who are willing to see the best in others because they want to see the best in themselves are the ones that are Jeremy Lin fans. The others, who spend more time hating or bringing others down: those are the people who are telling people, “Hey, I could be great too!” while inside they are thinking “woe is me, why aren’t I so lucky.” Everyone is a little bit of both at times. I recommend instead of envying the success of others just focus on what you do well and enjoy it to its fullest.

  3. Rob G says:

    Hi. I agree that things worked out for the best for the Knicks, but can we please not rewrite history to reflect what we apparently want to believe. The Knicks chosen point guard duo was Steve Nash and Jeremy Lin. They tried to trade for Nash (including by offering Iman Shumpert) and failed and ultimately settled for Kidd. And they planned to resign Jeremy Lin for 4 years at approximately $28 million, as they had announced to the world, and only changed their mind after the terms of the contract changed to 3 years $25m and a greater hit to the Knicks in year 3 (which apparently created some sort of tax problem). Once they did not have Lin, they opted for Felton. And I do commend them on getting Kidd and Felton, even if both were their second choices, but I also think it is the brilliance of Mike Woodson that makes it all work, including by going with Kidd at the 2 Guard from day one. Meanwhile, a couple of weeks before Lin signed, the Knicks traded (yes, they TRADED) for Marcus Camby, a guy who really hasn’t played and never will given they have brought in Rasheed Wallace and Copeland can obviously play. Are you telling me there was no way for the Knick front office to at least somehow work with the Rockets to get Camby in exchange for an agreement to let Lin walk? If they were smart, they would have.

  4. [...] of Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd have already softened the blow of losing Lin in July. But while the Knicks are better off without Lin this season, he did help show them where they still have some work to [...]

  5. John says:

    Hey Hang Time, I guess Lin isn’t so bad after all. To all the Lin basher, he’s just lucky. AGAIN.

  6. Lin got totally dissed by ny-keep playn hard balln Lin:)

  7. [...] the same treatment from the faithful as …The Star-Ledger – NJ.comSB Nation -NBA.com (blog) -NBCSports.comall 239 news [...]

  8. lintheball says:

    lin is so underrated………..some of you just hate to accept the facts that he plays better than many players. And talk about his turnover rate still????i encourage you to check start players like rondo, like kobe’s turn over rate every game then come back and say that again!

  9. Go Jeremy!!!! says:

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!babe!!!!!!!!haha……………..Go jeremy!!!!! careless about what they said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! just play your game!!!!!

  10. floorslab says:

    Lol. See what Lin just did.

  11. Luiz Nunes says:

    Hope you enjoy tonight’s game! Lin still a show man at MSG!!!

  12. John says:

    Guess Lin is not missing his time with the Knicks. He’s not too bad Hang Time! Up by 20 in the 4th.

  13. Big Euro says:

    Sekou, maybe tomorrow you can elaborate onion Jason Kidd is this generation’s most underrated athlete? Maybe North American athlete… But quite a strong, sweeping statement you made there.

    • National says:

      Everytime a Nba/Nfl/mlb teams wins did I mention the “N” in the sport? they call them “WORLD” champion… But yeah sure that is why the lakers lost to Barcelona on that same year. But hey if they want to say it that way is their choice. I do think they have greatness madness.

      (Do not know about the MLS, but if they also call them World champion when they win the play-offs that would be the biggest joke of them all.)

  14. Oneil says:

    wow. these comments are actually fairly accurate.

  15. Eric says:

    w.r.t to the stats argument from John Schuhmann, if you look at Lin’s stats from 2010-2011 during Knick’s Linsanity run, it shows many category that Knicks was worse when Lin’s on-court, but what a run that was! Lin’s really just a rookie, Felton himself said the best that you should compare his stats to any 1-2 years rookie, or Kidd when he’s 24, not when he’s 39.

  16. rich says:

    Why is that news ?!

  17. J Mart says:

    Ummm….let’s not forget adding Pablo Prigioni to the Kidd/Felton point guard extravaganza – last year we were really hurting for somebody to run the point before Lin came and after Lin was injured – this year, it’s RAINING point guards!

  18. BS CATCHER says:

    I find it interesting how you forget to mention that the knicks are without amare… ITS “KNICKS DID THE RIGHT THING AND THEY GOT BETTER WITHOUT AMARE AND LIN” When amare comes back the knicks are back to .500 Just watch

    • Nicholas says:

      Totally agree with you.

      Mike Woodson will have his hands full trying to handle 2 stars, altho’ he’s doing a good job of handling 1 star… so far.

  19. AK says:

    I knew the Knicks made the right move letting Lin go. Look, this is the NBA. What separates average players from great players is this: when a player has a few breakout games, teams take notice and defences adjust. Average players faulter under these adjustments, while great players find a way to still be great. Look at Lebron, Kobe, KD, defences adjust to their offensive threat and they still find ways to pick the defence apart night in night out. Lin on the other hand hit the wall when defences adjusted, because he is an average player. No offence to Lin but for NBA standards he is an average player. I think it was a blessing in disguise for Lin when he got injured as he managed to lock in a blockbuster contract before his true game showed its face, that is after defences took notice and made adjustments to his style of play and exposing his weaknesses. I felt Lin was overrated and the Knicks saw it as well, although they’ll never openly admit it, which is why they let him go. So bottom line is the Knicks were very smart in letting him go, whereas the Rockets could have spent those big bucks in a much smarter way.

  20. R Tru K says:

    Dear NBA,

    Could someone please trade J Lin out of the Rockets. He is inconsistent, has no jump shot and is a decent backup PG at best.

    Regards,

    Houston Rockets Fan

  21. briflys says:

    The Linsanity movie was announced 2 weeks ago. It’s premiering January at the Sundance Film Festival. Cheers.

  22. thesniper321 says:

    Excuse me Jeremi WHO?? Who’s that ???

  23. Zimmijims says:

    Lin isnt bad, but he doesnt have consistency and handles the ball too long.. though he can improve the knicks made the best choice

  24. Zimmijims says:

    kidd-felton is the right choice, just check the turnovers the knicks are making, its the lowest in the league whereas last year probably averaged 5-6 a night! and oh lillard is the right choice BTW

  25. sstes says:

    Hey guys, give Lin some time.
    If he works hard and gets more confidence he can become a VERY solid point in this league. Even a superstar. He has the talent (shown that!) but has to work to catch the fire back after the surgery.
    Best regards from PL ;-)

  26. W/E says:

    The best thing the Knicks did was to fire D’antoni, that was major in getting better as a team and we all saw their huge improvement under Woodson.

  27. taiakun says:

    I agree on the most part the benefits of Knicks declining the chance to get Lin back. Kidd and Felton are great role players and with their veteran leadership, I expect the Knicks to get to the second or third round of the conference playoffs at least, if not all the way to winning the championship.

    I do disagree on the impact of the players though. No doubt Kidd and Felton play consistently, but I question whether they would be able to carry a team solely on their backs the way which Lin did last year for that stretch in February. If it wasn’t for what Lin did, there is a big chance that Knicks might not have even make it to the playoffs. Yes, Lin plays better when the star player of the team is sitting out. But then again, who are the star players we are talking about? Camelo last year wanted the ball in his hands to try and get his shooting rhythm back, and James Harden runs the plays most of the time in Houston. Lin, in my opinion, plays better when he is the one controlling the ball. Imagine how effect Rajon Rondo will be if Paul Pierce or KG ball hogged? So I would not say that Kidd and Felton are better players, but rather they are a better fit to the Knicks than Lin is.

  28. To John Schuhmann says:

    “And as our man John Schuhmann points out, Houston’s offensive and defensive rating with Lin on the court is worse than it is without him on the court.”

    Actually all of Houston’s starters with the bare exception of Harden and Asik contribute negatively to their team’s offensive and defensive ratings while they are on the court. But the numbers are so small that it’s hard to make a case that any of the numbers have any relevance.

    What might be happening is that Houston’s bench is outplaying the opposing bench. Carlos Delfino and Toney Douglas both cause Houston’s net ratings to be much more positive while they are on the court but it’s hard to make the case that either of them are better than Harden.

  29. newyorksteelo says:

    Agreed. The numbers don Lie. Go Knicks.

  30. Objectivity says:

    Lillard all the way.

  31. amitpal says:

    Three seconds? Id chose Damian lillard any day any game. Lillard has star potential whereas lin barely has starters potential. Tony Douglas has been ending games instead of lin. Lets get this straight. Lin did a great job in mike antoini system other then That lin is overrated.

  32. Just-a-thought says:

    Sekou, I BET you that Lillard (as amazing as he is) would not have been able to do what Lin did last year. Although you are very talented in trying to hide it, it is clear from your post that there is some enjoyment you are experiencing from the current struggles of Jeremy Lin. And that’s ok. Not everyone in this world is a dreamer. Some are more somber and cynical. But I have a feeling there are some disappointing times for you in the future, when Lin starts playing with the confidence of Nash and Rondo. I know it will be painful for you to see him succeed despite your hope that he fails. But hey, us dreamers and believers will not hold a grudge. We’ll just be happy that our way won. (well… maybe just a *little* counter-gloating will be in order…)… Oh, and BTW, if the Knicks make it even to the 2nd round, I’m a frog. They are a pile of EGO, and ego doesn’t go far in this league. Especially when you are lead by Carmelo Anthony.

  33. Florida says:

    I do not agree with you on Kidd but Felton. Felton seems to be t he one who is making t he whole team better.

    • Justin says:

      Kidd does more then you can see from he box score. TRUST ME

    • bajoy says:

      kidd was the one who makes his team better

    • Nore says:

      DId you have seen one Knick Game this season?

      Kidd had a Game winner – was awsom in the 4th quarters and helped not only as a perimeter defender but also as scorer, deliverer and as COACH of Felton!!

      There was a REASON why Cuban was so angry when he left!