Jeremy Lin is still injured and was never athletic enough to compete against the NBA’s elite point guards in the first place, wrote Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News in a column weekend.Lin left New York after the Knicks refused to match Houston’s three-year, $25 million offer in July. Since then, the spin out of the Knicks — via anonymous team sources, mostly — has been that Lin was greedy and traitorous in getting the most money he could out of the Rockets.
Now we have another Knicks-friendly form of Lin bashing — that he was a flash in the pan, and an injured one at that — in the form of the this NYDN column.
You can read a view paragraphs blow, but Lawrence’s basic point is this: Jeremy Lin is an unathletic slow healer with a ridiculous contract.
Here’s what he wrote about Lin’s injury and contract:
Lin didn’t have microfracture surgery or tear his ACL, so we can now safely assume that he’s one of the world’s slowest healers. But let’s also remember that even before his storybook career in New York effectively ended against the Pistons, he was anything but a premier athlete. Any problem he might have because of the knee in the future is going to make the Rockets’ $25 million investment look even more ridiculous than it did last July.
Lawrence also spoke with “one person with years of NBA experience,” who said the following:
“More than a problem with his knee, what I saw again from Lin is that he is limited as an athlete,” was how one person with years of NBA experience put it after seeing Lin’s debut. “Offensively, he should be fine. But when he has to guard opposing point guards, especially guys with speed like Russell Westbrook, he is going to really struggle.”
Sounds like more tough times ahead for Jeremy Lin.
The tone of the column is the most curious part.
We have been arguing for months that New York’s decision not to offer Lin a contract made no sense on every rational level. But we suppose you could argue that the Knicks shouldn’t have matched if they truly believed he was a flash in the pan.
Lawrence basically made that argument, but painted it in a coat of contempt for Lin that made the whole thing feel like a unsolicited cheap shot.
But the larger point is this: the decision to let Lin leave will hang over this franchise for years. The move has come to represent everything that’s wrong with the Knicks — the irrationality of the move itself, the team’s refusal to explain it, and all the conspiracies and slanderous quotes that have emerged as a result of that silence.
This argument will go on perpetually because it’s not really an argument about Lin or the move itself, it’s an argument about the nature of the franchise — whether it’s functional or dysfunctional.
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