The reason the Knicks let Jeremy Lin leave for Houston had little to do with basketball or money, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.Instead, Isola says NY let go of Lin because owner James Dolan felt “betrayed” that Lin wanted as much money possible out of Houston, and the organisation as a whole was “upset” that he hired a publicist without their knowledge.
If it’s true (a huge “if”), there’s so much wrong with it that it’s hard to know where to start.
First of all, this stance completely misunderstands how restricted free agency works.
Isola says the Knicks are upset that the rumoured offer the Rockets were going to make to Lin (four years, $28 million with $9 million in each of the last two years), was different from the actual offer (three years, $25 million with $14.8 million in the last year). The first offer was never made. So essentially they’re mad at Lin for not agreeing to an offer that never existed..
In addition, at the beginning of all this the Knicks publicly said that they were not going to make an offer on Lin until another team did. They planned to allow the market to set Lin’s price, then match that offer.
Well, if you’re going to tell a player to go get the best offer available, you can’t get mad when he gets the best offer available. By definition, that’s not “betrayal,” that’s restricted free agency.
More generally, it’s never a good sign when teams use words like “betrayed” and “upset” to when talking about personnel decisions.
We wrote yesterday that there’s absolutely no logical explanation for why the Knicks would let Lin go unless they thought he was a complete and utter fraud. It made logical basketball sense and logical business sense to keep him.
But we forgot one other possibility — the Knicks weren’t acting logically.
We’re sure there is a more legitimate explanation out there, but it’s unclear when or if the Knicks will ever formally explain this decision. Since Lin left, the organisation has only said these seven words about it, “I can confirm we are not matching.”
Until we get a fuller explanation, speculation like this will just continue to grow.
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