The iconic phrase of most superhero comics and television shows; Up, Up and Away can now be associated with Jeremy Lin. It’s been everywhere, all over SportsCenter and talked about for an entire day now. Yesterday, July 18th, Jeremy Lin was let go or ousted from the New York Knicks. However, you want to think about the situation, it seems the Knicks never intended to resign Lin. The Houston Rockets decided to live up to their agreement and sign Jeremy to a three-year 25 million dollar contract!
We know the story of Jeremy Lin and the very hard rode through basketball to become a NBA starter. Leaving high school without a basketball scholarship even though he was accepted into Harvard University. He then graduated from Harvard University, initially being undrafted to the NBA. In 2010 he received a bottom of the line contract to play for Golden State, he played in only 29 games with 10 mins per game. Many times in the season he was demoted to the D-League to gain more experience. The 2011-2012 NBA season started with a lockout and Lin was cut before the lockout ended. Lin was then picked up by the Houston Rockets and played in two preseason games, before being cut before the beginning of the regular season.
Now soon after being cut from the Houston Rockets the New York Knicks picked up Lin. The New York Knicks’ guard players were all either too old or injured; players such as Baron Davis (old, injured), Shumpert (injured), and Bibby (old, injured). Lin got his first time to play and Linsanity started, he played just as good as any good guard in the league. The Knicks were in a slump, Amare Stoudemire, and Carmelo Anthony the two Superstar-Allstars began to have personal issues and or was injured. Lin carried this team numerous games, making teammates better, winning games, exciting fans, all of which superstars do every night. Doing all of this while making the minimum salary for a player and sleeping on the couch of his brother and teammates. After a coach change from Mike D’Antoni to Mike Woodson, a change that seemed spurred by Carmelo Anthony, things seemed to be looking up for the Knicks. Lin played his best games against the major playoff contender teams of last year that showed the same promise this year. Jeremy played in 35 games of a 66 game season, averaged 15 (points) and 6 (assists) a game. But he had huge games where he finished with a double-double, which won games.
Melo and Amare eventually came back to help the team start winning games late in the regular season. Things were rough in the beginning for the three teammates, because they had little practice and games played together. Many critics of Lin, say that Lin’s way of play isn’t so productive for the top player on the team Melo. I beg to differ when Melo and Amare weren’t getting it done in the first place; and when they came back with Lin things were on the up scale. The Knicks winded up getting into the playoffs as a seventh seed and right before the playoffs Lin suffered a left knee injury. The Knicks went on to play the Miami Heat the second seed, the hottest team in the league. The Knicks stood no chance against the Big Three powerhouse Miami, and won one game against them ending their season.
Now, the season is over and the trade talks and free agent season started. Lin one of the most hyped free agents decided to test free agency, and a report by SportsCenter had the Knicks saying, “We will match any offer to Jeremy up to a billion dollars!” It was a bluff to keep other teams from pursuing Lin and it almost worked. Lin got an offer from the Houston Rockets at first for 4-years and 29 million dollars and Lin waited to hear back from the Knicks. It seemed as if the Knicks were going in a different direction by signing Jason Kidd, an old point guard, future hall of famer, one championship, but way past his prime as a player. Oh, yeah the same Jason was just charged with a DUI and reckless driving, after being carried out a club for swinging on light fixtures and wrapping his car around a pole!! WHAT??!! The Knicks then traded for Raymond Felton, a former Knick, an okay guard, a back up in my opinion, nothing of great promise. Raymond Felton as a guard is so ridiculous, he fights with weight issues, and he played this year for what it seems to be 30 to 50 pounds overweight!! Really, either of those better than Lin?
It seemed that all the controversy was Lin’s fault, major critics started coming out against him. Melo was interviewed saying he’d love to have Jeremy back as a teammate, but overall it was up to the Knicks to, “match that ridiculous contract!” What, are you serious Melo? What’s ridiculous is how bad you played this year, pouted, acted like a diva, and still is getting paid four to five times what they offered Lin!! Even ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, who I love by the way; is on record of saying that Lin is a fluke, his game isn’t that good, and there’s no way he can keep playing at this level. What? Stephen A. he played his best games against the best point guards in the league, C’mon son!! Some say his injury wasn’t so bad that he could have played the last couple of games in the playoffs. I say if your 85% against the Miami Heat, why push to come back, when obviously they’re a better team? The Rockets then came back and upped the ante with a new offer of 25 million over three years. The Knicks have one leg to stand on to save face with me; if they would matched the contract it would have pushed them over the salary cap. Thus meaning they would have had to pay a luxury tax of 45 million extra dollars. I can see that being an issue maybe, although Stephen A. Smith said,” The Knicks’ owner is a billionaire and a GANGSTER!!” If he’s all that PAY THE MAN HIS DUE!!
After it all was said and done Lin wasn’t matched and he signed the 3 years 25 million contract with the Houston Rockets. He was humble about everything stating the Knicks were his first choice the entire time, but they didn’t want to pay him. I don’t blame him and I think his future is bright, I’ll be watching you Lin. Depending on how he plays the first half of the next season, I could be voting him in as a Allstar player. Although, for the Knicks we’ll see they won’t be a serious contender again next year. He came, he saw, played well, he’ll take his Asian-American influence, jersey sales, and cult following to Houston.