( 4UMF NEWS ) Lin-Sanity Over In New York:
The Jeremy Lin era came and went as quickly as you can say “Linsanity.”
The Knicks confirmed late Tuesday what everyone seemed to know, that they would not match the three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet Lin signed with the Houston Rockets on Friday. The decision is both financial and emotional since Garden chairman James Dolan was upset over Lin’s decision to restructure his deal with Houston last week to include a third-year salary of $14.9 million.
The news came around 10:45 Tuesday, about an hour before the 11:59 p.m. deadline.
As recently as last week, all signs pointed to Lin returning, with coach Mike Woodson even saying that Lin would be his starting point guard and that newly acquired Jason Kidd would serve as the backup.
But in Lin’s original deal with Houston he was to receive $9.8 million in the third year. With the Knicks publicly stating their intentions to match the offer, Lin and his representatives went back to the Rockets to restructure the contract.
That third-year balloon payment of $14.9 million could cost the Knicks another $35 million or more in luxury-tax penalties. Dolan has a history of overpaying his players and has never before shied away from the luxury tax.
But in this case, Dolan, according to sources, felt betrayed. After all, the Knicks had signed Lin in December after the second-year point guard out of Harvard had been cut by both Golden State and Houston.
When Lin finally got a chance to play in early February, he performed well in Mike D’Antoni’s system and instantly became a cultural phenomenon. Lin’s popularity and worldwide appeal was something that had not been seen before in the NBA.
The feeling inside the organization is that the Knicks gave Lin a chance and helped to create his brand only to have him negotiate a deal that made it cost-prohibitive to keep him.
There are other factors, of course. When D’Antoni resigned and was replaced by Woodson, Lin’s role was changed as the Knicks became more of an isolation team featuring Carmelo Anthony.
Two days ago, Anthony called the terms of Lin’s contract “ridiculous.” Another Knick, J.R. Smith, hinted that if Lin were to return, his deal with the Knicks could create unrest in the locker room.
The Knicks began moving on from Lin on Saturday, one day after he signed the offer sheet with Houston. The Knicks reacquired point guard Raymond Felton in a sign-and-trade with Portland. Before the trade was announced, Felton told a South Carolina TV station that he was coming back to the Knicks and that the deal with Lin was off.
A person close to Felton maintains that the guard never would have returned to the Knicks if Lin would be re-signing. The Knicks have three point guards under contract, Kidd, Felton and Pablo Prigioni.
Dueces! He showed no loyalty and wants way too much…