Lin to Houston, Knicks owner Dolan fails again
Knicks' Jeremy Lin, left, chases the loose ball.AP Photo/Jim Mone
Jeremy Lin is officially a Rocket following confirmation that New York would not match Houston’s offer for the NBA star.
Lin was a restricted free agent, which gave New York the right to match any offer to keep the overnight sensation in the Big Apple.
Houston were crafty with the offer they put to Lin. They offered him approximately $5 million over each of his first two seasons, followed by a whopping $15 million (roughly the same salary as LeBron James) in his third.
Teams currently pay one dollar of luxury tax for each dollar that they exceed the salary cap. But by Lin’s pay-off season, the luxury tax will kick in at somewhere between $1.50 and $1.75.
Sticking with franchise tradition, New York has one of the highest-paid rosters and is already over the cap. Matching Lin’s offer would have cost New York an enormous amount of money three seasons from now.
However, the profit Lin generates far outweighs the cost of keeping him. The value of Madison Square Garden Company increased by $600 million since the ‘Linsanity’ phenomenon began, and rumours of Lin’s departure caused a $50 million drop.
There are also reports that New York owner James Dolan, whose management of the Knicks has been a perennial train wreck, acted out of spite. It irritated Dolan that Lin hired a publicist without consulting team officials, and that Lin was seeking a pay day, like every other free agent in professional sporting history.
Dolan didn’t make a financial decision, he made a personal one, and Lin is on the next plane to Houston as a result. Dolan’s decision-making is bereft of logic and beyond comprehension. It’s not the decision itself, but why he made it.
If his reasoning was based on basketball and doing the best thing for the team on the court, then at least that would help console Knicks fans. But to let one of the most remarkable stories in recent sporting memory leave because he acted the way free agents should is unfathomable.
Even if Lin acted like a fool (which he didn’t), giving Dolan a legitimate reason to let him go, Dolan could have simply matched Lin’s offer, then traded him to get something in return. To let him go for nothing adds the finishing blow to Knicks fans.
Add another Dolan train wreck to the list.