Given the Knicks’ difficulty the last several years in finding any sort of PG capable of distributing the ball, who’d have thought a mere $5.1 million difference would stand in the way of the club retaining a fan favorite like Jeremy Lin? The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola is fairly insistent (not for the first time, either) that Garden supremo James Dolan isn’t merely meddlesome in these matters, but the tri-state area’s lamest “blues” musician continues to “have his fingerprints all over” these moves.
Dolan’s basketball people make recommendations but ultimately it is Dolan who rules with an iron fist. Just ask Donnie Walsh, Mike D’Antoni and most recently, Jeremy Lin. Gone are the days when the executives at Madison Square Garden would go to great lengths to paint Dolan as a warm and cuddly hands-off owner. It was a smart way to shield Dolan from criticism when things went array even though the notion of Dolan not being involved in the day-to-day operations of the team is preposterous.
The fans aren’t blaming general manager Glen Grunwald, head coach Mike Woodson or even Dolan confidant Isiah Thomas for the ending Linsanity. The anger is being directed at Dolan, who was upset that Lin went back to the Rockets last to get the third year of his contract increased from $9.8 million to $14.9 million. The Garden’s unofficial response, leaked to their media friends, is that it was strictly a financial decision.
That certainly is a lot of money for a point guard with 25 career starts but we all know that Dolan wasn’t worried about the contract or the luxury tax. He felt betrayed and deceived and then made a decision based on emotion.