Hands up, everyone who believes Houston will really be the team paying Jeremy Lin $15 million dollars two seasons from now? Perhaps the total number of persons waving their hands wildly at a computer screen are also willing to swallow the notion that James Dolan isn’t a creepy, vengeful sort. Writes ESPNNY’s Ian O’Connor of the Knicks’ decision not to match the Rockets’ offer sheet to Lin, “Dolan, a notorious grudge-holder, feels betrayed that the Harvard kid took him to school after the Knicks gave him his big shot.”
Never mind that the Knicks were ready to waive Lin before he went off on Deron Williams and the Nets. Never mind that the Knicks got rid of Felton when it suited their needs last year despite his loyal service under D’Antoni. Never mind that business is business in the NBA, where it’s understood that management and players always cut the best deals they can cut.
The Knicks are making this personal, and letting their emotions shape a decision that should be made at room temperature. There’s no good reason to believe that Lin, a better player than Felton last year, won’t be a better player than Felton next year and beyond.
Lin is four years younger, with a greater upside. As for the Knicks’ pressing concern that Lin’s third-year salary will saddle them with four players (including Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler) eating up $75 million, leaving them with a luxury tax bill in the tens of millions, what happened to the one positive Dolan forever brought to the table — his willingness to spend, spend, spend?