James Dolan’s incompetency is more apparent than ever.
New York could’ve at least matched Lin’s offer and eventually traded him away. Instead, they got nothing for a still-improving starting-caliber point guard/cash cow.
Perhaps Bill Simmons’ reaction says it best:
But seriously - any time you can flip a 23 year old asset/fan favorite into a washed-up 40 year old and a fat guy, you have to do it.— Bill Simmons (@sportsguy33) July 18, 2012
The “40-year-old” and “fat guy” Simmons referred to are Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton, who the Knicks acquired this summer. If Dolan believes the Knicks will improve with Kidd and Felton in the lineup instead of Lin, he’s kidding himself.
So many are quick to call Lin overrated. His critics cry that he has only started 25 games. Well, in those 25 games, Lin averaged 18.2 points, 7.7 assists and 3.7 boards per game while shooting 34.3 percent from downtown. That's more points per game than Kidd and Felton averaged combined last year.
And hello, he’s 23 years old.
But despite Lin playing so few minutes, his on-court influence this season was superior to Carmelo Anthony’s. Melo played 1875.5 total minutes in 2012 while Lin recorded 941.5. Even though he played nearly twice as much, New York only outscored opponents by 108 when Anthony was on the floor compared to 142 with Lin (via 82games.com).
Has it been mentioned that he’s 23?
Lin is still progressing as a player yet he still managed to single-handedly turn the Knicks’ season around. But while his breakout performance was impressive, it’s his off-the-court impact that makes Lin invaluable.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reported that the Madison Square Garden Network’s ratings floated around 1.83 for Knicks games before Linsanity. During and after it, they skyrocketed to 4.07. And according to NBA.com, he was second in the league in jersey sales this season behind Derrick Rose.
Allowing Lin to walk will go down as one of the all-time boneheaded decisions in Knicks history—and that’s saying something.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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