Jeremy Lin won the ESPY for Best Breakthrough Athlete and now the Linsanity rages on in New York. It will continue for the 2012-2013 season if the New York Knicks decide to match the Houston Rockets‘ offer sheet.
According to the New York Daily News‘ Mitch Lawrence, Lin is already a little bit upset with the organization for not showing commitment and contacting him with a contract offer before the Rockets did. One of Lawrence’s league sources said the following:
“They know they’ve got to mend some fences with him because he believes what the Rockets have told him, that the Knicks weren’t as interested as they are.’’
Just as is often the case, it doesn’t matter who’s right and who’s wrong. In this case, Lin is overreacting and is unaccustomed to dealing with the cutthroat business aspect of sports.
However, it’s the Knicks who are going to have to make it up to Lin or face the wrath of a disgruntled point guard. Raymond Felton and the Portland Trail Blazers proved just how bad of a situation that can turn into this year.
Despite the presence of Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, the Knicks must completely hand over the reins to Lin and make him the unquestioned face of the offense.
My fingers felt a little funny while typing out that a point guard with a few starts should be handed the reins over Melo. Maybe it was karma telling me I’m wrong. More likely, it was just the blister I developed at the driving range acting up.
During the brief time between his ascent to the starting lineup and his ACL injury, Lin showed the world that he could run the offense, successfully involving other players and still putting up numbers by himself.
Yes, he had trouble with turnovers, but those generally stemmed from trying to create for the team, not just being careless with the ball. As he grows, the times he coughs up the ball will diminish. Even now, though, his sometimes-reckless style of play does more good than bad for the Knicks.
Even though the decision to make Lin a headliner is a logically sound one when looking at the on-court aspect, it’s even more intelligent off the court.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Lin is a marketers dream. He has the potential to make an unfathomable amount of dough for the N.Y. organization.
Just like all the other athletes he beat out for the ESPY on Wednesday night:
- Anthony Davis—the Kentucky basketball star and No. 1 NBA draft pick so good that he can pull of a unibrow.
- Robert Griffin III—the Baylor star and incoming Washington Redskins quarterback who won the Heisman and produced countless highlights.
- Alex Morgan—the rising women’s soccer star who captured the attention of male fans everywhere.
- Rob Gronkowski—the New England Patriots tight end who set all sorts of records last season and was always in the news.
This is where you should be quite impressed. With only 25 starts for the Knicks, Lin beat out those big names.
Just imagine what he can do with a full season.