Knicks Keep Their Lips Sealed About Lin's Surgery to Sell Tickets? Team Says No

Holly MacKenzie@stackmackNBA Lead BloggerApril 2, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20:  Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks looks on against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden on March 20, 2012 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

If there's one thing we can always count on in any given NBA season, it's the Knicks to be in a battle…with the New York media.

Somehow, over the course of each year, there seems to be something that will come out about the Knicks that the team will vehemently deny. This time, the topic is Jeremy Lin's knee and whether the team knew that they would be without the services of Lin in the postseason when they allowed news of Lin's surgery to repair a torn meniscus to go unreported until after the deadline for selling postseason tickets.

So…Where's the surprise?

From the New York Daily News:

The Knicks were eventually going to get around to revealing the troubling results of Jeremy Lin’s MRI but certainly not before last Wednesday.

That was a crucial day inside the club’s executive offices at Two Penn Plaza because March 28 represented the deadline for season- ticket holders to purchase all four rounds of the playoffs.

In fact, in the email sent to subscribers, there is a picture of Lin leaping in celebration. Yet, it was two days before the deadline when Lin and the Knicks’ medical staff learned that the second-year point guard/cash cow was suffering from a torn meniscus in his left knee and that he wouldn’t be jumping for joy anytime soon.

Although Lin waited until Saturday before formally making the decision to have surgery (and just posted a photo to his Facebook account of him postsurgery), it certainly made business sense for the organization to withhold medical information about its marquee attraction. But that doesn’t explain why the Knicks, who are 2½ games ahead of Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff spot with 13 games left, weren’t forthcoming about Lin's condition after Wednesday’s postseason ticket deadline passed.

Before we get any further, though, on Monday afternoon the Knicks denied withholding any information about Lin. Here's the statement, from USA Today:

"Today's Daily News story is completely inaccurate, and serves only as another example of fabricated reporting by (the Daily News). The suggestion that the timing of Jeremy Lin's injury report is in any way connected to a longstanding Knicks playoff ticket deadline is a malicious attack on The Madison Square Garden Company. Jeremy Lin decided on Saturday to have surgery now in hopes that he would be able to return in time for, or at least during, the playoffs. The Knicks have sold out 61 games in a row, including last season's playoffs, and as standard practice we provided season ticket holders a first opportunity benefit to reserve playoff tickets before going on sale to the general public."

Okay. Somewhere something isn't right. Does it really matter, though? A marketing team's job is to sell tickets. Use players, photos and phrases that will resonate with the person purchasing the tickets and make them want to hand over their money. Whether Lin plays a single minute in the postseason or not, he has been the biggest story of the season for New Yorkers. Of course he was going to be on ticket promotions. 

The marketing staff probably didn't know anything about the status of Lin, especially if he only informed the team on Saturday that he was having surgery immediately. While the team might have known the results of the MRI and also known that surgery was imminent in the future, why make an announcement if Lin could have decided to postpone the surgery until the offseason?

While it seems more likely that this is all a case of unfortunate timing, if it isn't, it's hardly surprising. Professional basketball is a business and with business the dollar is the bottom line.