Jeremy Lin accepts the award for best breakthrough athlete at the ESPY Awards
The obvious question is that if Lin started just 25 games last season, why does he deserve a fat contract?
The explanation is simple. In the NBA, a player doesn't get paid for what he has done; he gets paid for what he's going to do. And in Lin's case, he's set to do a great deal in this league.
During his hottest streak, Lin averaged 20.9 points per game, 8.4 assists and 4 rebounds in February, while steering the Knicks to 10 wins. His five turnovers were an eyesore on his stat line, but with development comes better decision making for Lin. And with Jason Kidd now on the Knicks, he can be a mentor for Lin, showing him the ins and outs of the game.
Lin also proved to be a cash cow for the Knicks and the NBA while he became an international phenomenon.
In 2010-11, the NBA had its strongest presence to date in China via television, online and mobile. But through only the first and week and a half after Linsanity started on Feb. 4, those properties soared to new heights. China's CCTV had a 39 percent viewership rise and NBA.com/China amassed 4.7 billion page views (a 43 percent increase from last season).
It didn't stop there. Lin's followers on Sina (the Chinese version of Twitter) went from more than 190,000 on Feb. 2 to about 916,000 through Feb. 14. And during that same time frame in the United States, Lin had more mentions than LeBron James on Twitter.
In his short time in the NBA, Lin has proven to be a tactician, not a warrior.
Leading up to his free agency and even during the process, he has made moves to put himself in the best financial situation. Lin refused to play in the Miami Heat playoff series because he wasn't at 100 percent. A true warrior like Allen Iverson would have went to battle, even with injuries. The Harvard grad also had an opportunity to compete for Team U.S.A. and chose not because of his free agency.
All of this led to Lin's lucrative contract with the Rockets, one that is surely going to get matched by the Knicks.