Many puns regarding Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin's name were written in the New York media during the peak of "Linsanity." Names such as "Super Lin-tendo," "Linsational" and "Mr. Lincredible" are just some of the many that were thrown around the walls of Madison Square Garden.
The concept of No. 17 going anywhere else after his emergence last season seemed "Linsane," until now. The $25 million contract offer on the table from the Houston Rockets with Jeremy Lin's signature on it seems to signal the end of his tenure in the Big Apple.
It is understandable that Jeremy Lin would flock towards the money offered to him by the Rockets. For a player that had a non-guaranteed contract and was living on then-teammate Landry Fields' couch, $25 million is a life-changing raise.
The media frenzy will still follow Lin, especially in his first full season away from New York, albeit to a lesser extent than in the media capital of the world.
Lin will also be given the opportunity to start on a less star-studded roster than in New York, where chemistry questions still remain. The ball will flow through Lin's hands, and he will be relied upon to keep Houston's offense flowing.
With the Knicks, he had to maximize Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire's games, as well as keep the team and fans happy. As many New York athletes can attest, that is a very arduous task.
Was Lin Wrong for Signing the Rockets' Offer Sheet?
With that being said, like any real fan, I wish there were some sense of loyalty left in sports. New York gave Lin an opportunity that almost the entire league didn't. There is no guarantee Lin would even be in the NBA today without the Knicks' willingness to take a chance that paid off.
Yet, like any free agent, Lin explored his options and put the Knicks in a precarious position by signing his offer sheet.
The New York Post's Marc Berman is now reporting that the Knicks were "bitter" that Lin shared the information that they would match the initial Rockets offer, possibly prompting an alteration in the offer.
While "Linsanity" was a buzz in New York, the Knicks will be just fine without it. Although Lin averaged 14.6 PPG and 6.2 APG, their lineup still contains the talents of Anthony and Stoudemire, grizzled experience in Marcus Camby and Jason Kidd, and a familiar face in the newly acquired Raymond Felton.
In his one season in New York, Felton found chemistry in the pick-and-roll with Stoudemire and averaged 17.1 PPG and nine APG, an improvement on Lin's numbers.
Had the Knicks matched the latest offer by the Rockets, the team would be strapped with a $14 million hit in year three and a luxury tax that could increase that damage to around $30 million.
Lin was a good player in his 35 games, but at that financial hit, he would be worth more than Anthony, Stoudemire or the rest of the roster combined.
With the amount of cash needed to cover that number, a questionable knee, and an unsure future after only a glimpse of what Lin is capable of, letting Lin fly south is the best option.