Jeremy Lin and the Knicks Deserve to Not Have Each Other

Bryan GoldbergSenior Writer IJuly 16, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 11:  NBA player Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks accepts the Best Breakthrough Athlete award onstage during the 2012 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Earlier this afternoon, Stephen A. Smith reported that it is unlikely that the Knicks will re-sign Jeremy Lin, in the wake of his offer from the Houston Rockets. 

If this is true, then the Knicks and Jeremy Lin deserve to not have one another, since each is equally guilty of being completely short-sighted, intellectually unsophisticated, and—quite possibly—dumb as rocks. 

Let me begin by saying that I am not an NBA expert. Or even a fan, to be perfectly honest. But I was one of millions of Americans who watched every single Knicks game during his miracle stretch in February.

That's right. Every single one.

For a man who wants to puke when he hears about Tebowmania and can't name a single Justin Bieber song, it is highly unusual for me to be 'captivated' by a major American phenomenon. American Idol didn't do it for me, and I don't plan to read any of the Harry Potter, Twilight, or Fifty Shades books.

But I bought Linsanity...hook, line and sinker.

The reason was because it really was an amazing tale. Every last part of the storyline. He wasn't drafted. He was the first Asian-American star. He went to Harvard—yes—Nerd University. He barely made the team...

But most of all, he was doing it in the Big Apple. Everything is bigger and more exciting when it happens in New York.

And this is why I am so disappointed in Jeremy Lin. 

While I'm sure that the Rockets offer began as a negotiation ploy, and eventually turned into something real, the truth is that Lin shot himself in the foot. 

What's a few extra million dollars in salary when it costs you tens of millions of dollars in endorsements?

New York makes that difference.

Do you think that Eli Manning's endorsements would have been the same if he played in Super Bowls for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Baltimore Ravens? Ask Trent Dilfer.

Jeremy Lin held the key to New York City in the palm of his hand, and it looks like he just tossed it in the East River.

And the Knicks should be equally ashamed.

They blew it.

Do they realize how much he was worth to them?

Forget about his scoring or assists, or even his turnovers.

Even if it were his fate to be a sixth man or a middle-of-the-road starting point guard, Jeremy Lin brought them an Asian fan base measured in tens of millions.

Let me rephrase that last point in a more summary manner: $$$$$$.

And this was not just Americans of Asian descent. His games were watched in Taiwan and China. Religiously.

How many Lin jerseys and overseas broadcast rights did they just cost themselves? A lot.

In short, Jeremy Lin was just more valuable as a New Yorker—and both parties benefited from that synergy.

Jason Kidd still has life left in him, and he is a future Hall of Famer. Great. Something tells me that there won't be lines out the door to buy #2 or #5 jerseys when they hit the shelves...