With sources from out the woodwork claiming that the New York Knicks won’t match Jeremy Lin’s contract from Houston, many of their fans are in disarray. A petition for James Dolan to match the contract offer for Lin has gained steam, and the phone lines of New York radio lines are on fire. The dialog has largely been the same:
“He’s only 23 with so much potential!”
“He’s so much better than Raymond Felton!”
“You can’t lose him for nothing!”
“If they don’t match I’ll no longer be a Knicks fan!”
There are so many opinions and emotions following this story. Everybody has an opinion on what the Knicks should or shouldn’t do before 11:59 tonight. However, the point is being completely missed.
Jeremy Lin does not want to play for the New York Knicks. It’s that simple.
There are no sources or people close to the situation that have told me this information. I’m simply looking at the actions of Lin. After all, actions do speak louder than words.
Let’s go back to the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Sitting on the bench with the nice suit and glasses on, Jeremy Lin was healed up to 85 percent by his own admission. Down the scorers’ table from him sat Dwyane Wade who had to have his knee drained and was much less than 85 percent. However, he wore a jersey and shorts and got out on the court to give it all he had.
What happened next is telling. Lin watched as Iman Shumpert and Baron Davis blew their knees out, and sat when Amare had a disagreement with a fire extinguisher. He watched as Mike Miller gave his all, walking as if he had a steel pole strapped to his spine. And through it all, Lin just sat there and didn’t play.
He could have. He just didn’t want to.
Now, let’s look at the restricted free agency fiasco. The first thing to be said is that you don’t get paid what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. So I’m not going to argue whether he deserves the money or not because that’s irrelevant.
It’s reported that Lin first agreed to a contract of a little over five million dollars for years one and two, then over nine million dollars for years three and four, with the fourth being a team option.
As widely reported, the Knicks were all in on matching that contract. Four years, 28 million dollars. Welcome back Jeremy Lin. Coach Woodson even came out and anointed Lin as his starter. All was well in Gotham City.
After talking to the Knicks, Lin went back to the Rockets and renegotiated that deal and instead opted to go for a three year, 25 million dollar deal with a third year worth 14.8 million dollars.
Now what needs to be clear is that just because you’re a restricted free agent, it doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to sign the offer sheet. He chose to. Changing that offer sheet to be even more damaging in the third year of his contract made a statement.
It says to the Knicks loud and clear, "I don't want to be here."
Everybody on radio and TV is saying this is a big mistake for the Knicks to let him go. Some fans on the radio are saying that the Knicks brass don’t know how to run a team. What they should ask is why doesn’t Jeremy Lin want to embrace the city that gave him the chance and made him the sensation he is.
His actions have spoken loudly. Haven’t you been listening?
Montique David is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. You can follow on Twitter @Montiqued and tweet him your thoughts.