Between February 4th and March 24th this year, something big was going on in the New York Knicks organization. Jeremy Lin burst out onto the scene and no one saw it coming. Baron Davis' unfortunate injury made way for Linsanity, the Lincredible Hulk, Linteresting and whatever other puns media outlets could think of. With Davis out, Lin stepped in, and he accomplished more than anyone ever thought he would.
I mean, we're talking about a Harvard graduate who was waived by the Golden State Warriors, claimed by the Rockets and then waived again. When he was on the Knicks, he was simply a bench player with a minimum salary. Many were surprised when it was announced that Lin would be headed to the Rockets, but Knicks fans, and Lin fans especially, need to understand that it all came down to the money.
If Lin stayed in New York, the third year of his contract would've been for almost $15 million and the Knicks would have then been forced to pay more than double that for luxury tax payments because of the new collective bargaining agreement. Plain and simple, the Knicks didn't feel like he was worth that much.
Now back in Houston, Lin will have to show the NBA world just how good he really is. However, for some New York fans, Jeremy Lin and the "Linsanity" that he brought to the table was too good to pass up. He rejuvenated a frustrated team, brought more fans in from the Asian and Asian-American communities and made Madison Square Garden go wild every night he showed face.
Lin also signed endorsement deals with Ivo and Nike for around $7.2 million. He changed the New York Knicks, and people that weren't basketball fans were now tuning in to see how Lin performed on the court.
One of Lin's most memorable performances was when the Knicks played Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers on February 10th. The Lakers were probably the best team the Knicks had faced since Linsanity began, and facing the boys in purple and yellow was a true test to Lin's skills. The Harvard graduate finished the game with 38 points, seven assists and four rebounds. Many wondered why he committed so many turnovers that game (six total); however, since Lin constantly had possession of the ball, accidents were bound to happen.
When Lin's departure from New York was starting to become inevitable, fans weren't the only ones unhappy. Investors of Madison Square Garden's stock faced an upset when they found out that the stock dropped 8.5 percent in two weeks. While it's not proven that Lin's exit is the cause for such a drop, it's pretty obvious it had something to do with it.
Jeremy Lin's era in New York is over, and Houston will just have to hope that he carries over even a fragment of the success he experienced in the Big Apple.
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