In what became the second biggest debate around the basketball world over the past week and change – the first being the Dream Team vs. 2012 fantasy matchup – the New York Knicks made it official. Jeremy Lin wasn’t worth dishing out damn near $30M confirming the surprisingly controversial point guard returns to the team which originally cut him, the Houston Rockets. And with that, let’s run through this cliff notes style.
— On one hand, I understand those Knicks fans who wanted Jeremy to return. Somewhat. He had a good month and change and, without his run through the NBA and pop culture, the Knicks don’t make the playoffs. Then again, on the other hand, did you really want to throw that much money at guy who could still be a flash in the pan as opposed to consistent starter? Really, this is the same guy who said he was 85% to play in the Heat series but refused. Listen, Jeremy Lin’s story was one of the best feel good ones in awhile. We all know that, but the verdict on his longevity is still in deliberation.
— Feelings were hurt in this deal too. Jim Dolan allegedly felt insulted Lin didn’t show any loyalty to the organization by hiring a publicist without consulting them and attempting to restructure his contract. Let’s move on from the sports and “loyalty” talk before this gets weird.
— I say that to say this. Let’s say J-Lin makes me eat those words and becomes the point guard the hype led so many to believe he was. Can you imagine what his NEXT contract will look like? I’d make a joke, but chances are it would come off as racially insensitive. And I’m not that kind of guy.
— So with the Lakers reportedly being back in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes for the 782nd time, where does this leave Houston? They’ve got their point guard that will put butts in the seats (at least starting off) and a guy who basically corners the Asian NBA market in the manner Yao did. So can they get him the most controversial player in the game who just happens to be the best center? Even still, a Lin-Howard 1-2 (or is it 2-2) punch still doesn’t scream “championship.” Not when there’s that team in Oklahoma City out west.
— The Knicks now have Jason Kidd who just happens to be the new face of AA. Then there’s also the reacquisition of Raymond Felton. In an ideal scenario, we get a Kidd rehab reality show and Felton shows the promise he did before the Knicks gutted their entire roster for Carmelo. There also needs to be a camera around when Felton and Melo have their first conversation. That’s definitely a “that awkward moment when…” moment. In a worst nightmare scenario, however, Felton returns to the Big Apple looking like this. That’s the last Raymond weight joke that will be told this evening. I promise.
— Lin in Houston all but guarantees he’s going to be the starting point guard for the West in the 2013 All Star Game, which, you know, just happens to be in Houston. I fully expect for Chris Paul to publicly execute him in the first Clippers/Rockets game with one of those 25-13-10 games. And some high quality trash talk. Someone make sure Julius Hodge has a Lin jersey that night.
Bonus: Grant Hill signed with the Clippers giving them a rotation which will probably go nine deep and a team which should be even better than they were last season. This also signifies damn near half of their roster has had season ending injuries at least once in their career. Unfortunately, the “Cripple City” joke has already been run into the ground via Twitter.