Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Knicks and Lin

It has surprised me now and again when I meet people who lead or own organizations that are, financially at least, successful--and discover that they, to be polite, lack wisdom.  Sometimes I believe people latch onto or are given something that cannot fail without determined efforts to undermine it.  So, the enterprise is a success.  But still when you come face to face with the persons who are running the show you marvel at how such a simpleton rose to the position and how the organization can continue to survive.

Last year the Knicks got an unexpected breath of fresh and rejuvenating air when Jeremy Lin soared to stardom within the period of a few weeks.  Lin had been a benchwarmer, but because of injuries got an opportunity to be the starting guard. What he did was so sensational that he found himself on the cover of SI, earned a sports fan nickname, Linsanity, and made active fans out of New York basketball enthusiasts whose excitement had ebbed for so many years as the team played uninspired and losing basketball.

Lin was injured toward the end of the season so he could not participate in the playoffs, but had it not been for the energy he infused into the team, the Knicks would never have made the playoffs.

The wizards who own and manage the Knicks--the same brain trust that hired Isiah Thomas to coach and general manage the team--decided not to rehire Jeremy Lin for next year.  They went out and signed a very talented player in Carmelo Anthony last season, and the word is that Anthony and Lin did not mesh.

By not signing Lin, not only did the team reduce its chances for being successful, it hauled out the New York City fire department to put out the sparks of excitement that Lin had generated.  This befuddling move will remove fans from seats, set the press against the Knicks, move some New York fans to root for the Brooklyn Nets instead, and--oh by the way--result in the Knicks losing a competitive edge.

Jeremy Lin will play for the Houston Rockets next year.  It is the Rockets gain. That is about the only other entity that gains. Lin will lose the New York City exposure. The Knicks will lose a talented player. And the league will lose the excitement that Lin provided.

Probably good for Boston Celtic fans, though.  The Knicks play in the same division as the Celtics.  One less team to worry about.

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