Unfortunately for New York Knick fans, the unthinkable and irresponsible decision to allow Jeremy Lin to walk out of Madison Square Garden was met with no rage and little irritation by the media in the metropolitan area.
After a history of outrageous moves with disastrous effects on the franchise, James Dolan, the worst owner in professional sports history, has largely earned a free pass with the New York media - a group that is bold and vocal in their displeasure with other local personalities, both in the owner's box and on the field. Yes, there are a few dissenting voices, but even those are relatively tame, opting to share only vague head-scratching sentiment concerning Dolan's actions.
If you're baffled how James Dolan can hold a franchise hostage for so long with little recrimination, look to the absence of intense criticism from the watch dogs, unfortunately necessary to generate consensus. In this particular scenario, there was not one rational reason to let Jeremy Lin go. The Knicks cannot sign free agents outside of their own organization, because of salary cap issues, but they are allowed to keep their own. So when they passed on Lin, they were left with retread Raymond Felton. Frankly, they could have re-signed Lin, and kept Felton in reserve, or vice versa. Neither would have liked it, but that's why they pay coaches. There would be no surprise if griping about minutes diminished with victories. Jason Kidd? That's a mistake they would have had to absorb.
Ask yourself, and everyone around you, if a backcourt of Lin, Felton, and Kidd (the Knicks went through point guards last year like drinks at happy hour) or Lin and Kidd is not a better team than the one Dolan has left them.
By the way, why haven't the clueless Knicks who have lambasted the contract, Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith, been questioned. Anthony's contract contributes extraordinarily to whatever salary cap issues the Knicks will have in the third year of Lin's deal. And Smith hasn't earned the right to criticize anything or anybody until he has an impact like Lin had last year.
You want to know about media members serving at the foot of Dolan's throne? Take a peek at Mitch Lawrence's column in the Daily News (July 19) in which he skewers Lin for his role in sitting out during the Miami Heat playoff series - an issue which doesn't remotely impact the issue at hand. It's as transparent a diversionary tactic as has ever been attempted in a New York daily newspaper concerning sports.
As long as Dolan carries the sports writers in New York in his pocket, the Knicks are doomed to repeat the past - not a good thing.
Glenn Vallach has been a basketball fan, player, and coach during his lifetime and, as such, an ardent follower of the NBA even with all its warts. He have also been a New York Knick fan since the days of Howie Komives and Walt Bellamy, when he regularly boarded the IRT Subway at 180th Street in the Bronx for a trip to the Garden to see his heroes.
- Yahoo! Sports New York Knicks page
- Yahoo! Sports Jeremy Lin page
- Yahoo! Sports Raymond Felton page
- Yahoo! Sports Carmelo Anthony page
- Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie, Yahoo! Sports, MSG stock dives following Jeremy Lin's departure, after an initial upshot in the wake of 'Linsanity'
- Mitch Lawrence, Daily News, From comfort of Houston, Lin changes story on Miami Heat