Jeremy Lin was in Houston, saying all the right things and sounding excited to be in Texas at his press conference on Thursday. He talked about wanting to win, wanting to be part of the community, how good the fans have been to him.
But the interesting part of the story is still how he got there in the first place. Lin himself still sounds a little mystified by it all, according to the AP.
“It’s been an unbelievable ride,” Lin said. “Just a lot of things I didn’t expect to happen, in terms of just the way last season went. I still have to kind of remind myself that this is all actually happening, sometimes. But it’s a huge blessing. I can’t believe how it all shaped up and for me to be here right now. I’m definitely excited and thankful.”
How it actually happened is complex, like any good story. And like any story, how you perceive what happens depends on where you stood — in the Lin camp, in the Knicks camp, in the Rockets camp or elsewhere. Henry Abbott at TrueHoop has done a better job than anyone breaking it down in a six-part story that looked at how it went down.
To whet your appetite, here is what he said about the perspectives of Lin in this process and the Knicks.
“Only Jeremy and his agents know for sure what their motive was,” one league executive said. “But it does appear like they overplayed their hand if he truly hoped to stay in New York. They got the strong impression that the Knicks would match anything. They didn’t anticipate [New York] had a backup plan.”
From the New York point of view, was Lin worth an average of $8 million per season — plus penalties — when they could get Felton for less than half that?
Furthermore, the Knicks calculated that Linsanity might not be worth as much as assumed. While the value of the Lin phenomenon has been much discussed, the Knicks saw it differently from most observers. Their season-ticket sales were strong and their sponsorships were stronger. Any money from the sale of Lin jerseys or Knicks’ merchandise around the world goes into a leaguewide pool, with the Knicks getting the same portion as any other team, according to revenue-sharing rules. Likewise, their share of the league’s TV contracts would not change whether Lin was on the team or not, no matter how many people in New York or Asia were watching.
Go read the entire breakdown, it’s worth it.