Last week, we jumped on Jeremy Lin about taking the business side of the NBA personally. At the time it was reported that Lin was upset with the Knicks organization for not offering him a contract before the Rockets ever got into the mix. And since we took time to point out that Lin shouldn’t be taking things personally during a negotiation, it’s only right that we do the same when we find out that Knicks owner James Dolan essentially did the same thing.
According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, Dolan’s decision to not match Jeremy Lin’s offer sheet was of course based on financials, but a large part of it was also emotional. In fact, Isola says that Dolan was “upset” that Lin restructured his deal with Houston and he felt “betrayed” and like he was “deceived.”
The decision was both financial and emotional since Garden chairman James Dolan was upset over Lin restructuring his deal with Houston last week to include a third year salary of $14.9 million. Dolan, according to sources, felt he was deceived by the 23-year-old Lin.
“Much love and thankfulness to the Knicks and New York for your support this past year,” Lin said on Twitter. “Easily the best year of my life. #ForeverGrateful.”
Of course, team officials privately felt that Lin’s actions over the past few weeks were anything but grateful. They were upset that he hired a publicist without their consent and were livid that the second-year point guard out of Harvard went back to the Rockets for more money.
That third-year balloon payment of $14.9 million could have cost the Knicks another $35 million or more in luxury-tax penalties. Dolan has a history of overpaying his players and has never shied away from the luxury tax before.
But in this case, Dolan felt betrayed by Lin for going back to Houston to rework the contract. After all, the Knicks acquired Lin in December after he was released by both Golden State and Houston.
If this decision was made on the financials alone, we would have no problem with Dolan letting Lin walk. But to be upset that someone wanted to get the most money they could is preposterous.
Now we will say, if we fault anyone for how this all unfolded, it would be Lin. He has now said that he preferred New York over Houston, but he went ahead and priced himself out of New York anyway. He has no one to blame for all this but himself.