New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin is heading in to his third NBA season. But most importantly, this will be the first NBA season where anyone will expect anything out of him. We say all this to say that despite Lin bursting on the national scene last season, he is young and still has a lot to learn both on and off the court.
On the court, the things he needs to work on this season are clear: defense, running a team, and cutting down on the turnovers. Off the court, it has become clear that he doesn’t quite understand how the NBA business works. That lack of knowledge led to him becoming upset with the Knicks’ handling of his contract situation. And though all indications were that the Knicks were always going to match Houston’s offer sheet to Lin, Lin took it personal that the Knicks did not offer him a contract before Houston did.
Despite expressing no reservations about matching the exorbitant Rockets’ offer sheet, which can become official Wednesday with Lin’s signature, the Knicks are concerned that Lin has turned a little frosty toward the organization because he feels slighted that New York didn’t offer him a contract first.
Lin should be indebted to the Knicks for giving him a chance to play after several teams, including the Rockets, gave up on him. But when the Rockets last week offered him a deal that guarantees him $19 million over the first three seasons of his new four-year deal, the Knicks learned that Lin had been swayed by Houston to think the Knicks weren’t as interested in his services as the Rockets.
“He was surprised that the Knicks didn’t make the first move,’’ a league source said. “They know they’ve got to mend some fences with him because he believes what the Rockets have told him, that the Knicks weren’t as interested as they are.’’
“What he has to learn is that it’s not personal,’’ said the source. “The Knicks merely played by the rules.’’
Just another indication that Jeremy Lin isn’t quite there yet. Truth be told, Lin should be thankful for the Knicks not offering him contract allowing the Rockets to sign him to an offer sheet. Now he’ll be making more money than he should be.