With deep gratitude for all the fun last winter, my best wish for Jeremy Lin is that the Knicks will somehow decline to match the sumptuous contract from Houston.
Lin cannot play to his potential with the Knicks, who are now a two-man team – Carmelo Anthony and James Dolan. Anthony has been empowered by ownership to call for the ball and make his solitary moves toward the basket.
Anthony is is a one-dimensional player with no concept of team motion. In their short time together, he displayed open scorn for Lin’s style of finding the holes and dishing to the open man. It was Anthony's team, Anthony's ball.
Jason Kidd is old enough and wise enough to adjust to Anthony’s self-centeredness. Otherwise, he would not have signed on. But Lin needs to find his rhythm for a full season in the N.B.A. with teammates who will play with him. That won’t happen with the Knicks.
As Howard Beck points out in his expert analysis in Saturday’s Times, the Knicks must respond to an offer sheet of $19.3-million for three years for Lin, as soon as next Wednesday. They have reason to wonder if he can become the point guard of the future.
Lin should have equal skepticism about whether he can succeed with the ball disappearing into the Bermuda Triangle that is Carmelo Anthony. With any luck, Lin fakes to New York and takes a quick step to Houston.
David Vecsey's sweet tale of distant love before the Web, now NYT Podcast, narrated by Griffin Dunne. Please see:
George Vecsey is Hofstra University's Alumnus of the Month! Read a Q&A with George here.