Jeremy Lin’s time with the Knicks ended when Carmelo Anthony's ankle healed late last season. The Knicks’ fast break and open-man passes ended, and the ball gravitated to Anthony, and Lin’s usefulness reached a grinding halt.
Anthony demonstrated scorn for the rookie point guard, his body language effectively saying, “Just get me the ball, Junior, and get out of my way.”
Lin would have been wise to make a personal fast break at half the price, so he could develop his skills, but the $25.1-million offer for three years from Houston was a no-brainer, for all concerned.
Now Lin will have a chance to develop, but the real pressure is on the Knicks’ ownership, which put so much faith in Anthony’s self-involved game. He has never shown he can carry a team in the playoffs, when defenses are ratcheted up. He does not have the imagination or discipline for that level of ball.
One thing we can all expect: Jeremy Lin will never express those thoughts. He’s too smart and too polite to go over the end of his run with the Knicks. He gets to start over in Houston. The Knicks start over with new point guards trying to deliver the ball to Anthony. The Garden will be watching.
Welcome to World Cup 2022, the most absurd thing that the routinely absurd world of sports has ever produced.
Those extreme descriptions were what virtually the entire world, save for those who had walked off with bags of cash from Qatar, called the awarding of soccer’s greatest event to the incredibly tiny, incredibly wealthy country back in 2010.
Twelve years ago, many were convinced this event couldn’t possibly happen: staging the world’s biggest sporting event in a country the size of Connecticut, one with zero soccer culture and even less soccer infrastructure? The tournament couldn’t possibly take place in 120-degree heat, and FIFA, the governing body of soccer, most certainly wouldn’t upend football leagues around the world to change the traditional summer schedule, could it?
And, for God’s sake, what about the beer?
Those were just the logistical concerns. The moral concerns are far more distressing. FIFA, so busy paying lip service to equality, couldn’t possibly expect the world to embrace a country where you could go to prison for being gay, where women’s rights are severely curtailed and female victims of sexual assault could go to prison, charged with engaging in extramarital sex. And all those questions came before the global realization that the World Cup was being built on the backs of migrant labor: modern-day slaves held in Qatar with virtually no rights, low wages and no ability to leave. Migrants make up 90% of Qatar’s stated population of 3 million. The country’s native-born equal about 300,000, or roughly the size of Anaheim.
---Ann Killion, columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle.