Knicks fans are saying the team’s decision to end Linsanity is pure insanity.
“I’m disappointed,” said Arthur Garfinkel, a business owner in Bayside. “I think one of the key pieces is to have a great point guard. In his stint he [Lin] actually dominated in the league. Now they’ve replaced him with Raymond Felton, who is 20 pounds overweight. Without Lin I think they have no chance, but with him they had a chance.”
The New York Knicks chose not to match the Houston Rockets offer sheet that is worth more than $25 million and contained the “poison pill” third year worth nearly $15 million. The team had until midnight to make a decision after the offer sheet was delivered this weekend.
“It’s disappointing, because it was a nice, little run when he was plugged into the line-up and it brought excitement to New York and the Garden,” said Whitestone local Chris Evans. “We’ll see what he [James Dolan] has up his sleeves. He always seems to hurt the team rather than help.”
Linsanity took over New York City and spread throughout the country during February as Lin led the Knicks on a winning streak upon entering the starting lineup. Lin’s run landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated back-to-back issues as well as being named one of Time‘s “100 Most Influential People.”
Jeremy Lin signed onto Twitter shortly after the move became official to thank Knicks fans.
“Much love and thankfulness to the Knicks and New York for your support this past year…easily the best year of my life
In 25 games as a starter Lin averaged 18.2 points per game and 7.7 assists.
With the Knicks likely to be over the salary cap during Lin’s third year, his salary would have cost the team more than $40 million due to the luxury tax.
Nearly 15,000 fans signed a petition urging management to keep Lin in New York.
“Jeremy Lin is the best thing that has happened to New York Knicks basketball in the last 20 years,” the petition reads. “Don’t let Jeremy Lin go — match the Rockets’ offer.”
Some fans realized this is just the industry at work.
“It’s a little upsetting, but money talks,” said Queens resident Scott B. “It’s the nature of the business.”
— Additional reporting by Liam La Guerre