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J.R. Smith suggests Lin contract would not go over well in Knicks locker room

Jul 15, 2012, 8:18 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v New York Knicks Getty Images

There’s a real question now whether the Knicks will match the Jeremy Lin offer sheet from Houston, a three-year, $25 million offer. They have until Tuesday to decide.

On one hand there is the fact Lin is not worth that much, he’s really not worth the $14.2 million he makes the third year of the deal. With the Knicks just signing Raymond Felton and with Jason Kidd on the roster, the Knicks don’t need him, it’s not a basketball move.

But the Lin contract was never really about basketball — the man sells a lot of jersey, sells tickets and has sponsors lining up. He’s good for business and a deal at $5 million a year, which is what he makes the first two years of the contract. It’s the third year that is in question — is it worth it?

But there’s another consideration for New York: What would it do to the Knicks locker room? J.R. Smith was honest and told Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated it wouldn’t be good.

“I think some guys take it personal, because they’ve been doing it longer and haven’t received any reward for it yet. I think it’s a tough subject to touch on for a lot of guys.”

Carmelo Anthony already called the Lin contract offer “ridiculous.” And in a basketball terms he is right, Lin might be solid starting PG in a few years, but he’s not a $14 million a year guy. Especially not in an NBA world with a punitive looming luxury tax coming.

But this is a business decision. This is a James Dolan decision.

106 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. papichulo55 - Jul 16, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    So exactly where does the racism start? Is it right that league needs a Chinese face to help market their product in Asia? Kevin Durant is a nice, well spoken, young man who loves his mama, and has CRAZY basketball skills. Why is he, and others like him, not good enough? Why cant people just see Kevin Durant as a basketball player, not a black basketball player?

    When you can answer that, then you might have a better insight as to why there is resentment.

    • savvybynature - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM

      I get your point, but regardless if its right or not it isn’t Lin’s fault that his race/family history make him a compelling story for a large segment of the planet.

      If JR Smith wants to make things better and help create a post-racial world, maybe he should have shown up for more practices on the Chinese team he agreed to play on, instead of going on shopping trips. Maybe he could have respected the culture more and reached out to fans to foster cross culture support. Or, you know, he could do none of those things and then blame the Asian guy for accepting a contract that he would have signed in a second. I mean, going back to your point, how does JR Smith’s conduct or comments help address this perceived problem?

  2. papichulo55 - Jul 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Granted JR is who he is. I wouldnt be happy having him date my daughter, OK? But he gave his all to his team during the playoffs. Mr. Lin decided that he couldnt play because he was only, in his words, 85%. WTF?! How many players played during the playoffs with various injuries. Look at the champs. They had TWO players who had injuries equal to or greater than Mr Lins.

    Cant you understand the resentment of a guy who chose to put his contract issues ahead of the team, DURING THE PLAYOFFS?!! He went Hollywood on his team mates at the wrong time.

    JR is the crazy one: not too much sponsorship money to lose. But you can be sure that there are several players on that team that feel the same way.

    • The Prophet - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:14 AM

      Lin has since clarified his 85% comment as being 85% to being able to play at all, not 15% shy of being at full power and ability.

  3. cholos909 - Jul 16, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    why dont they do a “allstar clause” i kno they did that on another contract i wanaa say clips did it to blakes contract……. def dont think lin is worth all that money to play he does bring in alot of revinue tho regaurding ticket sales endorsments apparell…..

  4. jkaflagg - Jul 16, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    One consideration that I haven’t seen anyone discuss yet – now that Mike D’Antoni is gone, perhaps an intelligent guy like Lin realizes that a team full of me-first knuckleheads like Melo, Amare & JR Smith is not the best place to pursue a career as a winning basketball player….He’ll lose some marketing exposure for sure, but I ‘m pretty sure that he’ll do just fine with the new contract, as he doesn’t seem like the type of guy to blow it all on bling and entourages.

    Now we can go back to those laughable Knicks we all know and love…..please explain to me again how Ray Felton, a point guard who is continuously traded by teams desperately needing point guards, is going to become the next Frazier…..

  5. omniusprime - Jul 17, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    The Knicks have chemistry? Now that’s the joke of the century, the Knicks have chemistry. What planet do you live on Kurt Helin? Only an idiot would think that the Knicks should have wasted any money on Linept Sorry but Linept has always been a mediocre player at best except for a few games last year because no team that Linept played well against took him seriously enough to bother guarding him. Let’s face it the Knicks will be the same natural born losers who won’t win a title they have been for so many decades. No Willis Reeds or Walt Frasiers in this current crop of losers.

  6. Flashmob 215 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    When you think about how much money will come from the Linsanity hype alone (jerseys & bobble heads n stuff), i guess he’s worth it. Rockets want that Yao money back

  7. The Prophet - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    Hearing this from JR, plus the Carmelo “ridiculous” comments, makes me very happy for Lin that he’s with a new team. The attitude that Melo, JR and possibly other Knicks have is why they are consistent losers. Good luck Jeremy …

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