Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Knicks Are Even Dumber Than You Think

By Josh Levin

Sports fans love surprises. Brian Baker coming back from several lifetimes’ worth of injuries to make a run at Wimbledon. The small-time Butler Bulldogs crashing the Final Four, then doing it again. Jeremy Lin going from an undrafted, unknown point guard to the sports world’s biggest name in two weeks. But the latest twist in Lin’s story—his departure from New York after the Knicks decided not to match the Houston Rockets’ $25.1 million offer sheet—shows that, in pro sports, the best narratives are no
match for mind-blowing managerial incompetence.

The NBA’s rules are designed to protect stupid teams like the Knicks from their own stupidity. The draft lottery rewards the worst franchises with the best picks. The maximum salary ensures that teams won’t spend too much on star players, who are drastically underpaid as compared to their value on an open market. And David Stern’s move to ban players from turning pro out of high school was designed to bring more certainty to player evaluation—to save scouts and general managers the embarrassment of taking a bust like Kwame Brown with the No. 1 pick.

The Knicks prove that no matter how much the league tries to help its least-competent franchises, stupidity always finds a way. New York was smart to pull Lin off the scrap heap, but it took James Dolan's franchise just a few steps to transform good fortune.

Read the rest here.


  1. Great link Bob-

    One thing the article doesn't touch on is the $1 million a year Lin saves(makes?) by moving from NY to Texas in terms of income taxes.

    I find the dynamics of tax structure in relation to these sports teams to be fascinating.

    It was suggested Lebron James move that income tax was a significant issue for him in his decision making as well as winning a ring.

  2. I enjoyed Lin's play as much as any basketball fan but I think Lin is being over paid. Lets think about the Knick's history on way over paid players:

    Allan Houston
    Larry Johnson

    I think they are still getting paid (kidding). In general there are a lot of bad contracts in the NBA.

    Lin is very talented and can flat out ball. Lin is a scoring point guard and excelled while Melo was out. Melo needs lots of touches, so does Lin.

    I think part of Lin's great 28 game run was there was no data on him. After a while teams figured out how to slow him down by using a "Zoolander" defense- forcing him to go left.

    Now tack on he went down with a decent knee injury. I am sure his knee will be like 95% as good.

    Does almost half of a shortended season warrant $28 million? I do not think so. Especially when trying to juggle the other big contracts in Amare and Melo. I am not a fan of the cap.

    I dislike Dolan. I am a Celtics fan with season tickets and sold my Linsanity game at the Garden for market price. I grew up in Springfield, MA and have been bombarded with basketball. I love to play, I love to watch. I dislike David Stern greatly. IMO league officiating in general is horrible, players are not allowed to get physical, he moved in the 3pt line, he is barring young talent from entering, he instituted a dress code policy that some players mock (hello those horrible black glasses), blocking the original NO Hornets deal to trade Paul was shady and the 2012 draft even shadier, plus he wants a minimum age for olypmics athletes.

    I also think the league needs to contract. Too many mediocre teams that dilute the talent pool with terrible contracts.

    Wenzel, get Lin on your radio show! P.S. If you are ever in Beantown during the NBA season and what to goto a C's game let me know. (FYI: I used to live at the Lansburg in DC near the Verizon Center and went to some NBA games there). P.P.S. You should go to the Mises in Manhattan event this Sept 14th.