Where Does Jeremy Lin Go From Here?

Where Does Jeremy Lin Go From Here?

Consciously or not, writing on the Internet is always, in part, about the Internet. Every meme, news story, and event has its own momentum and it's nearly impossible to commit anything to print without first taking into account how, exactly, the topic at hand has been handled by the thousands of bloggers who hit "publish" before you. And because bloggers are such a self-aware bunch (not in a particularly good way, but more in an "I know I'm probably wasting my life and destroying the pursuit of truth in the process" way), stories usually get processed through the Internet's very own internal logic. As such, when news breaks about Jeremy Lin's potentially season-ending injury, one must resist the urge to call up Keyboard Cat to play off the entire Linsanity era. In about 30 or so games, Jeremy Lin inspired about 50 different memes, an Internet scandal, T-shirt contests, and a mini-cultural revolution. All that noise has mostly been put to rest — Jeremy Lin now exists as a promising 23-year-old point guard and an even more promising business opportunity to whatever team ends up paying for his services

Investing in Linsanity is a high-risk, high-yield gamble. Has there been a more volatile 35-game sample in the history of professional sports? What do you do with a point guard who scored 161 points in six games and dragged a thoroughly depressing, wildly expensive team into the international spotlight? How do you monetize Jeremy Lin's impact in China against salary caps and luxury tax multipliers? During the first week of Linsanity, the stock prices of Madison Square Garden, Inc. went from $29.32 to $31.15, increasing the company's value by $139 million. That was a week. How the hell do you build a business model around that? What's more, the Knicks have already gone through five different acts this year — the terrible, joyless bunch that was a nightly candidate for our "A Fate Worse Than Death" series; the Linsanity Knicks; the Re-Education of Carmelo Anthony; the Melo witch hunt; and now, the Woodsanity era. Given the team's instability and the fact that Jeremy Lin will no longer be available for evaluation, how do the Knicks decide what to offer him? Do they take the happy, relatively turnover-free Woodson era, break the bank, swallow any luxury tax implications, and present their fan base with Lin, Melo, STAT, and Tyson Chandler and absolutely no one else of consequence? Or do they change course, à la the Broncos, and make a very unpopular basketball decision?

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