Despite his success last season, the Knicks decided to let Jeremy Lin walk, while getting nothing for him in return.
New York was unwilling to match Houston's offer sheet worth $25 million over three years. The deal pays Lin $14.8 million in 2014-15, and the Knicks were unwilling to commit that much money to the point guard.
Jeremy Lin will play for the Rockets next year.
There are a lot of questions surrounding Lin's potential. After the height of "Linsanity," he wasn't able to maintain his extremely high caliber of play. He was a productive point guard, but nothing close to what he accomplished in his first few games.
Still, Lin is only 23 years old and showed that he has the potential to be a great player. Why are so many people skeptical about his ability to perform in the NBA?
Comedian Chris Rock, and lifelong Knicks fan, thinks Lin's race might have something to do with it.
"If Lin were a 23 old black kid who came straight from high school and had tat on his neck that said thug life and happened to score 38 points on the Lakers I don't think anyone would question his contract," tweeted Rock.
Is it possible that Lin's critics question him because he is Asian?
Lin certainly is an anomaly in the NBA. He is the only current Asian American in the league, and there have only been a handful to play professional basketball in history. Players such as Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian were recently in the NBA, but weren't born in the U.S.
Many have questioned Lin's potential to be a starter, even though he had some of the best performances of the past year. As Rock mentioned, he scored 38 points against the Lakers, and had a 28-point, 14-assist effort against the then defending champion Mavericks.
The Harvard graduate didn't have just a few good games. He played well for most of the 25 starts he made, averaging over 18 points and 7.7 assists per contest.
New York replaced Lin with Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton. Lin averaged more points and assists than Felton did last season, while the 39-year-old Kidd had the worst season of his career.
As of one year ago, 78 percent of the league was made up of black players. Just one percent was Asian. The Knicks roster is currently made up of 11 black players, with Steve Novak being the only white player.
Lin was the subject of some racial discrimination during last season. An ESPN employee was suspended after writing a headline that contained a racial slur. Even Lin admitted that some might not take him as a threat on the court because of his ethnicity.
"I know a lot of people say I'm "deceptively athletic" and "deceptively quick," and I'm not sure what's deceptive. But it could be the fact that I'm Asian-American," Lin told Steve Aschburner of nba.com. "But I think that's fine. It's something that I embrace, and it gives me a chip on my shoulder. But I'm very proud to be Asian-American and I love it."
Lin will get a chance to prove his critics wrong in Houston next year. He told Sports Illustrated that he wanted to stay in New York.
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