SBD/July 16, 2012/Franchises

Knicks Reportedly Not Planning To Match Rockets' Offer Sheet To Jeremy Lin

Lin's performance was the catalyst in settling TWC's blackout of MSG Network
After acquiring G Raymond Felton, the Knicks decided Saturday night that they “will not match” G Jeremy Lin’s “back-loaded" three-year, $25M offer sheet from the Rockets, according to a source cited by Marc Berman of the N.Y. POST. Knicks Owner James Dolan “might have matched the offer had it been done above board.” But the Knicks “were furious Lin renegotiated the contract after they had told him they would match it, knowing how deadly it would be financially to the organization’s coffers because of the tax.” Dolan is “all about loyalty and the revamped offer sheet rubbed him the wrong way” (N.Y. POST, 7/16). In N.Y., Mike Vaccaro wrote the Knicks “made a basketball decision and not a marketing decision.” Which is “exactly the way it should be” (N.Y. POST, 7/15). Also in N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote, "Dolan apparently decided Lin had done all he could in terms of producing ancillary revenue for MSG." Lin "delivered big time," and he was "the catalyst for settling Time Warner’s blackout of the MSG Network." That deal "resulted in a big payday for MSG.” If Lin does not return to the Knicks, MSG "could face a backlash from media and fans alike” because Lin “spread the kind of vibe only an underdog could” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/15). The N.Y. DAILY NEWS reports there is an “internet petition designed to convince James Dolan to match the Rockets’ ‘ridiculous’ offer.” As of last night, the petition “had gotten a little over 1,000 signatures," despite the creator of the petition “hoping for 100,000” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/16). In Houston, Jonathan Feigen wrote Lin’s value as a marketing force “is difficult to overstate.” The Knicks “do not have attendance issues, but Lin can bolster everything from sponsorship deals to stock prices.” The N.Y. market is “unparalleled for launching marketing opportunities.” The Rockets would “also receive many of those benefits.” For Lin, a return to Houston “could prove as fortuitous as his departure” (CHRON.com, 7/15).
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