If you listened to All Things Considered on NPR today, you heard a brief comment from me on Jeremy Lin (every basketball fan’s favorite topic).
My interview with Joel Rose actually took much longer than the two quotes you heard. What we talked about, though, doesn’t take that long to summarize.
In 26 games last year (from February 6 to March 24), Jeremy Lin was an above average starting point guard for the New York Knicks. If he could maintain this production – and kept getting significant minutes – Lin would be worth $25 million over three seasons. In fact, even with the luxury tax payments, Lin – if he was productive and he played – might be worth the money (well, maybe not given the luxury tax analysis of Larry Coon – insider access required; but maybe so if you read Patrick Minton :)
Ignoring the luxury tax issue, though, it is difficult to say if Lin will produce enough across the next three seasons to justify a $25 million salary. The signing of Jason Kidd suggests the Knicks were not planning on playing Lin 30+ minutes a night at point guard next season (although with Kidd’s age, that could happen). More importantly, a sample of 26 games might not be enough for us to know that Lin is definitely going to be productive going forward.
There is another issue that I think people have overlooked with respect to Lin. Consider these numbers:
These are how many field goal attempts Lin, Raymond Felton, and Jason Kidd hoisted last season per 36 minutes. Relative to Kidd and Felton, Lin is more interested in taking shots. And as I have noted in the past, players take shots from their teammates. This means that despite what Carmelo Anthony said today, Melo would probably prefer Kidd and Felton be the point guards on this team. And so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that Lin is moving on to Houston.
By the way, my interview with Rose actually took place on Monday afternoon. After I spoke with Rose, a number of interesting Lin stories appeared. A brief list includes…
And the Larry Coon article cited above (which should be read before you read the Minton piece).
All of this could have helped me in my discussion with Rose. As I have noted before, interviews are very much like taking a test. But unfortunately, I didn’t see any of these before I took my exam. Despite this problem, I think I did okay (and if you disagree… well, I am the professor grading this test :)