Sunday, July 15, 2012

Why New York Knicks Fans Should Hate the Houston Rockets

(By a bitter Knicks fan)

My first memories of NBA basketball were Knicks versus Pacers in the 1994 NBA Playoffs. I didn’t know too much about the teams or the players, all I knew was that my sister wanted the local New York Knicks to keep on winning. I think I thought Reggie Miller was the greatest NBA player ever after watching that series, but somehow the Knicks won game 6 and 7 to advance to the NBA finals. At this age I didn’t understand the significance of the absence of Jordan and thought getting to the finals wasn’t that difficult. But like every new sports fan, you never forget the first time you heart gets broken by your new favorite team. For me, my enemy number one was the Houston Rockets. I still vividly remember Hakeem Olajuwon delivering the blow in game 6 with his block of John Starks' potential game-winner. I remember despising Robert Horry and the ugly face and head shape of Sam Cassell. Many of the writers on Gym Class All Stars will pick this series as their greatest sports moment, which only reminds me of the pain Houston caused me and my fellow Knicks fans 18 years ago. I hate the fact that Ewing was criticized for being dominated by Olajuwon. Ewing failed to score as much (was out scored 18.9 ppg to 26.9 ppg), but he still did enough to put his team in position to win a championship. People also don’t want to mention that Ewing out-rebounded Olajuwon 12.4 rpg to 9.1 rpg, or the fact that Ewing set a finals record with 30 blocks in the series.

As a kid I was set on hating the Rockets forever, but then something happened in 2001, when by some miracle the Rockets got the first pick in the draft. With that pick they took Yao Ming, and all my disdain for Houston disappeared. Looking back now, I realize how foolish I was to let myself support the same franchise that prevented my team from winning it all. I even purchased a Yao Ming Rockets jersey and paid to go to a playoff game in 2007 with Jonathan Mok to watch and cheer for the Houston Rockets. My love and admiration for Yao Ming is well-documented. That love blinded me from seeing the Rockets for who they really are -- a team that has abused the New York Knicks franchise over and over. Knicks always end up overpaying even when they seem to have leverage (I still miss Gallo and Wilson Chandler). Rockets took advantage of the Knicks when New York foolishly thought they had a shot at Lebron James, but instead just wasted a half year watch Tracy McGrady barely being able to stay on the court for a few games. Now we see the Knicks again overpay the Rockets in order to obtain Marcus Camby. In both cases you can make the argument that the Knicks had to pull the trigger, yet it pains me that both times the Rockets ended up milking the Knicks for far more than necessary.

This leads me to the most recent time the Rockets have screwed over the Knicks. Yesterday it was reported that Jeremy Lin signed a different offer sheet with the Houston Rockets than what was reported earlier this week. Instead of the 4-year $29 million contract, the Rockets gave him a 3-year $25 million contract. This puts the third year at $15 million, which would push the Knicks $5 million more over the cap. The estimated cost of having Lin on the team that third year with the additional luxury tax is over $40 million. This clearly was a move out of spite since New York had made it clear they would match any offer. I am sorry the Rockets still feel upset for not keeping Jeremy Lin last season, but this move is pretty childish to change up the terms. Well I guess the Rockets will have to live with giving Jeremy Lin $8 million for the next 3 season. Now the Houston Rockets will be the team that took Linsanity from New York City as well.

I don’t care if the Rockets end up with Jeremy Lin or a roster full of Asian Americans. I don’t even care if the Rockets resign Yao Ming. From this point forward, as a real Knicks fan I will never make the mistake of cheering for the Houston Rockets again. I wish the best for Jeremy Lin, but I could care less if the Rockets ever make the playoffs.

Photos courtesy of


shots fired!

PS: what about your "Asian America's Team" column? It was also one of my favorite boards on Pinterest.

the true reason for my bitterness, I guess one of the Houston guys will have to take over.

Shots fired? Maybe from a water pistol.

Knicks are willing to resign up to a billion dollars, so what difference does 5 million make.

If anything, I would think the hate would be directed at Knicks management. If they were smart enough to offer Lin a more cap-friendly contract right out of the gates, they would of never had to deal with the offer from the Rockets (or any other team). They took a gamble that Lin wouldn't get paid elsewhere (a dumb gamble considering Lin's a marketing cashcow). And like Phil said, James Dolan can just open up his wallet. Lin single-handedly brought NYK back from the dead so he deserves a few million more, right? If you look back on Knicks history of dumb moves, paying Lin might be one of the better ones...

Think Eddy Curry, Marbury, Maurice Taylor, Francis, Jerome James, T-Mac, Jared Jeffries, etc.

Can't blame a team for taking advantage of another team's lack of management. NBA management is a chess game, and the Knicks are stuck playing checkers still.

I hate defending Knicks management, but this was not their fault, the Knicks could only offer Lin a max 4 year 20 million dollar deal. It was only fair to let Lin go out and get something better. The Knicks felt very comfortable with the 4 year 28 million dollars, but when the terms changed it made the cost jump, not only by 5 million in guarantee money but the luxury tax that is much worse now with the new CBA. According to it could mean having Lin that third year would cost the team 42 million dollars for just having Lin.

Knicks have made a ton of bad choices, but no matter how great Rocket fans think of Morey's brilliance, that brilliance has had very little fruit as well =/.

Knicks lost leverage when they said they were willing to pay up to 1 billion dollars and even Woodson said Lin was definitely going to be back.

Morey had the only choice to up the ante to the max the Rox would be willing to pay for Lin. Morey wanted Lin from the start and putting this higher price tag on him was the only glimmer of hope of prying Lin away from the Knicks. In the end, Morey went out to get Lin, shot an offer sheet early of the terms, found out NYK would match no matter what, upped the terms to the max he would pay, found out NYK backed out, and finally, got Lin.

I agree with the lack of fruit though. And I'm still bitter we let JVG and RA go.

The Knicks 'could' still sign the offer sheet. They 'could've' offered Lin as much as they wanted to. The 42 million dollars does not take into account the Knicks signing Smith and Novak or trading for Camby and Felton before signing Lin. It was either arrogance or stupidity by Knicks management that they didn't make resigning Lin a priority.

So instead of blaming Dolan and his pedigree of smart decisions, you're going to blame the Rockets for taking advantage of information the Knicks put in the open?

It's true the Rocket's haven't had very much fruit since Morey replaced CD but could you ask anything more from a GM? There are way too many variables to make a championship caliber team but Morey has consistently made smart trades, drafted well, and hasn't overpaid players. The Rockets essentially lost their two best players but every year have been competing for a playoff spot. If anything, it says more about how there needs to be a change in the drafting system, and reflects less on Morey's decision-making.

Knicks made the mistake of tipping their hand, but even if they didn't I'm sure Morey would have upped the offer the same way he tried to get the Bulls Center. New CBA is frustrating because teams that match can't match the same terms. And no the Knicks could not offer Lin anything they wanted, the max they could give was 5 million first year and 5.2 the second and then i think in total for 4 years its around the 24 million range which espn reported yesterday.

Also Morey might have made many smart moves, but eventually he will need to over pay for someone. In the last decade the only team that has won without overpaying was the Spurs, and we all know they drafted better than everyone in the last 10 years.

Moneyball doesn't even work in Baseball anymore once the guys that are willing to over spend and start out pricing the market IE Oakland A's have been sub par since 2006...

Should we talk about Jeremy Lin wanting to come to the Rockets and meeting up with Daryl Morey again in order to restructure the contract?

We all know its Dolan's way of being nice for screwing us out of a great first round pick chance that was suppose to go lottery in that T-Mac trade for Jordan Hill ... that is until Melo came along and took them out of it

...actually, it was Jeremy Lin

If I'm not mistaken, didn't Lin get early Bird rights, and correct me if I'm wrong, meant that only the Knicks could offer him more money overall? I'm also not sure how many time the Knicks have violated the Lux tax? If they were repeat offenders, up to $3 per dollar in that 3rd if they were over the cap, which i think they are

they could offer Lin more money overall if they had more money to offer

caleb...let's start talking about the METS!!! i wanna read more articles about their playoff hopes!

=) rough last series, but will do!

on a side note, looks like the NY Post puts the blame on Lin for the renegotiated contract. Makes me wonder, did Lin want out of NYC that badly?

Are the Rockets paying Lin 8 mil a year? I thought Morey found some loophole where we would be paying him 5, 5, 8 instead of 5,5, 15.

Yes, I believe the Rockets would pay Lin around 8 million for 3 years. Knicks are not allowed to pay more than 5 million for each of the first two years which is why the contract get back loaded. New rule from the new CBA.

New York Knicks v. Houston Rockets

^we've already seen how that plays out

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