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Was Letting Jeremy Lin Walk in Free Agency One of The Worst Decisions in Sports History? One Writer Thinks So

By Melissa Siegel, Posted: 09/27/12 05:46PM EDT

When the New York Knicks declined to match the Houston Rockets' offer sheet in July, many questioned the move from both a team talent and marketing standpoint. But one writer from this month's GQ took the criticism a step further.

Drew Magary, who according to his Twitter bio also writes for Deadspin and Gawker, created a slideshow of the 18 worst decisions in sports history. He focused his list on decisions that were bad at the time, not just those that look awful in hindsight.

Letting Jeremy Lin leave is No. 18 on the list, though it is unclear if the decisions are in any actual order. The Knicks' choice is right behind the Giants' handing the ball off before "The Miracle at the Meadowlands" and Tony Romo going to Mexico with Jessica Simpson before the 2008 playoffs.

Here is what Magary wrote on the Lin decision:

"Any Knicks fans who say this was wise are just deluding themselves out of psychological necessity. They cannot face the truth-that owner James Dolan is a petty bastard who let a rising talent and marketing behemoth leave for nothing-because it would lead inexorably to self-immolation. To be a Knicks fan now, you must be able to maintain your reality-distortion field and believe that, at any moment, a purple unicorn will gallop into Madison Square Garden and gift the court with solid-gold robot versions of the 1972-73 Knicks."

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Clearly, from a marketing standpoint, letting Lin was a poor decision for the Knicks. He brought excitement and new fans to a team that has been languishing in mediocrity for years.

But, Lin's impact on the court is debatable. His fans will point to his breakout performance last February, where he averaged 22.3 points over a 13-game span. The Knicks went 10-3 over that span.

His critics, meanwhile, will note that teams appeared to catch up to Lin later in the season. He averaged just 14.6 points per game in March before tearing his meniscus and missing the remainder of the season.

Lin also has some trouble holding onto the ball, averaging 3.6 turnovers per game last season. In February, when he was on his scoring tear, he averaged five turnovers per game.

Then there's the matter of the large offer sheet he signed with the Rockets.  Lin signed a three-year deal worth a little over $25 million, and some feel this is too much for a point guard who had only one good season and is coming off major knee surgery. However, others feel Lin is a potential superstar, and the marketing money he brings in makes him worth the large contract.

Do you think the Knicks made a mistake in letting Lin go? Or did Houston overpay for the point guard's services? Post your comments below.



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