I’m a Knicks fan. I spent the winter in denial, but gradually as the season progressed, I realized I was following them more closely than any other team. And identifying with their ups and downs. And this year of course it’s been mostly downs. It’s okay. I was a Mets fan too.
I have some weird theories about the fortunes of the Knicks. I think last year they did well because they had Jason Kidd at guard. It seems like a very long time ago. This year, they have a void at point guard. And their star, Carmelo Anthony, needs a great point guard to work with. Pretty simple reason for this. Someone has to know who else is hot on the floor and make sure they get the ball almost as much as Melo. Otherwise the other team just double or even triple-teams Melo. It’s easy to defend a team that has just one shooter, even if he’s the best shooter in the league, as it is pretty clear Melo is (either #1 or #2).
But Kidd turned 40 last season, so they knew it couldn’t last. If Melo had been a bit more open-minded, I think he would have seen that Jeremy Lin, with his sharp eyes and mind, would have been a good student of Kidd’s and a good distributor of the ball for a team that tends to rely too much on Melo.
I think this is a lesson for everyone in business or sport, anywhere creativity and seizing the moment matters. Don’t always look for the answer where you expect it. Lin wasn’t one of Melo’s classmates from 2003. Melo is a superstar. But he could have forged a partnership with Lin, made him his little buddy, and and built from there. It’s amazing to see what Houston was able to do with creativity, and how it led to their signing of two players who, if they were playing with Melo, might have made New York, along with Anthony, a championship contender. The Knicks might not have been able to afford Dwight Howard and James Harden, but then New York is the center stage in the basketball world, and Houston is a backwater. But they’re a backwater with a team we would love to have in New York.